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Creating a consistent style across your collateral is critical to building a brand identity that allows your customers to instantly recognize your company and distinguish it from others. In this course, designer Steve Harris shows how to design print assets like business cards, letterhead, and envelopes that build brand awareness and catch the reader's attention. Over the course of the design process, he shows how to create a complete package in Adobe InDesign and output it for professional printing.
Now that we've completed our design, let's move on to one of the most important stages in our process: proofing. First, let's generate a proper proof. We're going to create a PDF in this file. To do so we'll click File > Adobe PDF Preset. We have a couple of options as far as the quality settings we want to generate. However, we're going to just print this off at home. So, I'm going to choose Press Quality. That's basically the best quality we can generate. Once I select Press Quality, I'll save this to the desktop, and we'll call it Envelope Proof, and click Save.
In our Press Quality dialog box we can set a few options. I always like to set the View PDF after Exporting option to be turned on. What this will do is open the PDF automatically when it's done exporting. Now let's click Export, and we'll ignore this warning for now. There, now our PDF files have opened up and we can take a good close look at them for errors. Now that I look at this envelope file, I noticed that we made a mistake. We didn't include the ZIP code for our address. That ZIP code is essential for customers to be able to locate us, so we need to go back through and add it to all of our documents.
Next, I noticed that this orange line is a little bit too thin. I printed this version out at home and the brown bleeds into the line a little bit. I also noticed that this text underneath Red 30 Creative is too small. It doesn't stand out enough, so let's bump that up. If we go back to our InDesign file, you can see that I have all of our files still open. This makes it easy for me to go ahead and add in that ZIP code that I missed, and then I could easily copy this and paste it to the other documents that we've created.
I'll do that later. Next, I'm going to just highlight this text and bump up the font size. I'm going to change the color to orange, to help it stand out a little bit more. Lastly, I'm going to change the color of this orange line. Let's set the color to white. Now it stands out a little bit more. Now that we've made this change on our full-bleed version, let's just go up and make the same change to our nonbleed version. We'll bump up the font size, we'll change the color to orange, and we'll go ahead and add in that ZIP code.
Let's just move this logo down a little bit too so that it lines up better. Now I'm happy with my design, so it's time to send this file to our client for proofing. To do so, we need to consider the file size, since we're sending it via email. Let's go ahead and click our File > PDF Presets flyout. Now, because this file doesn't use any images--it's all vector graphics-- we can actually export it at press quality, because vector graphics are very small. However, if we look at our business card file, we've used this image on the back.
We probably don't want to generate this at the highest resolution possible or it might be quite a large file to send by email. If we click our File > PDF presets, we'll generate it at the smallest file size. Let's save it to our desktop and call it business card small and click Save. Make sure View PDF after Exporting is turned on and click Export. Now we get a warning here about our transparency blend space. We can ignore this for now, but basically what it's telling us is we don't want to use this version for printing, and we know that.
It's for email only, so click OK. Once that proof is ready, let's just zoom in a little bit. We can see that the image on the back is much smaller, or much lower resolution, resulting in a much lower file size. Lastly, I want to control the zoom settings of this file when it opens on my user's computer. Let's close this preview and let's open up that same file in Adobe Acrobat. Once we've opened it in Adobe Acrobat, I'm just going to move the window up and scale it to be a little bit bigger.
Now we can change our zoom settings by clicking File > Properties. In our tabs at the top, we need to click Initial View, and what Initial View does is control the initial view on our user's computer. If I set our magnification to Actual Size and click OK and save the PDF-- I'll close it and go back into it-- we can see that it opens much small. It's opening at the actual size of a business card, which is 3.5 x 2.
It looks good but, I want be zoomed in, and I want my user to be zoomed in on when they first open it. So, we can go up to our File > Properties and Initial View settings once again, and let's just make sure that our magnification is set at Fit Page. This will just fit the full PDF to the size of their window. We'll click OK and save it. I always like to have full control over how my PDF files look on the screen of whomever is opening them. So don't forget to set your initial view settings if required.
Remember to print off your files at home and proof them thoroughly. If necessary, have a third party review them as well. You don't want to miss something important; that could lead to a costly reprint.
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