Join Claudia McCue for an in-depth discussion in this video Why Illustrator is perfect for packaging, part of Print Production Essentials: Packaging.
When you start creating packaging, Adobe Illustrator is perfect. If you're already an Illustrator user, you can use the drawing tools that you're used to. It's a familiar toolset, so you don't have to start from scratch with something foreign. And it gives you precision coupled with flexibility. You can line objects, you can distribute them, you can make sure that things are where you want them. Because let's face it, neatness counts. And that maximum magnification of 6,400% ensures that you can work really neatly. You have a huge drawing table. It's 227.54 inches on a side.
And if you're curious why it's a decimal there that's because really under the hood Illustrator's thinking in points. So it's actually 16,383 points on a side. Now, there are professional plugins that are available to extend the capabilities of Illustrator. EskoArtwork is a huge player in the packaging market, and they have a product called DeskPack. It's actually a set of tools that plug in to Illustrator. FFEI has something called RealPro Toolkit, similar to what you see from Esko.
And then it also has the RealVue 3D Packager, which lets you preview a package in a 3D form without actually having to print it out and cut it out. So, coupled with the base capabilites of Illustrator and then these enhancements that you can get through an add-on, you can go a long way toward creating your packaging design without having to purchase fully proprietary products.
- Deciding on the type of package
- Considering the consumer experience
- Replicating an existing package
- Adding flaps and fold-in tabs
- Using Illustrator and InDesign for layout
- Creating a dieline
- Checking the mockup
- Preparing your jobs for the printer