In this movie, Mike shows which options you should set up and check when creating graphics that will be professionally printed. He demonstrates how to set up proper bleed amount, color, resolution, and overprinting to meet a printer’s requirements. He shows how to use the Separations Preview panel to reveal problems with spot colors and overprinting, and then how to fix those problems.
- [Voiceover] In this movie, we'll spend some time going over which options you should set up and check for graphics that will be professionally printed. Here, in our exercise file, we have a set of baseball cards, and for the sake of this demonstration, let's pretend we have real players names and teams, instead of this placeholder text. These cards are going to be professionally printed as a sheet of a four cards, and let's say our printer has told us they want a CMYK PDF file, cropped to the size of the four cards, with an 1/8 inch blade.
The printer also told us that we need to be sure that any black text is set to overprint, and that our images have to be 300 PPI in resolution. So, the first thing to do is to get an art board that's sized to the four cards, to move the cards so they're exactly touching, or use the align panel, which you can open from the window menu. And if these distribute spacing controls aren't visible for you, choose Show Options from the panel menu. Select the top two cards, and click on the one on the left to set it as the key object, then in the Distribute Spacing Controls, make sure that there's zero space, and click Horizontal Distribute Space.
Let's repeat this procedure, to bring the bottom left card up, so it just touches the top card. Select both, make the top one the key object, and this time click Vertical Distribute Space. And then we can selected both bottom cards. Set the left one as the key object, set the horizontal space between them to be zero, and align their top edges. Now we can size the art board to our cards, by selecting them all, clicking the art board tool, and from the presets menu, choose Fit to Selected Art.
Next, we can set up our bleed space. Our printer asks for 1/8 inch all around, and to do that, we can go to File, Document Set Up, and enter in a quarter inch all the way around, and click OK. Now the problem is that our art doesn't actually bleed, we need to extend the corners of all four cards, out to the bleed lines, to do that, we can double click on a card to go into isolation mode, click on the card background, and then just drag it out to the bleed.
And repeat for the other three cards. Next, we need to make sure that our file is in CMYK mode, which can be confirmed in the File menu, under Document Color Mode, and yes indeed, we have CMYK. Then we can go to the Window menu, and check Separations Preview to confirm that we'll only be printing on four printing plates, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. But here's the problem, right now this file will print on 10 plates, CMYK, plus these six spot colors.
So let's get rid of these spot colors by opening the Swatches panel, and then Shift clicking on the first spot color, to the last, and then going to the Panel menu, and choose Swatch Options, and set the color type to process and the color mode to CMYK, and click OK. And now, in the Separations Preview panel, we see that we're going to just print on these four plates. We also need to check the color space and resolution of the player photos.
To do that, we can go to the Links panel, and click on each one here. Note that all these files are embedded, so I know that they're going to be CMYK, because my document is in CMYK mode, and here I can see the resolution, 300 PPI, 300 PPI, 300, and 300, so we're all good. We were also given instructions to make sure that any black text is set to overprint, and again, we can do that in the Separations Preview panel.
This time, what we need to do, is click on the black plate, to turn it off, and see if there are any holes in the other plates, where the black text was. And sure enough there is, on this card here. And let's zoom in on that. See how the black text is knocking out the background color here, and here, to fix that, we'll open the Attributes panel, and then we'll double click on the card to go into isolation mode, select the black text, and turn on Overprint Fill.
Do it again for team name, and the position. And now we're not knocking holes in the other colors, and we can turn on all our printing plates. Finally, let's output this sheet of cards to PDF. I'll get out of isolation mode. Zoom out so I can see the whole thing. And then I'll choose File, Save As, I'll save it as a PDF file, we'll put it on the Desktop, and click Save. If our printer gave us a PDF level, or standard, that they required, we can choose it here, or we could choose one of the pop ups, like Press Quality.
Let's select View PDF after saving, and in our compression settings, we can see that any images over 450 PPI, will automatically be down sampled in marks and bleeds, let's turn on our bleed settings, and also trim marks, in output, we'll use the default convert to destination, Preserve Numbers. Since all our colors are all ready in CMYK, and we're not using any color profiles, this means all the color values will be left unchanged.
And click Save PDF, on my machine the PDF opens in Preview, and there's our sheet of baseball cards. With the proper bleed, color, resolution, and overprinting that our printer requested.
- What is ACA certification?
- Developing a study plan
- Finding study resources
- Identifying project requirements
- Identifying design elements
- Understanding Illustrator
- Creating graphics with drawing, shape, and type tools
- Exporting and publishing graphics
- Registering for the ACA exam