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- Setting up file dimensions and resolutions
- Using consistent fonts
- Creating custom swatches
- Designing the front and back of a business card
- Integrating a logo in designs
- Outputting files for proofing and printing
- Finding branding inspiration
Skill Level Beginner
In order to complete our collateral package, let's put together a number ten envelope. That's the most common size of envelope that we use for business, and it's sized to contain an 8.5 x 11 letter folded into thirds. Envelopes are the most restrictive element of a collateral package from a design standpoint, since printing limitations and even postal restrictions can drastically affect our design. First, let's set up a new document. We'll leave our Intent set as Print, but we'll turn off Facing Pages.
I'm going to create two different pages. For our Page Size, we need to enter in the number ten envelope dimensions, which is 9.5 inches wide by 4.125 inches high. We'll leave our column settings the same; however, let's put a 0.25-inch margin around the outside. Lastly, we need to set up our bleed, so as usual, we'll use 1/8th of an inch or 0.125 inches for our bleed. Now, click OK.
Now that our document's created, we may need to reference the postal guidelines to see which areas we can and cannot design on. For most envelopes, we include our return address information in the top-left side. I'll just draw a box to mark our area. This would be our address. Next, we'll include the mailing address of the person we're sending it to. That would be in the center. On the top-right, we're going to need our stamps. Now, lots of postal requirements also need room at the bottom for barcodes.
If we reference the postal guidelines that we find online for a particular postal service, then we can easily draw guides to just mark these areas. You can draw a guide by clicking onto the ruler and dragging a guide out. So, we may want to drop a guide at the bottom of our design here, just to know that we can't include any ink or design elements for barcoding. There's usually minimum requirements on the left- and right-hand sides as well for where we can design. However, again, you'll need to look these up for your own region. Another aspect we need to consider with our envelopes is whether or not we're going to include bleeds.
If we include bleeds on an envelope, it means that the printer will have to print them flat and actually fold them up after they've printed on it. This can be really expensive and require much higher runs. An alternative to this is to print on a premade envelope. So, this would be an envelope that already folded, that can actually run through a printer. Lastly, let's just go ahead and import our swatch library, and we'll get started on our design. It's always more cost effective to keep your envelope simple and print a design directly on a prefolded envelope.
Remember to insure that your design conforms to all of the postal standards in your specific region. You don't want to preprint a large quantity of envelopes only to find out that they can't actually be mailed.