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                          Help With Adobe Illustrator


Adobe Illustrator Step-by-Step Help Guide
Click a link below to skip to that step:

Step 1: Creating a New Document
Step 2: Designing your Artwork
                • Bleeds
                • Safe Area
                • Borders
                • Solid Black Areas and Using Rich Black
                • Resolution
                • Colors
Step 3: Converting your Text to Outlines
Step 4: Saving your Files



Step 1: Creating a New Document

After launching your Illustrator application,
• Choose File > New... (See Figure 1)
Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+N for PC users, Cmd+N for Mac users


Figure 1
Figure 1



When the New Document window appears, (See Figure 2)
• Set the Resolution (raster effects) to 300 DPI. 
• Set the Color Mode to CMYK.
• Set the Width & Height of your artwork to the final size of the product you are creating.
Figure 2
Figure 2




Step 2: Designing your Artwork

• Bleeds
Please keep bleeds in mind when you are designing your artwork. If your design has artwork you want printed to the edge of the final piece, bleeds are required. However, if your artwork is WHITE on all four edges, then you do not need to include bleeds

In Illustrator, this bleed area should extend 1/8" past in the trim size of the document, on each edge.
For more information regarding bleeds, please watch the helpful flash video below. (See Figure 3)
There are many Illustrator (EPS) Templates available for our products, please use these to assist you with your design.



Figure 3



• Safe Area
The cutting process for printed materials has a mechanical tolerance of about .0625 or 1/16 of an inch, so it is imperative that no text or essential parts of your artwork come within 1/8" of the trim line.  This will prevent any important objects from being cut off or appearing too close to the edge. (See Figure 4)

 
Example of objects outside safe area   Example of objects within safe area
Figure 4




• Borders

When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your border is designed with at least .125 or 1/8 of an inch safe space between the border and the cut line. The cutting process for printed materials has a mechanical tolerance of about .0625 or 1/16 of an inch, so by keeping your border within the safe area, it will maintain a symmetrical appearance. (See Figure 5)

 
Example of bad border placement   Example of good border placement
Figure 5




• Solid Black Areas and Using Rich Black
If you want to have an area of solid black within your document, using 100% Black as the fill color does not result in a dark, saturated black. (See Figure 6)

To obtain the best results, use a rich black color, represented by the following CMYK values:
C: 60%
M: 40%
Y: 40%
K: 100%

Rick Black Example
Figure 6




• Resolution
For the best printing results, any images used must be at least 300 DPI (dots per inch), also known as Pixels Per Inch (PPI) at the final output size.  Please do not attempt to change a low resolution image to a higher one by changing the DPI with an imaging software, doing so will result in a blurred output. (See Figure 7)

 
Example of bad image resolution   Example of good resolution
Figure 7




• Colors
When choosing colors in Illustrator, please consider the CMYK color mode.  Certain colors are not reproducible using CMYK and if the color you've selected is not, it is indicated by an exclamation point in the Color Picker window. Clicking on the exclamation point will automatically select the closest CMYK-friendly neighbor. (See Figure 8)



Figure 8




Step 3: Converting your Text to Outlines

Converting text to outlines will guarantee your job will not encounter delays due to missing fonts.
   Unlock all text layers before selecting, to ensure they're included.
• From the Select menu, choose All. (See Figure 9)


Figure 9




• From the Type menu, choose Create Outlines. (See Figure 10)
   Always save the outlined artwork with a new filename, this will ensure you do not overwrite your original source file.


Figure 10




Step 4: Saving your Files

When you have completed your design, and checked it against the guidelines above,
• Choose File > Save As... 

When the Save As box appears (See Figure 11)
• Enter a filename for your design.

• Select Illustrator EPS (*.eps) as your filetype.

• Click Save to proceed.


Figure 11




When the EPS Options window appears (See Figure 12)
• Select the highest EPS version your application will export.

• Set the Format to Macintosh (8-bit Color) .

• Check the Include CMYK PostScript for RGB files box.

• Set the Adobe PostScript to LanguageLevel 3.

• Click OK and you're done.


Figure 12

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