Illustrator Print Design Tutorial

Design Business Cards in Adobe Illustrator


This tutorial will guide you through the process of designing prints in Illustrator as well as providing press-ready templates to get you started.

Once finished, upload your files to order high quality business cards!

Table of Contents
Step 1 : Download a template.
Step 2 : Inspect template & understand bleed.
Step 3 : Verify color mode.
Step 4 : Create your designs.
Useful Tips : Save often and print your designs.
Step 5 : Create outlines from text and save as EPS.
Step 6 : Place your order.


➤ Step One

Download one of these pre-formatted templates and open it in Illustrator:

Right Click ► Save Link As

Business Cards
2" x 3.5" Standard Business Card Template

Folded Business Cards
4" x 3.5" Folded Business Card Template - FRONT (Outside)
4" x 3.5" Folded Business Card Template - BACK (Inside)

4x6 Postcards
4" x 6" Postcard Template

All Other Products & Sizes
Download Templates for Other Products & Sizes

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➤ Step Two

Familiarize yourself with the template by learning what the colored lines mean.
These rules apply to all products, reguardless of size or shape.


The PINK lines are called cut/trim lines. The cut lines show where your prints will be cut away from the much larger sheet of paper it was printed on. This ensures color all the way to the very edge of your cards. This method is called full bleed.

The BLUE lines are called the safety lines. Anything outside these lines run the risk of being cut off. Although the cutting machines are very accurate, staying inside of this area ensures that important text/graphics won't be chopped off. It also helps make your card more readable by provider further separation of text and edge of the finished print.
  Your background colors/images MUST extend past the PINK cut lines!
  Keep all your non-background text, logos, pictures, etc. inside of the BLUE safe area!

       

       



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➤ Step Three

Verify that your design is in CMYK color mode.
This is very important as we will not be able to print your design if these settings are not correct.

File ► Document Color Mode ► CMYK



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➤ Step Four

Now you are ready to begin the design phase. It's up to you to decide what you want the card to look like. Start experimenting and use the different tools & techniques to get the look you desire.

Create separate files for each side if you wish to have printing on the back.

Looking for something to give you that creative boost?

Browse through thousands of easy-to-follow tutorials to create some really impressive effects in Illustrator. Experimenting with these tutorials is how I learned to use Illustrator without taking a class or buying those thick & expensive "How To" books.

Graphic Design Tutorials @ Good-Tutorials.com:
More Illustrator Design Resources:
Free Stock Photos:
Paid Stock Photos:
Free Fonts:
Corporate Logos:
Example of a finished design:

       

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➤ Useful Tips

The Inkjet Test: Throughout the design process I suggest printing your creations on your inkjet printer directly from Illustrator. Use glossy photo paper if you have it. This will give you a good idea how your card will look as far as sizing goes. If your text looks small when printed on your inkjet, it will be too small when printed by our presses.

I suggest using the highest resolution print option (photographic quality) that is available on your printer. No adjustments to sizing or placement will be needed. The design should print on the paper at the actual finsihed size.

Remember the full bleed process will trim your cards down to normal size.

Save Often!
You never know when your computer may crash or lock up. Loosing work you've spent hours on is very disheartening. While you are working on your file, save as a .PSD to preserve your layers within the design.

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➤ Step Five

After saving as an editable .AI file, convert all text into paths or shapes. This ensures that when you submit your file, there will be no "missing fonts" issues.

If you skip this step, when we open your design files Illustrator will automatically substitute the missing fonts and ruin the entire design. This would also delay the process time of your order.

Once you have converted the fonts, save your design as a press-ready .eps file.

File ► Select All
Type ► Create Outlines
File ► Save As ► Save as type: Illustrator (*.EPS)

     

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➤ Step Six


Upload your newly created files for high quality printing delivered to your door!

Select the print product of which you designed to upload and order:

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