August 2011 Articles
Illustrator’s multiple artboards are great for print package design. I start with a multiple artboard document to design comps, and stick with that layout until the final design and content have been approved. Everything gets transferred to the package dieline as the final step.
Examine the dieline
This dieline is for a DVD amaray case. There are 5 sides with printed graphics. One side is open to hold the DVDs. It’s important to understand how the 2D dieline becomes a 3D object before starting your designs.
Determine which panels include print graphics and what the head direction is.
Create new Illustrator Document
This project has five printed panels, therefore the new document needs to have five artboards. Each artboard is sized to each panel dimension. The head direction gives you the vertical dimension.
Set each artboard up with an .125” bleed.
The new Illustrator document looks like this. The artboards can be arranged any way you want.
Reasons why I love this workflow
All of the design is done in a heads up direction. No more swiveling my head, trying to read sideways or upside down copy.
It’s easier to design when looking at one panel at a time.
I can use the “align to artboard” alignment tool to center objects in the design.
Comp variations are easy to create by duplicating the document.
My client gets a multi page PDF file for proofing. Each page shows a single panel without bleed. They can proof each panel in a heads up direction or the pages can easily be printed at 100% scale.
Finalize the design for print
The graphics are moved to the dieline for production after the client approves the design, content and text.
Select all of the graphics on an artboard.
Group and copy.
Switch to the dieline file and paste into a new layer.
Rotate if needed and place into position.
Repeat this for each panel.
The final layout goes together very fast.
Here is the final print layout. Can you imagine how difficult this would have been if it was designed as a single piece of art?
This was an actual project designed for Robins Research Int. The case holds five DVDs from the Anthony Robbins television series titled “Breakthrough”. The DVD sleeves were part of the same design project. I used the same multiple artboard workflow to design the sleeves.