Promotions run the gamut from small print projects to large scale vinyl banners for display. Figuring out sizing for the promotions you need shouldn’t be the most stressful part of the process, which is why templates exist. They save your company time and money by clearly laying out what dimensions are needed for your artwork.
Companies that have in house art departments or a dedicated graphic designer may want to use templates for their promotional collateral. If your company does not have the software or an art department, agencies like ours have designers who can take your brand goals and translate them into artwork. Read our blog on reasons why great graphic design converts.
What are Templates?
Templates are vector files that show the dimensions needed for a specific project or promotion. Vector files are files that are made up of paths instead of stationary pixels, allowing for scalability to any size. Templates are traditionally used in print and product promotions to give art teams and graphic designers the correct data for planning their project.
How do Templates Work?
Templates are files that show exact dimensions as well as any bleed or cut lines. Cut lines are where the printing will be trimmed by the printer of the promotion. Bleed is the overflow of background graphics or color that designers add to ensure your print, once trimmed, is not ruined by an unprinted area.
Here at Imprint Engine our designers created templates that include detailed instructions, the example below shows an example of one of our templates and the information we supply for print promotions:
– SAFE AREA: Blue Line
Keep all important text and graphics within this area.
– CUT LINE: Pink Line
This outline represents the finished and cut size.
– BLEED: Black Line
Make sure to extend the background images and colors all the way to the edge of this outline.
Please outline all text or provide font files.
Make sure to embed, rasterize or provide files for images and linked graphics.
Send final file as an Ai (Adobe Illustrator) or Vector PDF.
Our print templates include three separate line types in order to insure you get the best result. These lines will likely be included on most templates you view as well. The blue line represents the safe area, meaning all of your brand’s logo information and copy should be inside of that line. The pink line is the cut line, this is where the promotion is trimmed after printing. The black line around the edge is the bleed line, this line is used for extra background color or art to guarantee the perfect print.
Another important note is to outline or provide designers with your font files as your font is specific to your brand. Not every designer will have the font you have chosen for your logo or copy on your promotion, having the font files gives designers the ability to change your art if necessary.
The text above also indicates the need for the graphic files, you can either send the files separately, rasterize (rasterize the layers) the images, or embed the files. To embed the files go to your linked graphics in the links menu in illustrator, select the link you want to embed and click the embed button.
To rasterize in Adobe Illustrator you will select the image, go to the object menu, and select rasterize. You will need to make sure your color mode is CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black) and the resolution is at least 300 pixels per inch. Please note you will not want to rasterize your vector objects, only images.
The file can be saved as an Adobe Illustrator file (.ai) or a Vector PDF (.pdf) as both support vector file formats.
What Software is Needed?
Your team will need Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to insert your art and graphics into the template. I would suggest using Illustrator as the functionality for embedding or linking graphics is more comprehensive and user friendly.
What is in it for My Company?
Your company will save the time and money of having your promotions partners complete your artwork. Templates also allow you to see the completed artwork before sending it to a printer. The template guide lines also let you scale your graphics within the safe area, you know there will be no over or under print issues.
Print templates are the best way to create promotions that your brand can visualize and implement. Contact us for more information on the creative branding solutions we can create for you.