Creating Cutter Guides in Illustrator | Jess Girvan | Skillshare

Creating Cutter Guides in Illustrator

Jess Girvan, Artworker, painter, photographer

Creating Cutter Guides in Illustrator

Jess Girvan, Artworker, painter, photographer

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7 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. 2 intro

    • 2. 2 setting up artwork

    • 3. 3 creating a shape

    • 4. 4 creating a spot colour

    • 5. 5 overprint

    • 6. 6 bleed

    • 7. 7 export

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to successfully set up cutter guides in Illustrator, ready for print, by creating a simple swing tag design.

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Jess Girvan

Artworker, painter, photographer


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1. 2 intro: Hello and welcome to this video all about creating a cutter guide in Illustrator What is the cut? A guide. A cutter guide is used packaging for when something is die cut Profile cart Such a Z specific shapes that had to be cut out of paper or another type of material. It's used a lot in Would what When you want to cut shapes of wood or more commonly used in printing world with swing tags or different size posters, even kind of any time you want something specifically cut into a shape that needs to be Dyker or print printed specifically by a printer to be a certain size. That is when a cutter guide is used. Now, the best way to create cut a guard in the most common way to create cuts guide is in illustrator or in design. Now cut. The guides can be can be provided by the printer, but sometimes you might want to create your own cutter guide to certain size or around a certain shape. In this video, we are going to cover creating a very simple swing tag, as that is one of the most common reasons. While cuts a guide is created. Swing talks are very simple and easy to create. Andi. There's lots of uses for them, so we're going to start there. 2. 2 setting up artwork: so festival. We're going to create some artwork in illustrator before making the cut A guide to go file ? No, Andi, I'm just going to go with a four is It's a nice, simple sighs on going to change the units two millimeters as that is the standard way that our boards and artwork is set up for printers millimeters. They don't really all centimeters but millimeters of the most common used unit. So create. Now, I'm just going to watch. We do here. So maybe create textbooks. Andi batches. Laura Um, Epsom, which is placeholder text. You consent back to automatically fill your text box in an illustrator. But we don't really need that. So I will just put sale. We will make a very simple sale swing tack. Just change it to Ariel. Some very generic font changing color to red actually know, maybe we'll make that white Andi make the background strongbox background Red Africa two layers. This red needs to be behind the sale, so drug it down, lest just move it to the center of the outboard. Put the sales roughly in the middle. If you want, we can make sure that this text is centered in textbooks appear. Align center in select both square on the sale. Andi, I've realigned toe are borderline to selection, will keep it lined toe outboard and just center. That's so that is simple start of some artwork. I think what the best thing to do is is just actually, too. I love it smaller. A line to selection sent them together. Oops. Just move them to one side and that will be 1/2 of the swing tag. So we set up some very simple artwork, and the next thing where you're going to do is actually create the cutter guard for the swing tack. 3. 3 creating a shape: Now we're going to create the cutter guide. First of all, we're going to create a new layer in the layers palette just here and now. Click once in the outboard using the rectangle tool, and you can easily create a rectangle to a certain size. Now I might go for 70 by 90 millimeters, but this could be any size you like. I'm going to press OK, This has created a white rectangles. I will change the color, too. CME, like a science and then click the hours head turn the film into a stroke is a one point stroke. There we have a stroke on a separate layer, which will be turned into our cutter guide. 4. 4 creating a spot colour: So right now we have our out work on a background layer on a shape of a stroke on the foreground layer. Now we need to rename this layer cutter guide. This is so when it sent to the printer, the printer would easily be up to see that this is a cutter guide. The other very, very, very important thing we need to do is go to our swatches, click on the color that we're currently using of the moment it C M. Y que Cyan. Now the most important thing about creating a cutter guide is to make it a spot color. If it's no spot color, the printers printer will not register it as a cutter guide. It will register. It is part of the artwork and will be printed. So this one to print as it is, it would just be a blue line. So double click on the sea. In my case, I on here color type, it says process color. That means that it's not registered as a spot, a spot color. Andi, it will not be printed. It will not be. It will not be Dyker. It will not be cut into the shape that you want it to be, so change it from process color to spot color and kick. Okay. Another important thing to do is to double click on the name of this color that we've just turned to a spot color, a name it cut a guide and you will see hit. There is a little square with a circle in middle. That means that the color is a spot color. And then if we go back to the layers, so we have this color, which is now a spot color over over hair. Cut a guide and it is on a layer titled Cutter Guide returned the eye on and off. You can see, but the cutter guide disappears, and that is definitely set up as a cutter guide. 5. 5 overprint: next we're going to lock the artwork layer on. Actually were at it Double click from the layer name and just rename it all work. So it's extra obvious that this is the artwork and this is the category, right? So now we can't grab and move the artwork. We can't mess the artwork help kill stays. Actually, how it is we can just grab the cutter guide. I'm position it over the artwork and then adjust the artwork if need be. I mean, this sale is too close to the edge is so I'm going to select it. Hold down, shift on old, which scales things centrally, basically. But because this is text, the text is disappearing. As I'm scaling it on, what you do here is double click this little circle off that's happening. It converts it to a point type, which means you can scale the text like so. So I'm going to make it look, it's smaller and then lock it again. Onda, A very important thing with the swing tag is Ah, hole a hole for the thread or, you know the rope. All the ribbons go through. So to create that hold down on the rectangle tool. Select Lips Tour once again. Just click once in the outboard, and you can choose the size, but you want the whole to bay, so I'm going to choose. 3.5 millimeters is That's quite a standard hole size wrestling tag. I just do that. It's can Yep, 3.53 points. Sorry, I'll unlinked that 3.5 on 3.5 x ice is a sock off, and that will be the whole frosting tags. Now, if you use the I drop, it'll you can select the Cutter Guide that we already have the Blue Cutter guide, and it changes that shape that we've just made to be exactly the same color. Exactly. Same settings are. Turn the artwork layer off, select. It'll go to swatches. We can see that all of it is now cut a guide. That is our swing tag made, and just make sure when you're placed in the hole to place it not too close to the edge. Otherwise, the card might rip or break or become very damaged over time. Yes, that is the basic set up off the sarin attack. The next thing we need to consider if we lock the artwork for her again. Select Cuts guide. We need to go to window attribute, attributes, and we need to select over print stroke. Now, what this does is it means the cutter guide will over print. So basically, there will not be a white line behind the cut tonight behind the blue, it will not be printed white underneath. Now it's quite a difficult thing to explain. But if we go to separations preview just that one separations preview here is the separations previous click over from you. So this basically shows the different printing place that we printed by the printer. So all printing is while a lot different in you see em like a cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Now, if we turn the CIA my case off, we can see that Calcutta guide is remaining because it is a spot color so separate color from the sea. And Mike A on the printer will pick up the fact that is a special spot color. That's something special Has to happen with it. Enough. Return all these back on and turn the cuts guide off we will see is completely red underneath. I returned the cuts guard on Selective on and change. If so, it's not over. Prints we conceive returned the cutter right off there is white on the red. So if there's any problems with registration reprinting you will, you might potentially see a white line around the outside of the swing tag if the print is not aligned properly. So the best practice is to always select the cutter guide and click over print stroke so that that you don't have any registration problems when it comes to printing. 6. 6 bleed: now, if you want a single side is suing tag. This would be perfectly fine to send to the printers, but if you want a double sided swing tag, then you need to create the other side. So we've got the cutter guide on a separate layer artwork in a locked laugh. So just select or cut a guide, huh? It's start again now. Save you if you want. So if you want a single sided spring tag, this artwork would be fine to send to the printer as it is. But I would quite like a double sided suing tag. So what we're going to do is you still got the artwork locked on The cutter guide is free. Just select the cutter guide. Hold down control she designed Start. Start again. No. So if you want a single sided suing tag, this artwork would refined to send to the printer as it is. But I will show you how to make a double sided throwing tax so we have the artwork on the background layer. Andi, it's locked on. I've just selected the cutter guide. Now hold down old. Just make sure you're on the cutting. I'd hold down, old I'm dry and that has cough feed. The cutter died, so this could be the front of the swing tag. And this could be the back on. And I'm going to unlock the artwork selector sale. Hold down old again to cop. Yet I'm just going to change the color, too. Read on and hold down. Holt and shift. Make it small. I'm going to double connect this circle again. So the textbooks is creditable and I'll just put sale ends soon. Track the textbooks and then PSINet for Group the group that cut a guide on the whole so that they stick together and then select the text on the cutter guide aligned to selection . Just center like that. Just move this up. So the front this ring taxes sale the back of the swing tag says sale. And soon. And as you can see, the cutter guard, both of the cutter guides is on the cutting. I layer. The artwork is on the artwork there. Now, this red area around the cutter guide. We don't need that much red. You need to make sure that there is a three millimeter bleed around the outside. The cutter bide, but that doesn't need to be that much red. So I'm just going to reduce it. And an easy way to check how much lead is around the outside is just to get the rectangle tool drawer square. So as we can see here that the measurements three mo bleed, that's 3.3 millimeters here if I just change it to yellow so you can see that is a 3.3 millimeter distance. So the amount of blue we need is not really that much. But in all honesty, it doesn't matter if you have too much bleed, it's better than not enough bleed. If you don't have bleed, you run the risk of having white printed around the outside of your artwork. So around the outside of the time, it might be misaligned, and there might be a little bit Why, just like that, for example, so bleed is very, very important, so I'll just delete this yellow squad, says the front of the back of the swimming targ. We're bleed. Obviously, the white doesn't need bleed because it is going to be printed on white card. The next thing really going to do is exporters, pdf and save the artwork ready for the printers 7. 7 export: Finally, we're going toe. Explore artwork ready to send to the printers now. Optional thing is to add the dimensions off the artwork around the outside, but it's not completely necessary, so we will skip that stage. For now. A very important thing to do before sending outworked printers is to select any text that you have in your documents and go type create outlines. Now, what this does is it changes a text box to a vector image, and it basically means if the printer doesn't have the front that you're using, then it doesn't matter that if the printer, if your text is no outlined and the printer doesn't have the font, it will be replaced with a generic fun on. Your artwork can look completely different and completely wrong. So it's very important to outline the text type career outlines, and then your artwork will be exactly as you wanted to be with no missing phone. It's no substituted fonts and hopefully no problems. So we've outlined the text. Now these are all essentially shapes. Look the artwork. Lock the cutter Gheit, Andi, Save as save as swing type Now I've already created a folder to send to printer create. Afford to decide that saver is an illustrator. But whatever you do, always remember to separately in your own folders somewhere saved the artwork with a now outlined text so you can editor in the future. But the printer only needs the are outlined text, so save a string Turk in to center printer and illustrator file. Okay, just use Aled, the generic settings. That's well, fine, Andi. We will also save pdf Save eyes once again, Adobe pdf Just that save now will change this toe high quality print. Andi Preserve Illustrator Editing capabilities. That means that basically, if that's not takes, nothing will be creditable in your document. Onda will be just kind of 11 flat image. It will still be a vector, but it would just be a flat a flat images just a lot better to do high quality print and preserve the editing capabilities. Andi, for example, marks and bleeds. You don't need to add any printed marks because we have created the Cutter Guide on the Cutter Guide is the only printers mark the printer needs on saying. With the bleed, we have put a manual bleed around the around the artwork around the cutter guide. That is fine. Save PDS, and there we go so that our work is now ready to send to the printers. If I open the two center print of folder, I can select both of thes the illustrator and the pdf Andi compress them Limits Ring Tuck. This is a very small file size 2.8 megabytes. Andi. Usually for email, you can send 10 maybe 15 megabytes, so that would be fine to attach to an email to send to the printer. Now, if it's too large to send to the printer, if it's over 10 megabytes, for example, if it's 30 40 50 the best way to transfer would be probably we transfer or Google Drive or Dropbox. There's lots of different kind of cloud file sharing things that you can use if the files too big, so this will be perfectly. Find central printer Onda. They will have no problem printing it, obviously or printed. The difference. Some printers may require certain colors for cutter guides, really is. If you have any doubts, just speak to the printer and they'll tell you exactly what they need. Andi, even if you supply the artwork, and there's something not quite right. They were usually talk to you about it before before they actually do anything. Uh so I think just the most important things to remember when setting up cutter guides for a printer is to make sure you're using iver, cyan, yellow or magenta to make sure their spot colors to make sure it's set up as over print is on a separate layer named Cutter Guide Andi, that your color that you're using for the Cutter guide is also named cut guide. So there's kind of a very slim chance of a printer overlooking the cattle. I'd I hope this video is being very useful for you, and I hope you've learned a lot. Onda, uh, see you next time.