Creating a Coloring Book | Lisa Naffziger | Skillshare
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5 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials Needed

    • 3. Formatting Artwork

    • 4. Trimming Spreads

    • 5. Stapling

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About This Class

Learn a cost-effective way to produce a coloring book!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lisa Naffziger

Cartoonist & Illustrator


Studied Sequential Art at SCAD (grad 2014). Comic artist, children's book illustrator, dinosaur enthusiast.

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1. Introduction: Hey, guys, today I'm gonna show you how to make your very own coloring book because I figured out how to do it in a way that is pretty efficient and relatively inexpensive. And I'd like to share that with you. So I'll go over the practical side of it, the book making portion of it, and also give some tips on how to set it up for print digitally. So I hope you enjoy this class and let's get started. 2. Materials Needed: so I'd like to start by talking about some materials that you'll need for this project. When I was thinking about what kind of paper to use for a coloring book, it was a little difficult because I have done things that just regular Xerox printer paper and it was either too thin or, um, there was no real texture to it, so it doesn't make it very nice to color on. So I wondered if I just picked up some regular sketchbook paper or pastel paper. If you wanted something with more texture, how that would work and if it could actually run through my printer. And the good news is for this cancer drawing paper, it works just fine. So what I was able to dio was to take a sketchbook that I already had. You could pick up something like this somewhere, and, uh, this is sized at nine by 12 and I knew that what I was going to do for my printer was gonna have to be a regular letter sized piece of paper. So something like this in order for it to go for my printer, So a tip that I would have for you is. If you pick up something that's maybe not the right size for your printer, you could always tear out a sheet of paper and then cut it, which I know ends up being a little more work. But I could trim down nine by 12 to a sheet of paper that was gonna be 8.5 by 11 letter size paper. In that way, I could put it in the regular part of my printing tray and feed it through, and it's thin enough that it didn't jam. That would be another suggestion, I would say to look out for is make sure the paper you're using isn't too thick, and it will work just fine in your printer. So other than the paper, other things that might be useful the have would be a swing line stapler, something that is extended so that it will actually go to the spine of the book. I know that regular staplers, they're not gonna be long enough to accommodate the full sheet of paper because you're gonna have to end up folding it in half, no matter what size it is, so we're gonna have to feed it through the stapler, so it might be worth picking up one of these for yourself and some staples. If you go to any print shop, really, I've come to find that they have these at the store for you to borrow a swell. So if you plan on doing some of your printing at a print shop anyway, they might just let you borrow the Swingline stapler. Other things that came in handy were to have a ruler and an Exacto knife, just in case you're going to be doing some of the trim work at home. But once again, if you're planning on going to a print shop, they might even have a cutting board that you could use. Or you could ask one of the people working there to turn the pages, were you? But if you want to do most of it at home, you can just pick up a ruler and an Exacto knife, and it should be able to be trimmed down just fine for the cover paper. I went to the print shop and asked for something that was going to be thicker, So a card stock I didn't want it to be too thick because otherwise I don't know that it would fold very well. So a regular £80 card stock £60 white card stock would work just fine. So I had gone to the print shop with my design and have them print out the covers for me and the rest of it. I was able to do at home in my own printer. But I was able to get them printed at the print shop and then trimmed down to the right size that I needed and able to go from there at home. And the rest of the materials are going to be digital, so I really hope that you have some sort of design software. I'm going to be showing you how to do things in photo shop, because I think that I know that's what works the best for me and is pretty commonplace nowadays. If you don't have Photoshopped, I'm sorry there might be another way for you to lay out the page. But stay tuned for some suggestions on how to set everything up for print 3. Formatting Artwork: for the page set up portion of everything I'm going to be using photo shop CS six. I understand that people will have other versions of Photoshopped or might not have Photoshopped at all. So no matter what sort of software you're using for this next step, I hope that you're able to follow along. Or at least put two and two together on how you can still accomplish this in the program that you're using. So for the artwork, it's best to do everything as a nice black and white image. Of course, you wanna leave room for somebody to color. It doesn't necessarily have to be something with a lot of open areas. It can be detailed. All of that is up to you and your preference. So I'm going to show you how to set up the liner. So I had done several monster illustrations that I thought would work well for a coloring book. Here you see it in full color as the finished illustration, but fortunately I had set this up in layers so that I would be able to remove the color and just keep it as a black and white image for later but I hope that you have some sort of black and white image set up already that you can use. So I have here a black and white image. It helps if this image is flattened and photo shop. You can do that by going over here and clicking. Flatten, um, the size of the document. I recommend that it's the highest resolution that is available. I kept this pretty large, so at 600 but 300 is the minimum for printing. So please keep us in mind when you're going through and finishing this. So with the black and white Leinart, sometimes, uh, things aren't quite so sharp. I've prepared it already to be colored, but a suggestion I have. If you want to clean it up a bit and get rid of some maybe grey pixels that are existing, you can goto image adjustments, and if you do threshold, it makes the image exclusively black pixels or white pixels. So that's how we get that complete separation there. And, um, this is ready to go because I was going to be working with a printer that would print on letter size paper. So the dimensions of that are 8.5 inches by 11 inches. I knew that my book was going to have to fit within those constraints. You can choose whatever you have at your disposal, but to do a letter size piece of paper that means that when it's folded in half at the longest end, uh, half of 11 is 5.5, so it's gonna be 5.5 inches one way. And because I wanted to make it a square because these illustrations fit primarily in a square shape, it ended up being five and and asked by 5.5. So the best way to set this up for print is I made a new document that was going to be the full size of water size paper, so it's gonna be 8.5 inches by 11 inches. Resolution weaken. Leave at 300. If you're doing a regular printing at home, maybe you want to go higher. But with the liner, it's best to have it at the highest possible and then scale it down from there. So it created a new document that is going to be the size of the paper that's going through the printer, I will go to image image rotation 90 degrees clockwise so that I can get a better visual of how to set this up. So to bring up the ruler tool you can do control our or command are if you're on a Mac, and I know that half of this image. So when it's folded in half, half of 11 is 5.5, so it is going to be right here. So all I did was just drag a marker to give a visual of that. And I also believe then that it is going to be 5.5 inches tall so that it's a square. So if we do that, this is the space that the image would occupy. So I can go to my liner here and select select All in at It a copy of the image, and I can go over to my other document do at it paste. And as you see this image is much bigger then, before so good at it and transform scale so I could bring it down. You can constrain the proportions by holding down shift and dragging it so All I've done is set up some guides and I am going to be placing the coloring book page together. So if we imagine this line right here is the crease of the of the fold, Um, this is going to be one of Mitch, and then on the other side is gonna be a neighboring page. I recommend that you don't have any specific order to your drawings because this could make it difficult in the book making process. Unless you're using something like Adobe in design. But I'll just keep things simple and go forward with what I was saying. So if you imagine this as the fold and this is a trim line, we're just gonna be placing another piece of artwork here. So this is one page, and this is the neighboring page, and I recommend that you don't have any special order that things go in bone, that you just have pretty much randomized coloring pages. Otherwise, this gets confusing when it comes to print. Almost. You're using a program like adobe in design, but let's just keep it simple. So instead of grabbing another piece of artwork for the sake of time, let's just say that this is a different image. So I've placed it and, um Then I can try to You do remember that this land is here when I trim it later and make or it could make an actual trim line right now. So if I wanted Teoh, I could draw a line along this guide to know that I'm supposed to trim it later. But I think it will be fine if we just flatten this image. If you do control h, it hides the guides. You can see what you're working with. So when I print this out later with my ruler will measure it up. Teoh the 5.5 inches mark and slice it across and, uh, fold it and it will be a 5.5 by 5.5 image. What I have here is a finished document that I was talking about. I have saved it as a t i f file tiff file from Photoshopped. Even save it as a pdf for whatever you would choose. Um, so this is what you can expect that finished letter size prince is going toe look like So what? I'm going to do now because all these air laid out is I'm going to print the pages. If you have the ability to do double sided, then you might as well just keeping in mind that, uh, set it up in such a way that these air going to be the correct side up on this when it's back to back, you can cross, um, registration errors, depending on your printer. When I'm able to dio is I will print all of the odd number pages. So you know the spread for page one in the spread four page three. Keeping in mind when I say page, this is actually two separate pages. This is gonna be one image in. This is going to be another Once we folded it down the middle. But I can print the odd sides and then later feed it back through the printer and print the even number pages on the backside of these. So I end up with a double sided piece of paper. If this is something that's really complicated for you, you could bring in all the files and taken. You can request that they do that at a print shop or you can figure it out at home. Um, from here it might be easiest if I go back to my camera and show you what it looks like in person. 4. Trimming Spreads: okay for the next step, we're gonna use the materials I mentioned earlier. So I went to the print shop and then got this printed. So it's a piece of 60 or £80 white card stock that was trip down and folded in half. And, uh, this will be the cover. And then I've got the sheets of paper that I printed, so they're all double cited. And they brought the trim line that I mentioned earlier. Or if you didn't print out a trim line, you could always, of course, just measure it and cut it down. So I will be showing you all that works. So this is going to be the contents of a book that's 5.5 inches. So when it's laid out like that, this page is gonna fit inside and fold in, so I'll just turn this down. So going against the true line with the ruler, making sure that's well end up straight across none very carefully using my Exacto knife, remove that piece of paper and then this is what we're going for in the end. This is what I would call a spread and then I'm going t o be folding this in half so that I can use it as a page. Another tool that I should have mentioned earlier is something called a bone folder. I've seen them at places like Michael's or Hobby Lobby or other art stores, but what it does is it just ends up being a tool to fold things well, so I'm going toe line up the edges of page correctly and then with the bone folder. What it does is it pulls everything down, even leave, and it allows you to make a really sharp crease, probably sharper than you would be able to do with your finger. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to fool the contents of the rest of the book, and then I'm gonna show you how to staple everything. 5. Stapling: So I have now cut and folded all of my spreads and I'm going to place them together in a book. So this is important if you had any order intended of how the pages to go. I've already done a book, so I tend to flip through it to remember which pages are in sequence and at this point had made some so many that I have them memorized some in a place, all of the spreads inside of each other. You know, like a book. They're in the right order and then I am going to police cover on the outside. So this is essentially what the whole thing is going to look like before we staple it. And I do recommend that you double and triple check that this thing is in the order that you want it before you staple it. So with all that said done, I'm going to get out the Swingline stapler that I mentioned earlier. This has been wonderful. Tohave. I recommend getting one for yourself. If you see yourself doing a lot of bookmaking in the future, otherwise I think they might have them available at print shops. So what we do is we find our innermost page. So the one that is the last inserted spread and we line everything up, we open up our book like that, and then we're gonna feed this into the stapler. So I'm going to put two staples in one here and one here. Since this is a smaller book, if you have something whiter that you think needs 1/3 staple, you will do that too. And beforehand I have aligned the stapler so that it is at 5.5 inches. So this is how far it's going to allow the paper to come in. So this bar A here is the guard, and it's set at 5.5 inches. You can slide and drag. If you have a paper that's longer than that. You can adjust it accordingly. But for a letter size paper, we're gonna line it up 5.5 inches. So I place my pages together once again at the innermost page facing out. I'm gonna feed everything through, get it lined up so that I'm gonna staple a little more than an inch inwards and make sure that the staple is gonna line up on that fold there, and it should have everything pressed up against it. Yeah, so there we go. We have a staple. And for my project, all I need is one more. I'm gonna go about an inch in the other direction, wind it up so that it it's placed up against there. Perfect. So everything is stapled and essentially we have our book said the next step to get it flattened is I set it underneath a bunch of very heavy books for a couple of days. Toe help crease it down. But there you have it, folks. We have a full coloring book, so we hope that you're happy with the result. Um, go ahead and try different kinds of pieces of paper. I hope that everything works out and your printer and doesn't get jams and that you align everything correctly when you print it. Sometimes that in and of itself, is a game. So thanks for your tuning into this class. And good luck with ever. Whatever books you make