Préparation pour la typographie : concevoir une invitation manuscrite | Teela Cunningham | Skillshare

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Preparing for Letterpress: Design a Hand-Lettered Invitation

teacher avatar Teela Cunningham, Hand Lettering + Graphic Design

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Establishing Look + Feel with Research


    • 3.

      Invitation Content Hierarchy


    • 4.

      Sketching Based on Research


    • 5.

      Setting up a Letterpress File


    • 6.

      Vectorizing Hand Lettering


    • 7.

      Choosing Spot Colors


    • 8.

      Final File Prep/Saving for Letterpress


    • 9.



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About This Class

Take your lettering to the next level by creating a letterpress print ready design. In this class, you’ll concept a hand lettered invitation, learn how to lay out and choose lettering style pairings, determine spot colors and create a composition that will be ready to hand off to any letterpress printer. This class is perfect for anyone wanting to see their lettering come to life through letterpress printing. Basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is required.

Meet Your Teacher

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Teela Cunningham

Hand Lettering + Graphic Design


Hey! I'm Teela and I help designers + hand letterers build their skillsets to open new creative + financial opportunities. Freebies + tutorials here! >

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to laying out your lettering for letterpress. My name is Teela Cunningham and I am a graphic designer and design blogger currently located in Atlanta, Georgia. This September, I'm going to be a Mrs. In this class, I will be creating my own actual hand-lettered wedding invitation, and I will be preparing it for letterpress printing. Letterpress printing is really amazing for hand lettering and wedding invitations because it creates a very beautiful tactile feel to your paper, and it achieves this by using a polymer plate and impressing onto your paper. I was going through some of my own letterpress printing samples and not all of them show up super well in camera, but a few of them do so I want to show this to you. This first one you can see, this is called a blind deboss. Blind meaning there isn't any ink applied to the paper, and deboss meaning that it was pushed on top of the paper versus up through the paper, that would be an emboss. You can see it's very deep here. This was actually created using a metal plate instead of a polymer plate. Polymer plates are generally more popular for a letterpress printing because they are much more affordable. But if you'd like a very deep impression, just talk to your printer about pricing options. A metal plate is still very much an option for letterpress printing. Here's just another design, but same technique. This was also used with a metal plate and you can see it really feels amazing. Letterpress printing is just that much cooler because it's like an extra gift when you mail it out. When the recipient opens it, they can just feel how beautiful and luxurious it is, especially when your hand lettering is impressed on it. For our class, we're not going to be making a blind deboss. We're going to be using ink. This is an example of ink used with letterpress printing. This is actually a brand of letterpress stock. It's for Reich Paper. The specific brand is called SAVOY, and all of my letterpress prints are created on SAVOY because it works so well with letterpress printing. I'll show you there you can see it does produce a very nice impression. It's not quite as deep as the metal plate ones, but you can still see it really does. If you're holding this you would think it feels really great too. In this class, we will concept our look and feel, we'll do research, we'll experiment with type. I will show you the exact method that I use for vectorizing typography. We will choose spot colors and prepare our file for letterpress printing so you won't incur any additional setup fees because your file will be created perfectly. At the end of this class, you'll have the confidence to take it from beginning to end, concepting, lettering, laying out, spot colors, and finalizing your file. Skill levels of all types are very open to this class. Although we will be working in Illustrator so a basic understanding of Illustrator is required. If you don't have an Illustrator, be sure to head on over to and pick up your 30-day free trial. Hit enroll, and let's get started. 2. Establishing Look + Feel with Research: Once you begin brainstorming your invitation, it's important to figure out what type of feel you'd like your invitation to have. For Spencer and I, we wanted a very Southern rustic feel to our wedding and our invites. I put together this mood board, just to give you a little background. He's from Colorado and I'm from Upstate New York. So we have no ties to the south except the fact that we met here and now we live here. We've both lived here for over five years now. We really wanted to bring the south into our wedding. Especially because our families are going to be coming from far away and this is our life now. So we wanted that to come across. I put together this mood board, just pulling from Pinterest different ideas that we could do for our actual wedding. But bringing this type of feel into our invitations, so everything's very cohesive. Once I got this mood board established, then I have to really start thinking about type. Because southern rustic lends itself to very old time vintage type, I started pulling those types of images. Just to walk you through. What's really funny, this one says Spencer. That's why I grab that one. But I really like these old boxes. The topography is really beautiful. It gives you some really great examples of hand lettering and packaging. Just the very old time southern look for me, because nothing really says southern rustic like worn wood. For whatever reason, that's just the image in my head, so we're going with it. But you can see there's some really good examples of lettering write on wood. I really really think it's beautiful. I pulled some of these. This is a really cool resource right here. I actually didn't end up using any of these, which is funny, but just establishing a feel, a general look to the type. Maybe some layout ideas from these as well. I love how these curves are. They're really thick serifs. Then, here's some more. Just getting an idea of layout. When I was pulling these I kept considering for the typography, obviously I'm on, my name and Spencer's name to be the most important part of the invitation. I pulled examples where there's some very strong headlines. I really love how this one feels, just this nice curve to it. Even this LuckyBrand. This is a really interesting layout. Once you pull your research, now it's time to really start figuring out what's going to go on your invitation. 3. Invitation Content Hierarchy: So the first thing we need to do before we really get started is figuring out what's going on the invitation, what our content is. As you can see here, I have written out everything that was going to go on our wedding invitation. We've got, it's very traditional, together with their families, Teela and Spencer, invite you to join in the celebration of marriage, September 19th 2015 of 4:30 PM. The address, dinner and dancing to follow. Now I need to separate this to figure out where emphasis needs to be placed when I begin hand lettering everything. It really helps having a hierarchy so you can always refer back to that when you're laying everything out. That way, your most important thing is always your most important thing, and so on. What I've done here is I've sectioned out all the different pieces of this content. So this together with their families will be separate from Teela and Spencer because I want more emphasis on our names than I want on together with their families. Once I have everything blocked off into different sections, and this way, this also helps when you're laying everything out with positioning. So you know these always stay together, the address always stays together, dinner and dancing to follow stays together. Once you have everything blocked off, then apply what you think should be the hierarchy to each of the blocks. For me, Teela and Spencer, our names is the most important on our wedding invitations so everyone knows it's all about us. Together with their families and invite you to join in the celebration of marriage, these two I want on the same importance level, but they need to be less than our names, but greater than the date and the address, and dinner and dancing to follow is just the little sign off at the end. So that is the least important on this entire invitation. All of this considered, you can rough out quickly what that might look like. Right here, I've got Teela and Spencer, big and bold, but together with their families, invite you to join in the celebration of marriage is still important, it's bold, but it's smaller than our names and then you can see this is not bold, the date, time and address, and then dinner and dancing to follow is the smallest and it's not bolded at all. Once you have your content established, then we can begin experimenting with different layouts based on the research that we had done for the particular style that we want our invitation to have. So this will act as our blueprint moving forward. 4. Sketching Based on Research: Now, we have all of our research pulled. We have our content all right now, we've split it up so we know what the hierarchy is. Now we can begin mixing the two together and creating some thumbnail sketches of our layout. These are not meant to be perfect by any means, they're very loose. It's just organizing the content so we have an idea of where things will go, how everything will fit together before we really start sketching things out because it helps to know how big certain things need to be. I really like a very thick serif typeface for Spencer is in my name. I need to know that I'm going to have enough room for our names and then figure out how much room will be left over for any other styles of type for the rest of the invitation. You can see I pulled these two because they were my favorite from the research that I had done, and I just loosely based a lot of these layouts on them. You can see how I pulled certain elements, these corner elements from this one. You can see this is a little ribbon banner with a big circle in the middle. This mimics that, this as well, and just seeing how everything is going to fit together because I know how much content I have and I need to know that everything will fit in the end. Once you figure out some layouts that you really like, now you can start really focusing on the style of lettering that you'd like to use. The other important thing that I'd like to mention is you can see how back in the day, they're using a lot of different styles and mixing them together and it's really effective. It actually works. In graphic design in general, when you're using fonts, it doesn't typically work too well. Most of the times we say two or three fonts at the most. But when your hand lettering, there's something very authentic about it where you can mix and match and it's okay. It's really important to go back to your research and see what types of styles are being used together. As you can see right here, I've got this really thick serif and it's coupled with this very tall, almost condensed sans serif. I'm making mental notes of these things as I'm going into the topography portion of just sketching and figuring things out. Just make sure you pay attention to those things, the same thing is happening right here, and that'll just make everything more well rounded as you move on. I'm just going to walk you through my process from this stage all the way to the finish design. The next thing I did was just start sketching, just get as much on paper as you can and figure out what's working and what isn't working. This felt really good to me, but it wasn't quite where I wanted it. As you can see, I experimented using the ampersand, writing our names at an angle. Here you can see I pulled from the Spencer packaging just to see what that would look like, but I really wasn't into it. I scrap that pretty quickly. This one you can see I mimic this angle that this was arranged up but still applying that heavy serif, you can see I pulled, you can definitely see where this was inspired by. This next one. You can see how here I've begun mixing the two styles. I've got this very thin condensed sans serif and I'm still mixing it with my heavy serif. Next one, you can see I'm really starting to lay things out now, I'm figuring out what types of corner treatments I like. I know that I want corner treatments, and then just bringing in the whole southern rustic feel, I thought may be throwing in a few leaves. I didn't want it to get to floral because there are a lot of wedding invitations that are super like flowery and floral, but that just didn't feel like us. I wanted to make sure I could avoid that, but I still wanted the very rustic woodsy feel and I felt like incorporating these little leaves might accomplish that. it's just experimenting with that. At first I thought it would be great if my name went on a curve and Spencer's name went on a curve, but when I saw the two together, I really wasn't into it, which led me to putting them both on the same curve here. You can see I brought in this condensed sans serif once again, and then I've played with a ribbon element, some very short sans serif just because it's not the most important, but you still want to draw attention to it. It is in the center, and then you can see, like we talked about with the content hierarchy, the day and the time and the address are still on the same level, and you can see at the bottom, dinner and dancing to follow is very much the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak. From here, I was feeling like it was getting really busy because once I brought in just sketching out some corner treatments, you can see that it's getting really really busy and then adding another one up in these corners, I felt like I was going to get these really big white spaces and I didn't want to just fill them in with swirls and leaves. I didn't feel like the right path to follow for me. I decided to strip all the decoration away, keep the corner treatments adjusted a little bit, going back to the research and pulling this really nice corner element here, but still keeping these swirly corner treatments and the bottom two corners. This really started working for me. You can see I've got some lines drawn in, I redrew this a bunch of times just making everything fit together. There's still a little bit of decoration, but then I wasn't sure about that because I really wasn't using it anywhere else except for the corner. I ended up taking that off completely, and you can see once I inked the final drawing. All this has been eliminated except for this divider right here and then this little leaf petally looking ornaments near some of the text, and you can see how I've shifted some things. If I go back to the sketch, you can see how close the T is coming to the S, and that was not feeling so great to me. When I was inking everything, I did it on a light table and I just shifted my drawing underneath just slightly so you can see how the T moves away from the S. I made a few other adjustments here and there. So this ended up being the final inked drawing of the invitation. In the next video, we will just create our file in Illustrator, and then after that we'll vectorize this and I'll show you my method for vectorizing and we'll place it in there so everything can start being prepared for letter press printing. 5. Setting up a Letterpress File: Now that we have our inked sketch that we need to vectorize, we need an artboard in Illustrator to work on. Everything that we place on that artboard will be within the correct settings for a letter press print file. Right now we're just going to set up that file so when we vectorize our hand lettering, everything will take on the settings that it needs to. When you're an illustrator, go "File", "New" and when you get this dialog box for my wedding invitation, it's going to be seven inches wide by five inches tall and if you don't have your little advanced area toggled down, make sure you toggle it down and put in CMYK for color mode and for resolution, make sure it's set at 300 ppi. That is the print resolution standard and if you need a bleed, meaning if you have any artwork that extends beyond the edges of your invitation, you're going to need a bleed that makes sure when the printer cuts the edges of your invitation that there's no weird little gaps between the cut and your actual design. It extends right off the page like you designed it to. My invitation doesn't have the need for a bleed, as you saw in the previous video, my sketch has everything contained within the artboard but I will show you what that looks like. I'm going to hit "Okay" and then I will be removing the bleed from my file moving forward. I'm going to hit "Okay" and you can see this red line right here, this space between the black line and the red line is your bleed. Any artwork extending beyond the edge of your invitation needs to go to at least this red line. So just make sure you have that. If you need a bleed. If not, you are all set. You're working in CMYK the correct resolution and now we can begin vectorizing our hand lettering. 6. Vectorizing Hand Lettering: Now it's time to vectorize our hand lettering and you'll notice right away that I am in Photoshop. Just a little disclaimer, you do not have to do the step to vectorize your typography. I just thought this would be a great opportunity to show you exactly how I vectorize hand lettering and this is just an extra step to pick up a little more of the finer details of your drawing. So you don't have to do this if you don't have Photoshop, if you do have Photoshop, it is a nice little method if you'd like to use it. So you'll notice right away I've opened up my inked drawing. That means the background layer is already locked and you can unlock the background layer just by double-clicking it and hitting "Okay". Now that our layer is unlocked, we're going to apply an adjustment to a brightness contrast adjustment, this is called non-destructive editing. If I were just to go up to here and go image adjustments this is destructive and this is really bad, so don't do it. If you select brightness contrast here and you tweak it, it's immediately and permanently applied to your layer so you cannot go back and undo it later. Just little FYI, always use your adjustment panel. So you can get to adjustments by going window adjustments and you'll have the same little panel over here and then click on brightness contrast. You can see by doing it this way, I've added a layer right here which I can turn on and off, I can go back and I can edit, I can delete it completely like it never even happened. This is non-destructive editing and it's a really good way to work. Okay, that said, I always up my contrast to 100 percent immediately and right away you can see the darks got a lot darker, but the lights also got a lot lighter to add that contrast. I usually add a little bit more darkness back in. I just grab the slider and slide it back a little bit and that makes it a little darker. Now you can see I've picked up a lot of these details because I've added this contrast and I can even add another contrast layer if I want and I don't have to redo what I just did, I can just duplicate this layer and there's a couple of ways you can do that. You can right-click and select "Duplicate Layer" or you can click and drag down to this little new "Layer" icon and there you go. This one's feeling a little dark to me, so all I have to do is double-click on this little sunshine right here and it pops write open. My exact settings are still their and I can up my brightness a little bit and I still maintain all these little rough edges that really give the feel of hand lettering that I would like to keep. It still maintains that and it gives me the contrast it needs, so when I vectorize in Illustrator, it's going to pick up on all those little things. Okay, so now I have all of this and I'm going to select both of these brightness and contrast layers, I'm just going hold "Shift" and click on the second one so they're both selected and then I'm going to right-click and choose create clipping mask. Both of these are only applied to this layer. Now I'm going to group all of these together. I'm clicking on the bottom layer then I'm holding "Shift" and clicking on the top layer to select them all and then I'm hitting "Command G" on a Mac or "Control G" if you're on a PC to group them together. Now that they're grouped, I need to merge them because I'm bringing them into Illustrator. But if I ever wanted to edit things in the future, I can unmerge them. So I always make a copy to have as a reserve if I ever need to edit things later. I can do that by just holding "All" on my keyboard, clicking and dragging and that makes a copy. I can turn this layer off, it's like it never even happened, but I know that it's always there if I needed again. Now that I have my backup copy, I'm going back to my original copy, I'm going to right-click and choose "Merge group". Now this entire group is merged, I can't go back and edit anything. Now I'm going to hold "Command" or "Control" if you're on a PC and click on this thumbnail, this selects everything that's here. You can also do "Command A" or "Control A" to select everything. All right, so now I'm going to copy this and paste it in Illustrator on the document we just created in the previous video. I'm hitting "Command C" on a Mac or "Control C" if you're on a PC to copy, going into Illustrator. If you don't have Photoshop and weren't able to follow along, right here is the time where you just paste in your scan, your black and white scan. Then all the steps will be the same from here on out. So I'm hitting "Command V" or "Control V" on a PC to bring in what I just had in Photoshop and you can see all of my effects are still maintained. You can see I penciled in where my art boards should go. So I'm just going to follow that roughly. Maybe I'll scale it or tweak it a little bit later on. But now that I have everything, I'm going to go up here and I'm going to click "Image Trace" and then hit "Okay". All right, so because this is big, sometimes it takes a little bit, but one thing to known is you never ever stick with the default settings of image trace. This just finds like basically the lowest common denominator between points to give you an instant path. Most times you get these really jaggedly, pointy edges that look really terrible, it looks pretty awful. So we're going to zoom out and we're going to fix all of this and I'm going to show you the settings that I usually use. After you hit "Image Trace", you can come up here and there's a little icon that will open up your image trace panel. In hear it's a little different depending on what version of Adobe you have, I'm in CS6, so this is the panel I get, but a lot of panels are pretty similar. I'm just going to show you what my default settings are right here. You can see them all, but I have a preset that I created, so I'm going to show you all the settings that I use when I'm lettering. Let me just select that and you can see now it's going to give me the preview of it because I've preview checked down here and that looks pretty bad. I'm going to bring things down a little bit this is just a default setting. Sometimes you need a little bit of tweaking. I'm going to bring the threshold down a little bit that is what adds the thickness to all of your lettering. If I bring it down, let's see what this looks like. All right, so that cleans it up quite a bit, but still maintains those rough little edges that show off that it is hand letter. Threshold is usually the one if things are looking a little off, if you adjust that one, things usually get corrected pretty well, but you always want a good amount of paths just because that gives you the roughness that you're looking for. If you want it a lot smoother, just bring down your paths and bring down your threshold. Corners, I like them a little rough the lower you go, the smoother they get and then I like adding noise once again for the roughness, so it'll get smoother the lower your noise is. Always make sure that your fills are selected and you're ignoring white and once you have that, hit "Expand" up here. Okay, so now everything is expanded and you can seen all these crazy points that are in here. I can get rid of this panel now. Okay, whenever you expand something, everything is automatically grouped together. In order to ungroup it, we're going to hit "Command Shift G" or "Control Shift G" if you're on a PC and that will ungroup everything. Sometimes I hit it a couple times just to be sure. There's always a big bounding box around this two. So if you select it and just hit "Delete", it'll go away. All right, now you can rubber band select if you've got a roughed in penciled art boarded like what I had. This is where I just rubber band select and I get rid of all of that pretty quickly. The next thing I do is I select everything on here. I go up to my color palette and if you don't see your color palette, you can get to it by going window color and it will show up. For the fill right here where there's a question mark, I'm just going to fill everything with black and you'll notice right away all of these areas got filled in that were white before because we need to delete these hidden paths that are in here. Once we expanded everything, you get a lot of hidden paths. I'm going to show you how to quickly clean all of this up and you can see all the counters and all of the letters are filled in as well. So I'm hitting "Z" on my keyboard to zoom in and I'm just going to hover over and I know that this needs to be deleted, so I delete that this needs to be deleted. You just go through and clean everything up. This is the part that's really therapeutic if you like, tedious things. When we get to these letters that you saw I had this little decoration inside of them. This is a little more complicated, but it's not crazy. I'm going to delete the counter, I don't know how I got my pen tool. All right, I'm going to delete that, I'm going to delete that and delete that, that's not right. I want this one to be white but all the rest you can see I've got pieces right here and I want those to all be black, so I'm going to select everything. Then I'm going to open up my "Pathfinder" palette, which is right here but if you don't see it, you can get to it by going "Window", "Pathfinder" and I'm going to select is this little unite icon right here, and that'll fill it in. So I'm going to select this, delete it because that's the part that I want white. Then I'm going select all these other paths and hit "Unite". You can see this one's not selected, so I'm just going to rubber band select again and unite them, this is the one that I want to remain white, I select everything else unite and then you can see I missed a couple and I missed this big one. Found the one I want deleted, merge everything else. Same over here delete, select everything else, unite. It's coming to the S, delete that, select everything else, unite. Delete the counter. Delete this little guy and this one and everything else can be united, okay? I think, that's on taking further E here. This one, it's deleted or anything else, and here's a pattern. Now you can see, it's a little rougher than I would like it to be. You can either go on with your remove anchor point tool, which if you hit the hyphen key, on your keyboard, it activates it immediately. You can just delete these points or you can also hit "Enter" on your keyboard, and then that will activate your pencil tool. You have to start on the path. Sometimes that's hard to do. But if you start on the path, and just draw it in with your mouse or if you have awaken tablet, it'll still look like modeling because it will be a little rough. But you can fix little error points that, maybe are a little rougher than you'd like them to be. I'm going to delete these. So if I come over hear to these leaves, peddlish type looking elements. This one's got that hard edge write there, sum hitting Enter on my keyboard. I'm starting on the path, and I'm finishing on the path. You can see it looks a little better, more like the family that it does I have that rough edge. So we can go back to what we're doing. This one gets deleted, this one gets deleted. So it gets deleted. I can see there is a huge issue here. Those are the see huge gigantic. So we're going two fix that. We're going to close this seize up a little bit, and we want to make this part a little bit bigger. So let's do that first. So I'm just going to hit n and we keep on. Start up, bring it around. I'm just using my mouse right now. I have away from them. So I'd probably, before I finish it off, I might come in with my way up and just clean things up. There, I work a lot faster with awaken then up a mouse. So I'm hitting n again, and I'm starting there, and you can seen we're doing the negative space instead of the positive now, and we're just closing it up a little bit. Once again, I'm just using my mouse for this to add a little detail up there. I'll do this bottom one. Once again, just make sure you're on the path when you began, then things usually go pretty smoothly. So let me just finish off the rest of these deleting this one, selecting everything, unite, I think I want that one to. This one's another one where I'd have to come back in and redraw this one. Just make sure it is the letter firm is selected before you begin. Sometimes it helps to do one portion and then the other. See, this happens if you don't finish on the same path. So I've got to start again. Start on the path, bring it around and end on the same path. Then I can close it because now I can start on this new path I just made. Because I didn't want to keep what I had before. So I'll probably come in with my wake up because this one's a little more difficult to do with a mouse. So you get the idea that's pretty bad. So I'm definitely going to change that. One other thing that I wanted to mention. So down here, because our threshold was large, putting that thickness on which we really like. So everything stands out really well. When you have small letters like this, sometimes they get filled in, and they start breaking down. You can see that S is looking pretty bad up there, and this 15 is almost unrecognizable. So this is the part where we can just come in handy quite a bit, but you can do this with your mouse too. So I'm just going to select it, and on my keyboard. Once again, just drawn it in. Sometimes it's nice to do it with your mouse, because it does look a little rougher, which I don't known if your whole lettering looks a little on there rough side, that's what you're going for. It could be a really good thing. So you notice I skip the O. So we need to throw in a counter on this. So I'm going to do is have N, but I'm not selecting anything. Nothing is selected right now, and I'm just going to draw a circle. I'm going to make sure that it's a closed path. Then I'm just going to select both of these. If I hit divide right down here, and then ungroup it, Command Shift here, Control Shift to you if you're on a PC. Then select that counter, I can delete it now I've got to know. If I want to change anything about it afterwards, we can just do what we've bean doing by grabbing n, the pencil tool, and drawing the path, the new path that we want. So we'll just come in here, fix all this. So you get the idea, this can be a very long process, but at least it's a lot quicker. Just make sure once you expand everything, that you turn everything black. So one color, so you can see everything really well. Then you'll know where to delete all your corners, and all these other spaces within the letter forms. This one, actually I want to keep the color on the ribbon. I want to delete the letters. So for this one, this one's a little more complicated. I'll show this one really quick before we move on. You want to make sure you don't grab the corners, and these ones because we'll need them. So you can tell what letter it is this one, I didn't get corners at all, so I need to draw them. So it's going to grab pencil tool make sure it's closed path. Then I'm going to select all of these that I just created plus the lettering. Hit "divide", Command Shift here, Control Shift here, PC to ungroup, and I can delete this and those will stay. Then it does, right-click. These pitches, could be a little softer. Then I want to get rid of that one so you can tell that it's a ribbon right here. Then right here where the ribbon curls, I want to delete these pieces so you can tell it's a ribbon. So just like that, we've got a ribbon, and you can see, I do have these two pieces that I want to unite just to get rid of these extra paths that I don't need there you go. So once you worked through all of that, this is what the final result looks like on my end. I tweaked a few things, I rotated a few things, just little finicky things to make myself happier, with the outcome. So in the next video, we will establish color and set it properly in our file. 7. Choosing Spot Colors: So now we need to apply some color to our design before we hand it off to our letterpress printer. The important thing to know when it comes to color and letterpress printing is letterpress printing only works with spot colors. Whenever you hear the word Pantone or spot colors, they're interchangeable. They mean the exact same thing, so don't get confused. For spot colors, the Pantone system was created because what we see on screen, what's printed out, I'm sure you've even noticed it, they're always different. There's no way to match it exactly. The Pantone system was developed so you could match as closely as possible to what you're looking for. This is done by using one of these Pantone swatch books or fan decks. You open it up and you find the color that you want, you tell the printer the number of that color and then they mix the inks in their shop and it matches as closely as possible, so you can get the color that you're looking for. You're more likely to get that than if you're fewer working in CMYK. Obviously you wouldn't ever want to work in RGB because RGB is only for a Web. So all that said, we need to establish our Pantone colors, and you really do need fan decks or a swatch book to check them out. But the swatch books are really expensive and your printer always has one on hand. So I will show you how you can come pretty close to the color that you're looking for, and then you always, always, always want to double-check by looking at an actual swatch book to make sure it's the color that you're looking for. So you can just ask your printer if you can borrow one or just look through it just to double-check that your color is correct. So for this invitation, I'm actually using white on my invitation, but I want to show you how to use colors. So for this example, I'm going to be using blue and orange, and I will bring it up. This is what the final one will look like so let me grab these two colors so you can see how I can check them. So I'm just going to grab them, I'm going to hit "Command C" or "Control C" if you're on a PC, and I'm just going to go into "Photoshop," and I'm going to paste these by hitting "Command V." So this is if you don't have a fan decks and you want to get an idea of what the color will be. So I'm going to paste it in as a smart object, and I've got these two colors now. So I'm going to hit "I" on my keyboard to eye-drop in them. I'm just going to click in the blue, and that brings it up here. If I click right here, you can see the color built in RGB and in CMYK. But for the majority, I would say like 99 percent of the time, your letterpress paper will be uncoated. So it won't have any coating on top of the paper. Sometimes paper feels a little 'plasticity' or super smooth, that's always a coating that goes on the paper. But for letterpress, you want that rough, tactile quality to the paper. That's part of what makes it feels so luxurious. So I would always recommend using an uncoated paper when it comes to letterpress. So because we're using uncoated paper, we need to make sure we're pulling from the Pantone uncoated solid swatch book. Because there is a coated swatch book that's used much more often for other design work. But for letterpress printing, we're going to look at an uncoated swatch book. So we need to come into here from our "Color Picker" and go into "Color Libraries." This will give you an idea right away of the color that would match up. Now this is computer generated so it's no replacement for the real thing, but it will get you close. Right here, I think it defaults to solid coated. So just make sure that you change the book to "Solid Uncoated" because this is the number you want to give your printer and you want to make sure you put a "U" after it so the printer knows that you've chosen a color for uncoated paper. Then also if you haven't double-check with your swatch book, make sure you ask to look at theirs. So I've got 301 for my blue, and we're going to do the same thing for the orange. I'm going to eyedropper it by hitting "I" on my keyboard and clicking, and then I'm going to click over here, open up my "Color Libraries" and I'm going to write down "144 U", and I'm making sure I'm in the "Solid Uncoated" swatch book. So I'm going to jump back into "Illustrator" and we're going to work with this black and white file that we ended the last video with. I need to add the "Swatch." Now you see, I've got all these crazy colors over here in my "Swatches," and I need to add the Pantone colors because when you hand this file off to a printer, you have to have spot colors in your swatch palette so they know your file is set up correctly. So we need to get rid of all these colors that were not using, and you can easily do this by dropping down this toggle and going to "Select all unused" and you'll see it selects everything, then I just click and I drag to the "Trash box." Now you can see we're just using black and white, so that's what shows up. I don't really need two blacks. So black and white, it's right here, right now. We're want to get rid of black and white after we apply color to this. So now we need to bring in the correct colors that we just chose in "Photoshop" for our Pantone colors. So you're going to come over here and you're going to toggle this down and choose "Open Swatch Library", then you're going to go to "Color Books" and then come on down to "Pantone Solid Uncoated" and click, and you'll get this huge swatch palette that opens up. We need to look for "144," which is our orange. So I'm just going to delete this and type in "144". It's hard to see, but it does highlight it right here. So all I have to do is click on it and it adds it over here to my "Swatches." Now I'm going to add the blue that we need "301." Here it is way down here. So it's really hard to find, but it's there. So I'm just going to click on it, and now it shows up in my "Swatches" and I can close this swatch book. So now, I can go through here, and I'm going to just start applying the color that I want. I'm going to make our names blue, I'm going to make the "AND" orange. There's orange, I like this. If I hit "A" on my keyboard, I get the direct "Select Tool" and I can just loosely grab other elements by holding "Shift". I want this to be blue, make the hearts orange because we don't want blue hearts. Here is blue. Let me zoom in a little bit to get to the smaller pieces. Almost done. Make this orange, maybe I want this to be blue. Make this type orange. So there is our final colored file. I had mentioned that our actual invitation will be white, and I will show you why. There's actually a paper out there that is wood, and it's so awesome that I couldn't not use it for invitation, so I'm showing you a mock-up. So this is not the way that I would give it to the printer at all, but I want you to see what I'm going for with ours. So this is what I want it to look like. So all the type will be white, and then it will be printed on this wood paper. So this is just a mock-up. I would never ever give this file to the printer. They would think I was crazy. So when I do deliver this file, all the type will be black, but I'm communicating with my printer already that it will be white foil. That's actually letter pressed on top of the wood paper. So when I mentioned that our type would be white, that's why. But I wanted to show you how to use and put together a file using color, and now you can come back and your "Swatches" palette and just get rid of black and white, and that will prepare the file correctly for the printer. This is what they're looking for when they go to setup the plates because you need a different plate for each color, which is why I'm letterpress printing. The more colors you have, the more expensive it is because your invitation has to run through the printer each time. So it has to hit it with one plate for one color and then it has to go back through the machine and hit it with the other color, so that's why it's pricier. So that's why we're also just white for our invitation because the wood paper really lends itself to only having one color as well. So that's how to put color correctly in a letterpress file for an invitation. We will end this up with just saving your file out for the printer. 8. Final File Prep/Saving for Letterpress: We've got our colored invitation, we've got our swatch palette filled with the colors that are appropriate for the print and now all we need to do is save the file. I've seen it done before where you can separate these for different layers for the color, that just helps the printer to see what's going to be on one plate versus the other plate. I'm just going to select all the blue. You can grab a little bit at a time. If you hit this little icon right here, it'll create a new layer and we're going to do blue here. Since all this was on another layer, all you have to do is grab this little icon right here and slide it up and that'll put it on a new layer. This is all grouped, I need to ungroup that and just select the blue and put that up there, and these little guys to go up here, same with this. This is going to zoom in so I can grab this small type. I'm going to call this layer orange. If I turn one off, I shouldn't see any blue extra pieces. Turn it on and off. Hope we're good. Those would be our different plates that would get made to add our color. Now that our layers are setup, our swatches are good, we're working in CMYK, which is really, really important, now we can save our file. It's important because not all print shops have the latest Adobe, so you're just doing them a huge favor by saving your file down to a later version. That way, there's no issues at all when the printer opens up your file and you don't want that to happen anyway. I always supply the printer with an AI file and an EPS file in case there's any issues with the Illustrator file, they still have access to a vector file that works the exact same way. It's just covering all the bases. Just doing a favor to your printer. I'm going to go to File and I'm going to Save As, and I'm just going to say final-invitation-artwork. Save it as Illustrator file and then right here, you're going to get a dialogue box and you just want to scroll down to CS3 and click "Okay" and just hit "Okay." It's just saying it's saving down to a legacy format. Then you're going to do the same thing again, File, Save As. I'm just right here on this toggle down, I'm going to choose Illustrator EPS and hit "Save," toggle this down, CS3, hit "Okay" and now we're good. The printer that I use for all of my letter press printing is here in Atlanta. They do really, really amazing work. If you're looking for a letterpress printer, I would definitely recommend checking them out. They're called Henry and company. Their website is Be sure to check them out. That concludes saving your file for your printer. 9. Conclusion: That's our class.Thank you so much for enrolling and if you enjoyed this class, please give it a thumbs up and don't forget to upload your invitation to your project file. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you've all come up with. Don't forget to put up any research that you've done, type experimentations, any layout sketches, the spot colors you chose, any different type styles you decided to hand letter and then your final design. If you have any questions about letterpress printing, leave them on the discussion board and I will do my best to answer them all.Thanks again so much for enrolling and I hope to see you again for future classes.