The Ultimate Round-Up of Print Design Tutorials (via @smashingmag) -

Although web design is everywhere nowadays (even when we’re not at the computer it still manages to squeeze it’s way in to our everyday life), print design is still a huge part of the design industry and is everywhere we look: newspapers, posters, prints, manuals, restaurant menus, business cards – the list goes on and on. So how do you make sure that you leave a good impression on people holding your piece of art in their hands? This is where experience and advanced print design skills come into play.

Below we present 25 useful print design tutorials as well as a collection of inspirational links at the bottom of the post to improve your skills and get your imagination running wild. These tutorials make use of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, and even the experienced designers out there can give their skills a polish by taking the time to read through these tutorials to squeeze a few more tips, tricks, do’s and dont’s up their already stuffed sleeves.

Print Design Tutorials

Printing and Prepress Basics (Ps, Ai & Id)

  • Learn about four-color process printing (CMYK)
  • Find out the differences between plain & rich black

Prepress Basics

Making a Print-Ready Business Card (Ps)

  • Set up CMYK documents in Photoshop with bleeds
  • Use textures to spice up your backgrounds
  • Create custom shapes using the Polygonal Lasso Tool

Print-Ready Business Card

Create a Magazine Cover Design (Id)

  • Use the Fill Frame Proportionally Tool to save time
  • Create custom shapes with the Pen Tool

Magazine Cover Design

Design a Super Cool Retro Poster in 10 Steps (Ps)

  • Create custom type in Illustrator
  • Use textures to add depth to your artwork

Retro Poster

Create a Five-Color Magazine Cover using a Spot Metallic (Ps, Ai, Id & Acrobat Pro)

  • Learn how to print spot metallic inks
  • Create custom shapes using the Shear Tool
  • Use textures to add depth to your artwork

Create a Grid Based Resume/CV Layout (Id)

  • Use grids to create a professional page layout
  • Work with text settings to align paragraphs to grids

Grid Based Resume

Create and Print a Business Card with UPrinting (Ai)

  • Use templates to assist in setting up documents for print
  • Create outlines of text to prevent problems in pre-press

Envato Business Card

Create an Impactful Magazine Headline (Id)

  • Learn the process of designing a page layout
  • Use several tools to learn professional page layout techniques

Impactful Magazine Headline

Designing for Print – Setting Up Crops and Bleeds (Ps, Ai & Id)

  • Correctly set up bleed margins in Adobe CS
  • Correctly set up crops in Adobe CS

Designing for Print

Combining Special Finishes (Ps, Ai & Id)

  • Turn sketches into process ready vectors
  • Design complex sculpted embosses
  • Prepare artwork for foil-blocking

Combining Special Finishes

Create an Intense Movie Poster (Ps)

  • Use curves, color adjustments & the burn tool to manipulate photographs
  • Use brushes & the Pen Tool to create new light sources
  • Work with different blur tools to create a spooky text effect

Intense Movie Poster

Design & Print Bold Promo Cards in 60 minutes (Ai)

  • Set up Illustrator print documents with bleed margins
  • Learn about different kinds of blacks used in CMYK printing

Bold Promo Cards

Design a Print-Ready Business Card Design for Designers (Ai & Ps)

  • Set up CMYK documents in Photoshop with bleeds
  • Use Illustrator vector images in Photoshop
  • Exporting files as print-ready PDFs

Print-Ready Business Card

Business Card Design Walkthrough (Ai)

  • Set up CMYK documents in Illustrator with bleeds
  • Use the Gradient Mesh Tool to add depth to print products

Business Card Walkthrough

Design a Print-Ready Beer Label (Ai)

  • Work with Warp Tools to create realistic shapes for labels
  • Use the Threshold and Live Trace Tools to create interesting vectors

Beer Label

PreparingMultiple Instances of a Bumper Sticker for Print (Ai)

  • Add Crop Marks to your artwork
  • Set up a page of multiple copies of the same artwork for print

Bumper Stickers

Designa Print-Ready Ad (Id)

  • Learn how to correctly place images into your InDesigndocuments
  • Use the Placeholder Text Tool to fill areas with mock-text
  • Add custom CMYK swatches to InDesign

Print-Ready Advertisement

CreateStunning Printwork using Overprinting (Ps)

  • Experiment with unique CMYK color combinations
  • Learn how to create an overprinted composition

Overprinting

Howto Create a Music Magazine Cover (Id)

  • Set up CMYK documents in InDesign with bleeds
  • Use the Rectangle Tool to make your work more interesting

Music Magazine

Createa Grungy Poster (Ps)

  • Work with textures to create interesting backgrounds
  • Use the Brush Tool to add depth to your artwork
  • Combine stock photos to produce the images you want

Grungy Poster

Design an Abstract Business Card (Ps & Ai)

  • Set up CMYK documents in Photoshop with bleeds
  • Use vector shapes from Illustrator in Photoshop
  • Use textures to increase your artworks visual interest

Design an Abstract Business Card

Create and Print a Brochure (Ps & Id)

  • Learn why you should export PDFs in InDesign
  • Set up CMYK documents in InDesign with bleeds
  • Work with text and character styles in InDesign

River Brochure

Design a Ready to Print Brochure (Ps)

  • Set up CMYK documents in Photoshop with bleeds and column guides
  • Work with images to create grungy textured backgrounds

Tutorial Brochure

Designa Six-Panel CD Package (Ps & Ai)

  • Use cloning, burning and dodging to manipulate photographs
  • Work with TIFF images and text in Illustrator

Six-Panel CD Package

Gig Poster Design: The New Sex (Ps & Ai)

  • Combine stock photos to produce the images you want
  • Use the Live Trace Tool to produce vector images
  • Produce custom patterns to add distress to your artwork

Gig Poster

Inspiration & Further Resources

To get your imagination running wild we’ve collected a few round-up links which are all jam-packed full of stunning print work! You’ll also find a link or two for the beginners just stepping into the world of designing for print.

About the author

Callum Chapman is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Cambridge, UK. He is also the creative blogger behind Circlebox Blog a design related blog offering articles, inspiration, tutorials and free, high-resolution textures.


© Callum Chapman for Smashing Magazine, 2009. |
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