In this project, we will continue to master Illustrator by taking the knowledge used in creating a logo and creating a custom business card and trading card for a faux soda company with many soda flavors.
Ten years ago, business cards were the primary source of exchanging contact information with a contact you’ve just met. They usually contained every conceivable way to contact somebody, and as a result, were weighed down with tons of text.
Now, a simple web or email address is all that’s needed to get in touch with somebody, so business card design has evolved to become much more creative and cleaner in design. Even though trading cards have been a staple in baseball, they have not been used as a marketing resource for businesses.
Today, many businesses are using trading cards as a way to grow their business. Trading cards are being used in the craft beer business to show off each IPA. Keeping in mind this is high school, for this project, you will create a business card and a trading card for a soda company enticing consumers to collect their favorite soda flavors. You will also need to find a balance between creating a card that reflects the business personality, appears professional, and is clean in its design.
Let’s focus on the typography, layout, and design principles. What is the design, tone, audience, and purpose of the business card? In your sketchbook answer the following questions.
Having a website is a must for any company, and for strategic purposes you should always keep the URL as simple as you can.
Rule of Thumb for Domain Names and Social Profiles
It is good practice to add the website address but not the homepage. Example: nikijacob.com. We all know that the name, job title (Exact service you provide), and contact information belong on a business card. But to create a truly useful card requires an appreciation for the subtle. As an extension of your brand, the first thing you should consider including would be a logo and a tagline. Adding your social profiles is also a good idea – but keep the profile name/link as short as possible.
COMPANY: Axe and Arrow Soda Company
PROBLEM: They need a new business card and a new trading card. The Business Card is horizontal, the trading card is for each of their different flavor sodas and is vertical.
Now let’s step back and think about just the graphics we need. Read the article Difference Between Bitmap and Vector to learn the difference between bitmaps and vector images. In almost everything we create, we will be creating vector images. Before you do anything in Illustrator make sure you have all your graphics together in a folder on your drive.
So open up Illustrator and let’s go ahead and:
The bleed is going to be displayed as a red rectangle around the canvas. (If you don’t see it, go to View > Guides > Show Guides)
What is bleed?
For example, think about how on your printer from home, if you tell it you wanna print something full screen or full size, you always get that little white border around the edge, well every printer basically has that problem. And so what you do with bleed is you print the document larger than you need it. This way the color can go all the way past the edges when you print it.
Your advanced options here may be closed and if you open them you’ll see that it’s CMYK at 300.
You can see that our Raster Effects are also the highest quality making sure everything is clear and crisp.
Rule of Thumb – Raster Effect Tips
TIPS: When you designing for a printer, an outside source. Another way of thinking of it is a Commercial Offset Printing company you ALWAYS use CMYK. If you are merely printing them at home or for a client you always use RGB. Why??? The consumer printers only print in RGB (laser and inkjet); whereas commercial printers print using CMYK colors.
It is always good practice to set up your Rulers, Guides, and Grids before starting. We need to make guidelines (like bleed) on the inside of the documents too. You can make changes in Preferences to Save these settings for all documents you use in Illustrator.
When done. File, Save. Name it. Save.
THE TRIM ZONE
Left side ruler. Click on the ruler itself and holding down the button, drag across the screen. You will see a dark line as you drag. This is a guide. Because we need a TRIM guide on each side of our cards we need to create guides on each side that are .10 or 1 box on the grid. Layers panel. Lock Guides.
THE SAFE ZONE
The Safe Zone is where you can put all your information without fear of it being cut off by the printer. In order to do this, we need our rulers and guides.
Go to the ruler at the top and click and hold the mouse button down and drag. A blue line should come down with you.
This will allow us to know important stuff like text or logos should not go past these lines in fear they might be cut off.
Align the Artboards to the Grid – The Artboard tool
The Artboard tool is used to both create and edit artboards. Another way to enter this Artboard Editing mode is to simply select the Artboard tool. Now, to create a new artboard, click and drag to the far right of the artboards. Notice the Gray Measurement label showing the Width and Height as you draw.
Never set the background all one color at the beginning in the Profile settings.
Use the Text tool to add your name and other items to your card.
If you want to know what typefaces go well together head over to TYP.IO.
Take some time before moving on and add all the text to the FRONT and BACK of your card. All business and trading cards have the text so let’s click on the text tool.
To manipulate the text and stretch it, like I would a graphic . Double click the handle with the circle on it, out to the right. It will convert the text to a point type. Play with the boxes and the arrows.
Your business probably has a logo, and we need to PLACE it on the document.
Rule of Thumb – Linked Files
When you or someone changes the linked document, it will automatically update this document. Click Edit the Original to actually go to the original and edit it.
Rule of Thumb-Double Shadows
If I need to change the drop shadow later on. Do not go to Stylize. Drop Shadow or you will create another drop shadow. Properties panel. Fx, Drop Shadow, or Trash it.
Gradients can be bold or they can be subtle. Sometimes if you add a little bit of a subtle hint to an element it gives it depth.
Not only does that add a gradient to your object, but it opens up the gradient panel as well.
The Gradient panel
Style Option – Appearance Panel
The Transform Panel
Edit the Size or Shear or Rotation and Shear of an object
Stay Organized – The layers panel
The primary goal of the layers panel is to help us organize all of the elements that make up our document. Think about layers if they’re like folders and files.
The Eyedropper Tool
Whatever objects are selected, they are going to suck up the color and/or effect with the eyedropper tool. This is one way to keep things really unified and make sure that they always look the same.
BITMAP (RASTER) Files
Save Like a Pro