Webmaster here. Last time we talked about the format of the file. Assuming you know that now. Lets move on to creating one.
**Note: The images below are not the actual templates used. They have been scaled way down for this post. I may post the actual templates at some point later, but for now these are just examples**
**Note again, I am not an expert. Do not take me as such. I know experts and they are probably cringing at me right now**
So anyway, if you are doing it yourself, or sending your print off somewhere it is good to lay out the whole page. Here are the advantages of doing the layout yourself:
- You know you are getting exactly what you want.
- You can easily print more than one image on a page
- This allows you to order more copies if someone else is printing them for you, reducing costs
- It also allows you to quickly and easily work up sets for projects requiring multiple prints.
- It also helps prevent wasting tons of paper by printing something tiny in the middle of a big, expensive, piece of paper. (and at $2/page, that adds up)
The project Laura has been working on is sizing out to a 5×7 print (8×10 matted) so the calculations have mostly been around that.
If you plan on matting an image, and you should if you want it hung on a wall, you need to allow for some additional space around your image so you can’t see the edges of the paper inside your mat. In theory your mat’s opening is slightly smaller than the selected size. In practice, if you don’t have enough material past the opening it becomes very hard to mount the image, and it does not stay flat. So in my templates I am allowing at least a 1/4 inch of space on each side for things like mounting tape, and allowances for mediocre cutting on my part.
Starting with an standard sized letter paper (what I can most easily get my hand on for home printing) I figure I can get 2 images per sheet. I created a 5″x7″ 1200dpi image in photoshop and painted the whole thing white. Then I expanded the canvas to 8.25″x5.5″ to create an empty area for the non-printed area I selected this area, made a new layer, and painted it green. I then created a 8.5×11 document, and copied over these two layers twice, so I have two complete copies. I moved on to the left, and one to the right, and drew a line down the middle of the page in black for a cut line on it’s own layer. After all that work it gives me a template like this:
Now I can just paste in a 5×7 1200dpi image to it’s own layer, and position it as I please. When I like where the images are placed, I hide the green layer, and it is ready to print.
Then looking at the site of the printer I was using, they had a very good price break at a 12″x16″ sheet of paper, so I did essentially the same thing and it gave me this:
For my initial stock this will have four different images on one page. This means getting in my initial stock will be much cheaper since I can have them run off 4 copies of this sheet instead of 1 copy of 4 individual designs to get the same effect. In future orders it might get switched up if something becomes popular, but it is easy enough to do once you have a template.
Then when someone suggested they wanted bookmarks, I had to look up what size a bookmark was, settling on 2″x6″, I did the above tricks and ended up with this:I have to do a bunch more playing with images to make them fit in the window properly, but when I am done, I know exactly what will be on the print. The lined to cut along are clearly marked, making final assembly a bit easier.
Now, I promised to talk about bleed. Depending on your final image’s destination, you want your image to print beyond the area where you are going to cut, so if there is a slight deviation in one direction or another in cutting, or printing, there is not some blank space at the edge of the image. Since the current project I have been doing does not have backgrounds, my templates don’t really have a bleed to them. If I needed a bleed, then I would need to modify the templates so every image had it’s own cut line (rather than sharing as seen above), and make my images go into the green whitespace area.
Well, that is how to make some basic templates. Hopefully it is enough to get you started printing your own work. It takes a bit of tinkering to get the templates the way you wan them, but once you have them it can save you hours getting future are ready to send off.