Designing Presentation Folder

Hi there,
I know that this is not a question about web design, but it is about design nonetheless. I am new to a Graphics/Web Administrator job and I don’t really have a ‘mentor’ as I am the only web person in the office. I was asked to create a design for a presentation folder for the company - that is a folder that is handed out to prospective clients holding information about the company/business card slot/etc. I am fairly ‘green’ when it comes to print design. My knowledge basically consists of knowing the colour mode should be CMYK, 300 dpi, that sort of thing. I began by designing the layout in Illustrator, placing graphics that I created in Photoshop (I’m all about PS). Problem is, images tend to look distorted and just plain bad when brought in to illustrator and resized.

I guess my question is, what program should I be using to create the folder design? Would it be a bad thing to just do the whole design in Photoshop? I had the same problems with inDesign, and I know very little about that program. Any pointers would be appreciated.


Hi Amber. My first resonse is to say—just create the designs in Potoshop at the size they need to be printed. Then you won’t have to resize them. :slight_smile:

Ps is a pixel-program, so images don’t resize well, whereas Illustrator uses vectors which resize nicely. For print layouts, probably the best progra is InDesign, though. I’d say create your image in Ps at the size it needs to be then import into InDesign.

You might want to ask the printer if they have a template and if they require vector artwork. The shape of the product (physical layout) will probably be up to them, so you might as well start with that to lay your design over.

Doing a bitmap (Photoshop) design should be okay as long as it’s high resolution.

Thanks a lot! I just have a question about inDesign. First, how can I set the doc to CMYK, and 300 ppi? When I create a new doc the only options I have are size, columns, margins, bleed and slug. (what is slug?) And do the sizes for the doc always have to be shown with p instead of other units. I just type in for ex. 9.25 in and it changes it so it doesn’t really matter I’m just curious.

If you include a ‘slug’ it will add color information etc. to the file. Sometimes, if you see an uncut printed page, you’ll see colored squares at the top or bottom (outside of the print area that will remain after the page is trimmed).

To change the default measurement from px to in or whatever, you change this in your Preferences settings. (On a Mac, it’s Indesign > Preferences > Units & Increments.)

When you are choosing colors, make sure they are CMYK and not RGB. In terms of ppi, the main thing is to make sure that any graphics you create in Ps are large enough that they will print well. You don’t need to do anything else about ppi/dpi in InDesign.

Thanks for the help!

You’re welcome! I should mention that it’s several years since I did something in InDesign that went to print, but I’m pretty sure that what I described above is the process I went through. Your printer may want you to send the InDesign file or supply a PDF. In my case, I sent a PDF, so of course you need to choose one of the high quality print settings. But the printer will supply you with their preferred settings (or ask for them if they don’t).