Sunday, October 08, 2006

Steps for Building a Box

Step 1: Establish your layers in Illustrator. I suggest putting your artwork on separate layers: box shape, die, crop/fold, artwork.

Step 2: Determine the size of your box. For this example I am going to use a cube. Create one panel of your box in Illustrator. Make sure you are on the correct layer for your box shape. Use .25pt rules/strokes for creating your artwork. Anything smaller will not print.

Step 3: Duplicate the sides of your box using copy, paste in front. If you hold shift and drag you can keep the box on the same horizontal or vertical plane. Another option is to click on your box and hold option while dragging the box. This will make a copy of what you have clicked on. Make your four sides and then create your top and bottom flap.

Step 4: Create the flaps of your box. Always make sure to zoom in tightly to make sure that everything is aligning correctly.

Step 5: Add all of your flaps and remember to add a flap on one side to seal the box sides.

Step 6: After your box has been made I would suggest grouping all of the sections and changing the color to something other than cyan. Cyan should be saved for the die and the fold/cut marks.

Step 7: On the layer for your die-cut trace the outer lines of your box using a cyan rule/stroke. Leave your box shape layer on so that you can see what you are tracing but I would suggest locking it. You can do this by selecting the object and going to object > lock selection.

Step 8: Lastly, add your fold marks. Fold marks or score marks are generally dashed lines in cyan. I would suggest also using rulers so you know exactly where to incorporate your score lines. Make sure the lines are pulled away from the image enough so that you can see them when cutting.

Step 9: Add your artwork using the artwork layer. You can work with the box shape layer on so that you can see what you are working on and then you can easily turn it off and turn the die-cut layer on so that you can ensure that you are working within the boundaries. Remember to add 1/8" bleed on all sides to allow for shifts in cutting.

The die is located here in a stuffit file:

[ box in illustrator ]


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