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  1. Jorden Tually says:

    awesome! as usual!

  2. Sam says:

    Very good!
    You can also go File > Save as and set the file type to pdf. This still gives you all the printer settings like bleeds, image compression etc.

    • Ron says:

      I agree, saving as PDF is simpler.
      Chris, is there a reason to do it the way you showed, or is it just to teach is different methods?

      • Yeah this is mentioned in the article and links to a business card tut where it’s printed directly to PDF.
        For some reason this doesn’t work on my computer. The PDF printer will run but I can’t ever find the file anywhere so I use the postscript method.
        It’s always good to know about different techniques though, you never know when you might need to call on the services of Distiller!

        • Amber says:

          I believe what you would want to do, to be able to find your PDF, is to hit the “Printer” button first. Then it will give you a box where you can choose where to save the file. I just finished the letterhead portion of this tutorial last night, I like your style! Please check it out –
          Thanks for sharing such good stuff all the time :)

  3. Love it, nice clean design.

  4. Great read, Really good to see how other designers set files up for print!

  5. Alan says:

    Awesome stuff Chris, just when I need to get stuff like this made up.

  6. Krishna says:

    Just what i needed! RT’d and bookmarked!!
    Cheers dude! :)

  7. Simon Hall says:

    Or you could use Quark (ducks for cover!) some of us printers still use that too!

  8. Dave ODey says:

    I use in-design for EVERYTHING print, and try to use illustrator only for logos or illustrations. However I may change it up next project and use Illustrator. Great post!

  9. Awesome tutorial, was just working on stationary yesterday and then I saw this. Bookmarked!

  10. Thanks for the tutorial! This is just what I needed to create a letterhead for an organization I’m involved in.

  11. Rachael says:

    Great post Chris! It’s great to see that I set up my work in the same way :) Love the design too.

  12. Good stuff, found the link from a fb design group. Can you provide a later tutorial for designing a matching template for use with Microsoft word, basically setting up the margins and fonts, then locking them so our nice clients out there don’t make such an amazing letterhead look like they dumped on it.

  13. IPBrian says:

    Chris…you are quickly becoming my hero. Thanks for this tutorial…it was simple, detailed and just what I needed!

  14. Love it. I must try this! :D

  15. Like always: a great and good to follow tutorial. That’s one of the reasons I always come on your blogs first if I need to do something I’m still not familiar with ;-)

  16. Hi Chris, Great tutorial once again. Generally I tend to export my print documents be it from Indesign or illustrator as straight pdf’s. What are the advantages of saving your artwork as a postscript file and then to PDF as opposed to just saving it as a PDF immediately?

    • Danny says:

      Hey Tom,
      With larger files, when you run the postscript file through Adobe Distiller you tend to get smaller file sized PDFs, without a loss of quality. At least that’s been the case when I do it.

  17. Seriously Good Tutorials , i like when someone make a Simple Simple Card and Letter & Brochure with Simple Colors , also you can use more effect on the Project like Noise !
    anyway Good Job Chris

  18. MarkT says:

    Terrific tutorial; the hint of a drop shadow definitely makes it come alive. Would you say that Distiller is your preferred method of PDF creation? Would you advise a new freelancer to purchase a copy?
    I love that you’ve made some of the niggly final steps of getting a print-ready file seem much more straight forward. Thanks, Chris!

  19. loga says:

    thanks for sharing this nice tutorial its really great . thanks for sharing this keep posting

  20. beautiful idea you sharing for create letterhead design. thanks

  21. lono says:

    nice design, what font have you used chris?

  22. Another great design! We are a commercial printing company and deal with improper file preparation on a daily basis and would like to point out that most printers would rather you supply your art without crop marks. The reason is that if your file includes crop marks, it is hard to step the file for running 2 or 4 up on a larger sheet size. All in all great post thanks for sharing!

  23. Brilliant timing with this :D I need to do something along these lines for my Graphic’s GCSE! :3

  24. Buzz says:

    Nice design and well written tutorial… but most of all thanks for pointing out colourlovers site, this will save me many frustrating hours working out colour schemes… thanks!

  25. Anoop Francis says:

    Very useful stuff Chris, thanks

  26. Another great tutorial. Nice work Chris, thanks for sharing!

  27. Rachael says:

    I’ve had a few occasions where I have found PDFs straight from InDesign & QuarkXpress to have bigger files sizes even on the same PDF settings as putting them through Distiller. To be honest I use Distiller for piece of mind because I’ve never had any issues producing PDFs that way.

  28. Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I love all the tutorials you put here. Amazing stuff. Keep it up man.

  29. Fii says:

    Great tut, Chris, I’ve experimented with a few colour variants and some fun font options. However, the one place that I did stray from the ‘lesson’ is in using the gradient as a drop shadow. I found it to be slightly murky, so instead I drew the white area of the paper as a block with an angled upper edge, then used Effect > Stylise > Drop Shadow at the appropriate angle. The shadow is cleaner this way. If – when you use this option – you find the shadow appearing where you don’t want it, just create a clipping mask to avoid that problem.

  30. amit says:

    it’s nice designe

  31. Nice tut Chris. Stumbled and retweeted!

  32. JJ says:

    Hi Chris I also use distiller for producing my printing pdfs, however, I always use the PDF/X-1a:2001 setting in distiller as a lot of the printers specify this. Take a look at our Quark tips re printing, same principle different programme, JJ

  33. Nathaline says:

    Nice design and colors as ussual. I really like this tutorial! thanks :)

  34. belindasmilne says:

    Nice tutorial. The colours and the drop shadow looks great.
    The benefit of saving as postscript-to-distiller instead of straight to PDF is that Distiller is more efficient and creates smaller PDF files than either Illustrator or InDesign (you’d think it would be the same, but no).
    It’s usually not a big deal, unless you’re submitting artwork to a newspaper or magazine via Quickcut, Websend or a similar, as they very often charge by the MB and even a small saving in file size can mean more money in your pocket.

  35. Thank you so much for this tutorial. It makes it so easy to figure out the print side of things. You explained it so simply. I know that I will be able to add these steps to my workflow. The design is very nice too. I downloaded the font freehand-575. I am sure it will come in handy as well. Thanks.

  36. inumsai says:

    That’s great tutorial .

  37. Great work and nice tutorial. Love the design. Not everything has to be done in Indesign, Illustrator is very capable. I would also encourage designers to look into xara designer pro, for me it outshines illustrator in many ways.

  38. nice tutorial, thx! u are the best! ;)

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  40. Parabéns pelo tutorial amigo,

  41. Akhtar says:

    Thanks for share…this letterhead tutorial has been really helpful to me! :D

  42. Szilvi says:

    I have learned a lot from your tutorials, thanks for posting them.

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