Design a Black-and-White Promotional Mailer on a Budget

  • Author: Mark Mayers
  • Website:
  • I'm an illustrator and print designer from Cornwall in the UK. I've been using Photoshop since version 3. I also contribute tutorials for some of the worlds leading creative publications. Head over to my website or VideoCreative where you can see more of my work.

    Tutorial Details

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    Working within a limited budget is a discipline that every designer must master – especially in the current economic climate. Knowing how to squeeze every last drop from a tight budget and still produce something eye catching requires some understanding of different printing techniques.

    In this tutorial, we'll forget about expensive four-color printing and limit ourselves to just one spot color – black! Working in black-and-white is more challenging and also imposes limits on the design process – done right, its simplicity and stark contrast will capture and engage the viewer.

    As well as rediscovering the beauty of monochrome, you'll also add a clear, gloss spot UV varnish to selective areas; this will have the effect of highlighting and drawing attention to parts of the design when the printed piece is moved under different light conditions. So, as a perfect example to showcase these techniques, I briefed myself to design an A5, double-sided, self-promotional mailer.

    As far a techniques go, you'll learn how to use an additional Alpha channel to create the spot varnish artwork; then create your own geometric pattern library with Illustrator. Next we'll show you how to bring everything together with InDesign. Finally, you'll get to grips with preflighting your artwork with InDesign and Acrobat Professional – ensuring it's error-free and printer-friendly.

    Final Image Preview

    You'll find the Photoshop PSD file in a directory labelled "source" that came in the ZIP file that you downloaded. You may wish to look through it briefly before we begin. You'll also find the geometric patterns, grunge shapes and other files to complete the tutorial. I've also included the completed, print-ready InDesign artwork and some Quicktime files which demonstrate the spot UV varnish effect.

    A preview of the final image is below. You can view the large version here.

    You'll also need the following font and stock images:

    The Process Explained

    As I mentioned in the introduction, we'll be using a single Pantone ink, plus a spot UV varnish to selective areas – which the diagram below illustrates. Using the varnish on selective areas of the design will draw the viewers' attention and add another dimension to the printed piece when viewed at different angles. The use of spot UV varnishes is quite commonplace; it's mainly used on magazine covers to create impact, or used subtly on packaging designs.

    From a design aspect, it's vital to involve your printer at an early stage – preferably before you start . They will be able to advise on how to set up your artwork (which could save you invaluable time), as well as the cost implications; for instance your printer may need to out source the varnishing, if he doesn't have that facility in-house. Also, spot UV varnish costs vary, depending on its coverage or percentage used.

    Your printer can also advise on paper stocks and weights; if it's being posted, the finished piece must comply with mailing regulations. He can also advise on other special finishes to compliment the varnish, such as matt lamination – which is a transparent film of plastic that's applied beforehand. Matt lamination combined with spot UV varnish produces outstanding results.

    Black's Black, Isn't It?

    No it isn't! Grab yourself a Pantone swatch book if you don't believe me. There's actually several different blacks to choose from. I've illustrated this below, by showing two quite different blacks. The Pantone at the top is a cool black (PANTONE Black 6 C) and when used at 50% it appears cool gray. The Pantone at the bottom is a warm black (PANTONE Black C) and when used at a 50% it appears warm gray – as you'll see later, we'll be using the warm PANTONE Black C in this tutorial.

    Step 1

    Open Photoshop and create a new A5 landscape document (21cm x 14.8cm) at 300dpi in RGB Mode and select White from the Background Contents drop-down menu.

    Ensure you've got Snap and Snap To > All selected under View. Now pull in guides and snap them to all four edges of the canvas.

    Go to Image > Canvas Size (Option + Command + C), then add 6mm to both the Width and Height fields. Next, highlight the central Anchor point reference and set the Canvas extension color to White.

    This is a great technique to quickly add both bleed and guides to any document; it also cuts out the calculation work of manually placing guides using the View menu.

    Step 2

    Open the model image and zoom in to her left shoulder. We're now going to remove the garment strap. First, set the Pen Tool (P) to Paths and draw a closed path as indicated in magenta.

    Drop in an empty layer on which to carry out the retouching, this way it's non-destructive to the original and can also be erased if things go wrong! Command-click your path thumbnail to generate a selection, then grab the Clone Stamp Tool (S), ensuring it's set to Current & Below and remove the garment within the selection.

    Step 3

    Hit Shift + Command + I to Inverse the selection and remove the strap from her skin using the same technique.

    When you're done hit Command + E to Merge Down. Next, gently smooth out any harsh edges using the Blur Tool (R).

    Step 4

    Switch to the Channels palette and cycle through each channel in turn to determine which holds the best contrast between the model and background. In this instance it's the Blue channel. Duplicate it by dragging its thumbnail into the Create new channel icon.

    Next, hit Command + L to access the Levels dialogue box and use the settings shown below.

    Step 5

    Now use a large, black, hard-edged brush to fill in the model, her shoulder is less defined, so leave that area clear for the moment.

    Draw a closed path around the shoulder (you'll find this easier by toggling the visibility of the top RGB composite channel as you work). Now generate a path-based selection and paint with black within the selection.

    Now refine the channel by using a small white brush to remove any stray hairs that extend beyond the canvas.

    Step 6

    Command-click the channel to generate a selection, then hit Shift + Command + I to Inverse the selection. Now target the composite channel and Copy to the clipboard.

    Paste into your working document as a new layer. Position bottom-left. Next, hit Command + T to Transform, then name the layer "Girl."

    Step 7

    Duplicate the "Girl" layer, then go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object. Next, go to Filter > Artistic > Film Grain and use these settings: Grain = 6, Highlight Area = 7, Intensity = 2.

    Now rename the layer "Girl grain" and set its Blending Mode to Multiply.

    Step 8

    Add a Levels adjustment layer at the top of the stack using the settings shown.

    Now we need to clip the adjustment layer and the "Girl grain" layer to the "Girl." To do this hold down Option, while hovering your cursor between the layer thumbnails. When you see the cursor change to a double circle icon, click your mouse and the layers will become clipped.

    Step 9

    Next, we need to darken the outer edges of the model's hair; first, add an Exposure adjustment layer using the settings shown, then clip it to the "Levels 1" layer as before. Now set the "Exposure 1" layer to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 85%.

    We only require the outer edge, so draw a closed path just inside the hairline as indicated in magenta.

    Generate a path-based selection, then hit Option + Command + D to bring up the Feather dialogue box and enter 20px. Next, target the "Exposure 1" layer mask, set your Foreground to white and hit delete to fill with black.

    Step 10

    Drag all your layers into a group folder labelled "GIRL." Add a mask to the folder and use a medium, soft-edged brush to carefully blend the hard edge of the model's shoulder.

    Step 11

    Open the zebra image, set the Magic Wand Tool to a Tolerance of 22 with Anti-alias and Contiguous checked. Now click on the background to create a selection.

    Shift-click the remaining background areas to add to the selection.

    Inverse the selection, then hit Option + Command + R to access the Refine Edge dialogue box and use the settings shown. Now Copy the selection to the clipboard.

    Step 12

    Add a new folder called "ZEBRA" below the "GIRL," then Paste your selection into it as a new layer and label it "Zebra" and Transform/position as shown.

    Duplicate the layer and rename it "Zebra grain." Convert to a Smart Object, then hit Option + Command + F to bring up the Film Grain filter again and use the following settings: Grain = 6, Highlight Area = 13, Intensity = 7.

    Add a Levels adjustment layer, then clip the layers in the same way as you did in Step 8.

    Step 13

    Open the tree image and select the black areas using the Magic Wand Tool (set to a Tolerance of 100 and Contiguous unchecked). Copy the selection to the clipboard.

    Paste the selection as a new layer below the "ZEBRA" folder and name it "Trees." Transform/position it top-left, then add a layer mask. Now use a small, hard-edged brush to hide any hard edges, then set its Blending Mode to Multiply.

    Step 14

    Open the smoke image and drop it in as a new layer within a new folder called "SMOKE" below the "ZEBRA." Hit Command + T, right-click and select Flip Horizontal. Now position it behind the model's head, change its Blending Mode to Multiply and name it "Smoke 1."

    Duplicate the layer, rename it "Smoke 2," then rotate it clockwise and position it to the right.

    Step 15

    Add a new folder below the "Trees" and label it "SHAPES 1." Now set your Foreground to #545453 and Shift-drag a large central circle using the Ellipse Tool (U) set to Shape layers. Name this layer "Shape 1."

    Set your Foreground to black and add another larger circular shape layer, top-right and extending beyond the canvas. Name this layer "Shape 2."

    Load the "Grunge_Shapes.csh" from the "source" folder and these selectively as further black shape layers and label them "Shape 3" and "Shape 4."

    Set your Foreground to white and add another circular shape layer extending beyond the canvas and name it "Shape 5."

    Step 16

    Set your working file to one side, because we'll now be using Illustrator to create some shapes and patterns.

    Create a new A4 portrait, CMYK Illustrator document. Go to Illustrator > Preferences > Guides & Grid. In the next window set your Grid Color to Yellow and enter Gridline every 10mm and a Subdivision of 1.

    Enable Snap to Grid under the View menu, then use the Pen Tool (P) to snap a black triangle shape to the grid.

    With the Rotate Tool (R) highlighted, Option-click the shape and pull down its rotation point, snapping it to the bottom endpoint/grid. This now opens the Rotate window, enter 20 degrees and hit the Copy button.

    The triangle is now rotated/copied to the specified angle.

    Keep hitting Command + D, repeating the transformation until you have a complete circle.

    Step 17

    Select all the shapes (Command + A), then use the fly-out menu in the Pathfinder palette to choose Make Compound Shape, then hit the Expand button.

    To round off the hard corners, grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and with the compound shape still selected, hold down Option and Shift-drag a large shape from its center, stopping just inside the shape's perimeter. Now set the circle to a Fill and Stroke of zero, then select all and click the Crop button in the Pathfinder palette.

    Next, use the Direct selection Tool to select one of the zero fill segments, then go to Select > Same Fill Color and fill all the selected segments with white. Now go to Select > Inverse and fill all the black areas with Photoshop's four-color black equivalent: 75C, 68M, 67Y, and 90K. Select All and Copy to the clipboard.

    Step 18

    Paste this graphic in your working file, selecting the Smart Object button in the next window, then Transform/position just above the model's head. Next, rename the layer "Pinwheel Vector Smart Object."

    Duplicate the layer and resize/position to overlap the first shape. Now drop these two layers into a new folder called "PINWHEELS" above "SHAPES 1."

    Step 19

    Command-click the "Shape 2" layer to generate a selection, then go to Select > Modify > Contract by 2px. Now target your "SMOKE" folder and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection.

    Modify the mask by making a contacted selection from your first "Pinwheel Vector Smart Object" layer and filling with black on the mask too.

    Step 20

    Over the next few steps you'll be creating your own custom Pattern Fills using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. For those of you who want to skip this part of the tutorial, load the "Geometric_patterns.pat" from the "source" folder and jump to Step 25.

    First you'll need to clear your existing library. In Photoshop open the Preset Manager, then select Patterns from the fly-out menu. Hold Option while hovering over the first pattern thumbnail and you'll see the cursor change to a scissor icon – click to delete the first thumbnail.

    Repeat for your remaining patterns until the library is empty. Don't worry, they're not permanently erased –you can simply reloaded them as required.

    Step 21

    Switch back to Illustrator and use the same grid to create some simple tillable shapes. When creating the right-hand polka dot pattern, first snap your circles to the grid, then snap a square with a Fill/Stroke of zero. Now select both the circles and the square.

    Now use the Crop Pathfinder function to delete the overlaps.

    Step 22

    Use smaller, simple shapes as the building blocks to create more, complex geometric patterns. Now group them as individual patterns.

    Step 23

    Change all the black Fills to Photoshop's four-color equivalent as you did in Step 17. Now Copy your first pattern group to the clipboard.

    Step 24

    Switch to Photoshop and create a new canvas, excepting the Clipboard Preset, set the Resolution to 300 pixels/inch, the Color Mode to CMYK and the Background Content set to Transparent.

    Paste your Illustrator group As Pixels, then go to Edit > Define Pattern and label it accordingly – this first pattern will have a transparent background.

    Flatten the layers and Define Pattern again – this one will have a white background. Once you've saved the patterns, the file can be discarded. Continue to Copy > Paste your remaining Illustrator groups using the same technique – remembering to save two versions.

    Once you're done you can Save the library and load it as required by clicking the Save Set button.

    Step 25

    Target the "Background" layer, then choose Pattern from the Create new fill or adjustment drop-down menu. In the next window select your first transparent fill and enter 10% in the Scale field. Now rename the layer "Background Pattern Fill."

    Lower its Opacity to 15%, then set your Foreground/Background to black/white. Now Shift-drag a Foreground to Background Linear Gradient on the mask to hide the bottom third.

    Step 26

    Add a new folder above the "PINWHEELS" and name it "CIRCULAR PATTERN FILLS." Shift-drag a circular selection, then add another Pattern Fill layer, selecting one of the complex triangular designs with a white background. Set the Scale to 30% and rename it "Pattern Fill 1."

    Add another Pattern Fill layer using the same selection technique, but choose the polka dot white background design. Set the Scale to 8% and rename it "Pattern Fill 2."

    Repeat using the white 45 degree checker design with a Scale of 10% and rename it "Pattern Fill 3."

    Add another Pattern Fill layer using the white polka dot design. Set the scale to 4% and rename it "Pattern Fill 4."

    Add another Pattern Fill layer using one of the complex white tile designs. Set the scale to 40% and rename it "Pattern Fill 5."

    Step 27

    Select the Custom Shape Tool, choose Replace Shapes, then navigate to the "Grunge_Shapes.csh" from the "source" folder. Create a new folder below the "SMOKE" folder and label it "SHAPES 2." Now set your Foreground to white and add a Shape Layer, Transform/position and label it "Shape 6."

    Set your Foreground to black, add another Shape Layer and label it "Shape 7."

    Set your Foreground to white, add a final Shape Layer and label it "Shape 8."

    Step 28

    Grab the Text Tool (T) and add the white text set in the Mod font. For the word "LESS" use 64pt on 59 leading and the tracking set to 3. "IS" should be set at 40pt with the same leading/tracking settings. Finally, set "MORE" at 78pt with the same leading/tracking settings. All your text should be left aligned in the Paragraph palette and the layer should be positioned beneath the "ZEBRA" folder.

    Highlight the space between the top two words and reduce the tracking to -217.

    Step 29

    Next, we need a flattened version to use as a template within Illustrator; first drop in an empty layer at the top of the stack, then go to Image > Apply Image, in the next window ensure the Blending is set to normal and hit OK – the new layer now contains a merged composite of all visible layers.

    Select All and Copy this layer to a new document, flatten and Save it as "Template.TIFF." The merged file in your working file can now be discarded.

    Step 30

    Switch to Illustrator and create a new CMYK, A4 landscape document. Go to File > Place and navigate to your "Template.TIFF," checking the Link and Template options. You'll notice the template layer appears dimmed and a new layer is automatically added.

    Unlock the "Template" layer, select the placed image and use the Reference Point Locator to position it on the artboard.

    Next, lock the position of the "Template" layer.

    Step 31

    Target "Layer 1," then grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a wavy 7pt black line.

    With the line selected, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Now give the object a Fill of white and a 1.2pt stroke using Photoshop's four-color black equivalent as before.

    Step 32

    Grab the Selection Tool (V), then hold down Option + Shift-drag the shape to duplicate it. Now hit Command + D five times to duplicate it again.

    Next, rotate and reposition some of the shapes so they're not so regimented – also select a few and hit Command + open bracket to Send Backward.

    Step 33

    Double-click the Scale Tool (S) and uncheck Scale Strokes & Effects. Group the shapes and duplicate a few times. You can now scale these duplicates whilst retaining the Stroke width.

    Arrange the shapes around the illustration as shown – also feel free to flip some groups using the Reflect Tool (O) as required.

    Step 34

    Set your Fill/Stroke to zero, then grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and click anywhere on the artboard. In the next window enter the same size as the placed file (Width: 216, Height: 154). Now position it using the same settings as Step 30.

    Select all of the layer content by clicking on the square next to the layer name. Now click the Crop button in the Pathfinder palette, then Copy to the pasteboard.

    Step 35

    Paste As a Smart Object within a new folder called "WAVY LINES / DOTS" beneath the "ZEBRA" folder and rename the layer "Wavy Lines Vector Smart Object."

    Step 36

    At this stage I decided to modify the "Shape 6" layer by deleting some of the intrusive paths using the Delete Anchor Point Tool.

    Step 37

    Switch back to Illustrator and create a series of white circles with a 1pt black Stroke.

    Now Copy > Paste As a Smart Object within the same folder and rename it "Dots Vector Smart Object." That's it – this stage of the illustration is complete.

    Step 38

    Next, we'll be adding an extra Alpha channel which will contain all the necessary artwork for the spot UV varnish.

    Generate a selection from the "Shape 2" layer, then add a Pattern Fill layer at the top of the stack using the white diamond design at 100%.

    Step 39

    Go to Layer > Rasterize > Fill Content, then drag the mask thumbnail into the trash icon, clicking Apply mask in the next window.

    Step 40

    We now need to delete any excess artwork that extends beyond the canvas; Select All, then go to Image > Crop. Next, generate a layer-based selection from your new pattern.

    We covered channels briefly in Step 5. But the next part is fairly involved and requires you to be accustom with toggling the visibility of the composite/varnish channel; switching between the layers and channels palettes; and being careful that you've got the varnish channel targeted before filling selections.

    Switch to your channels palette, add a new channel by clicking on the Create new channel icon and label it "Spot UV Varnish." Now double-click the channel thumbnail to access the Options window and check Selected Areas. Click the color chip, altering the default red to #2fe4ff and set the Opacity to 20%. The color and Opacity of the channel is for preview purposes only – and in no way affects the actual printing color.

    With the selection still active, Paste the pattern into the channel. You'll see the pasted channel aligns perfectly to the RGB artwork – that's why cropping the image in the first instance is vital.

    Step 41

    We'll now add more varnish areas; remember what's black on this channel will be printed as a varnish. Generate a selection from the "Shape 3" layer, set your Foreground to white and hit Delete to fill with black.

    Now delete or knock out varnish areas; generate a selection from "Shape 5" and hit Option Delete to fill with white. Repeat using a selection from "Pinwheel Vector Smart Object" and "Pattern Fill 1" through to "Pattern Fill 5."

    Step 42

    Knock out further areas by filling selections from "Dots Vector Smart Object" and "Wavy Lines Vector Smart Object" with white too.

    Step 43

    Generate a selection from the "Trees" layer and fill with black. Next, target your "Wavy Lines Vector Smart Object" layer and use the Magic Wand Tool (with Contiguous unchecked) to select the black strokes. Now fill the selection with black on the channel. Repeat using a selection of the black strokes from "Dots Vector Smart Object."

    Step 44

    Toggle the visibility of the RGB composite channel to get an idea of how the varnish will sit. Remember to leave some areas clear for contrast. Next, we'll add varnish over the model and zebra.

    Step 45

    Duplicate the "GIRL" folder, press Command + E to Merge Group, then Apply the mask as you did in Step 39.

    Step 46

    Duplicate the "ZEBRA" folder, Merge Group and Apply the mask. Now position the resulting layer below the "GIRL copy." Target the "GIRL copy" layer and press Command + E to Merge Down.

    Step 47

    We now need to add this merged layer into the channel – but a straight Copy > Paste will not align correctly because of the layer's transparent information.

    As a workaround, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to add two temporary black fills, snapping them to opposing corners of the the canvas.

    Step 48

    Select All and Copy. Switch to the channels palette, target the channel and Paste, keeping the selection active.

    Step 49

    Fine tones of gray are impossible to reproduce using a spot UV varnish – so to be effective, the channel must have clean, hard edges. With this in mind, and in keeping with the illustration style I decided to apply a course dot effect to these areas.

    With the selection still active, apply a Halftone Pattern filter (found under Filter > Artistic) using these settings: Size = 6, Contrast = 50, Pattern Type = Dot.

    Step 50

    Deselect and run the Dodge Tool (O) – set to Highlights and the Burn Tool (O) – set to Shadows over the gray areas as indicated. You can now fill the two temporary black fills with white on the channel.

    Step 51

    Delete the Pattern Fill layer from Step 38, as well as the merged girl/zebra layer from Step 46. Now check your varnish areas by toggling the visibility of the composite channel – you can always use layer-based selections and paint on the channel to carry out modifications, or fix areas as required.

    Be sure to Save your illustration before continuing with the next step.

    Step 52

    Target the "Spot UV Varnish" channel, Select All and Copy. Create a new document accepting the Clipboard Preset, ensure the Color Mode is set to Mono and Paste. Now flatten the file and Save it as "Spot_UV_Varnish.tif."

    Go back to your layered illustration file and flatten it. Now delete the "Spot UV Varnish" channel, then, go to Image > Mode grayscale. Now hit Shift + Command + S to Save As "Mono_Illustration.tif." Both these files will be used in the InDesign artwork, so store them in a memorable location.

    Step 53

    Launch InDesign and create a new A5 landscape document. Uncheck Facing Pages, set the Margins to zero for the moment and add 3mm Bleed all round.

    Step 54

    Activate Guides (Command + semicolon) and Snap to Guides (Shift + Command + semicolon). Now hit Command + D to navigate and Place the "Mono_Illustration.tif." Snap it to the bleed marks, then double check its coordinates with the Reference Point Locator – which should read -3mm, -3mm.

    Step 55

    We now need to add a spot black Pantone ink. You're probably wondering why we can't use the default black in the color palette. The reason being, I wanted to use a rich, warm black ink.

    Use the fly-out menu situated top-left of the swatches palette to select a New Color Swatch. In the next window select Spot under Color Type, then pick PANTONE solid coated from the pull-down Color Mode menu and choose PANTONE Black C.

    After clicking OK, the new color will be visible at the bottom of your swatches palette. Now select the image using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and color it using PANTONE Black C.

    Step 56

    Drop in the second page for the reverse artwork by dragging the Master page thumbnail (in the pages palette) below your first one. Next, hit Command + R to activate the rules and pull across a central guide on the new page. You can also use the Reference Point Locator to accurately position the guide, then hit Option + Command + semicolon to lock guides.

    With the new page thumbnail highlighted in the Pages palette, go to Layout > Margins & Columns. In the next window enter 10mm in the Top, Left, and Right Margin fields and 12 for the Bottom.

    Step 57

    Grab the Type Tool (T) and snap a text box to your top/left margin guides. Select the Mod font again and enter your heading – I used a play on words with a financial connotation. Set the text in 45pt on 35pt leading and Align left. Now color it with PANTONE Black C.

    Step 58

    Add the body copy in another text box. For the intro paragraph use Helvetica Neue 95 Black (or something similar) set to 10pt on 12pt leading. Also, add some paragraph spacing so it's easier on the eye – I used a Space After of 2.5mm.

    Step 59

    For the remaining body copy use Helvetica Neue 45 Light (or again, something lighter from your chosen font family), using the same point size, leading and Space After settings as the intro paragraph.

    Step 60

    Next, add a call to action text box using Helvetica Neue 45 Light at the same size/leading, but emphasize the web address by using Helvetica Neue 75 Bold (or again, something similar) and bump it up to 15pt on 17pt leading. Remember we're only using one ink, so all your text should be colored PANTONE Black C.

    Step 61

    If you're intending to place Illustrator files, like logos into InDesign – they need to be converting to the same spot color. Open your chosen logo in Illustrator (I've included mine in the "source" folder, called "MM_CMYK_logo.eps").

    Select your logo, then open the PANTONE solid coated swatch library from the swatches palette. Next, choose List View in the PANTONE solid coated swatch palette and pick PANTONE Black C to color your logo.

    It's also a good idea to use the fly-out menu in the swatches palette to Select All Unused and trash them – this is to prevent any unwanted colors being imported to InDesign. Now Save As – I called mine "MM_PANTONE_Black_logo.eps."

    Step 62

    Now place your logo into your InDesign file, then double check that no rogue colors have been imported into your swatches palette.

    Step 63

    Next, we're going to create a version of the illustration to fill the space on the right-hand side. Reopen your layered Photoshop illustration and simplify by deleting some layers and the "Spot UV Varnish" channel (we're only using varnish on the front side).

    Now go to Image > Rotate Canvas > Flip Canvas Horizontal and Save As "Mono_Illustration_segment.psd." Flatten the layers and convert to grayscale. Finally, Save As "Mono_Illustration_segment.tif."

    Step 64

    Place the "Mono_Illustration_segment.tif," snapping it to the bleed guides as shown. Resize by holding Command + Shift and dragging the top-left corner with the Selection Tool. Next, use the Direct Selection Tool to color it "PANTONE Black C" as you did it in Step 55. Now hit Shift + Command open bracket to Send to Back.

    Step 65

    We now need to add some printable guides to position our self-adhesive address labels and stamps neat and square. Presentation is everything – so you don't want to spoil your design by just slapping these on!

    Self-adhesive labels come in a variety of sizes and are available from most stationery suppliers. I used the labels shown below from here. Most suppliers also have downloadable templates, making it easy to add address details.

    First add a rectangle (the size of your label), then give it a Fill of zero and a Stroke (aligned to the outside) of 0.5pt at 30% "PANTONE Black C." Next, go to Object > Corner Effects and give it a Rounded corner value of 0.5mm.

    Step 66

    Next, add two white filled rectangles, so just the corners of the stroked box is visible (I've thickened the stroke is the screenshot below for clarity). Now select all three shapes and align them centrally.

    Step 67

    Add another box using the same tint rule (stroke aligned to the Inside) as a guide for placing your stamp.

    Step 68

    The front and back artwork is complete. Now toggle your guides to check that you're happy with everything. Now all that's left is to add the varnish areas.

    Step 69

    Label the default layer "Artwork," then lock it. Add a new layer and name it "Spot UV Varnish." Go to page one and Place your "Spot_UV_Varnish.tif" you saved in Step 52 onto the new layer. Be sure to snap it to the exact coordinates as you did in Step 54.

    Step 70

    Next, add another Pantone swatch as a visual representation of the varnish. First select Spot in the Color Type option, then select PANTONE solid coated. Next, highlight PANTONE 305 C.

    To rename the swatch you need to first change the Color Mode back to CMYK, then rename it "Spot UV Varnish," then most importantly check the Color Type is still set to Spot.

    Step 71

    Now use the Direct Selection Tool to color the image with the varnish swatch.

    To check everything aligns correctly, set the "Spot_UV_Varnish.tif" to Multiply in the transparency palette.

    Step 72

    Once you're happy, set the "Spot_UV_Varnish.tif" back to Normal and switch off the visibility of that layer. Now let's check our artwork is all properly separated; go to Window > Output > Separations Preview. Set the View menu to Separations in the palette and disable the visibility of all colors except the PANTONE Black C.

    Next, switch the visibility of the "Artwork" layer off and the "Spot UV Varnish" layer on. Now disable the visibility of all colors except the Spot UV Varnish swatch in the Separations Preview palette.

    Step 73

    It's good practice to delete any colors not being used in the swatches palette; use the fly-out menu to Select All Unused, then drag them into the trash.

    Step 74

    Run a further check by hitting Option + Shift + Command + F to access the Preflight window. Here you can ensure you're using the correct fonts, that all the links and spot colors are OK. Now hit the Package button at the bottom.

    Step 75

    The next window that appears is the Printing Instructions. Here you can briefly enter anything your printer will find helpful – I stated that only the spot printing plates were required for output. Write any specific instructions such as print-run, Pantones, special finishes, printing stock and delivery instructions clearly on a separate purchase order. It's always better to give as much information as you can.

    After clicking the Continue button, the next window allows you to Save to a chosen destination. You can also copy all your links and have InDesign automatically update them for you. When you're done, inspect the saved folder and you'll see all the files have been conveniently packaged for you.

    Step 76

    Now to export the final PDF files for your printer. This will need to be done in two stages; one PDF for each layer in the InDesign document. The first one will be the "Artwork" layer. Switch off the visibility of the "Spot UV Varnish" layer, then hit Command + E to Export. Name it "Mailer_artwork", then select Adobe PDF from the Format menu and Save it to the folder from the previous step.

    You can ask your printer to supply their preferred PDF settings which you can load. These settings are specific to that particular printer and include correct bleed/print marks, as well as compression/flattener settings. Alternatively, a pretty safe bet is to use the drop-down Adobe PDF Preset menu and select one of the PDF/X presets, but be warned, you'll need to manually check bleed, trim and any settings your printer requests under the Marks and Bleeds sub-menu. Ensure to check All pages, then hit the Export button.

    Step 77

    Next, we need to make the varnish PDF; enable the visibility of the "Spot UV Varnish" layer and disable the visibility of the "Artwork" layer. Export and Save as a PDF again, this time naming it "Spot_UV_Varnish" but check the Range button and set it to 1 – remember, there's only varnish on that page. Now export to the same folder as your first PDF.

    Step 78

    As a final check Open the "Mailer_artwork.pdf" with Acrobat Professional (which has a further set of preflight tools) and go to Advanced > Output Preview, ensure Separations is selected under Preview, then uncheck the Process Plates box – you'll now see the PANTONE Black C printing plate in isolation.

    Open your second PDF and do the same to view Spot UV Varnish printing plate. You can now be confident that your artwork is printer-friendly and finished!

    Step 79

    If you incorporate a lot of special print finishes in your designs and want to give your clients the wow factor; it maybe worth investing in Esko Visualizer which I used to create the Quicktime movie file in the "source" folder.

    Esko Visualizer allows you to quickly create and share ultra-realistic on-screen mock-ups and soft proofs of complex print finishing effects such as varnishes and even 3D pack designs by simply loading a PDF.

    Conclusion and Scope

    Once your varnish swatch is imported into InDesign, there's nothing stopping you from adding further varnish directly in InDesign (budget permitting). I've illustrated this below by simply Copying > Pasting the header to the same coordinates, recoloring and moving it to the "Spot UV Varnish" layer. Then a version of the logo was recolored in Illustrator using the same technique as detailed in step 70. This was then duplicated onto the "Spot UV Varnish" layer too.

    I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and also learnt some new techniques along the way. I've only scratched the surface of what can be achieved with just one ink and a special print finish – so go ahead and explore!