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From the book Create an Identity

Create an Identity

Working Efficiently with Multiple Elements

Overview: Create artboards for each type of content; use the Artboards panel to resize the artboards and duplicate some of them; use symbols for logos; optionally, duplicate artboards with artwork for multiple variations.

A company’s typical identity package may contain several types and sizes of materials, such as letterhead, business cards, web pages, and ad inserts. Instead of needing to keep track of multiple files, Ryan Putnam can rely on multiple artboards and symbols to create the collateral materials in a single file, making additions or updates much simpler and less prone to errors and omissions.

  1. Setting up the artboards. Putnam began by setting up four artboards using the default settings in the New dialog plus a standard bleed. Opening the Artboards panel, he double-clicked the first artboard icon, entered the dimensions of the business card, named it “Front_card,” and clicked OK. He then customized the sizes and names of the other three artboards: the letterhead, an insert, and the logo design. Since he needed the same size artboard for the front and back of the business card, he used the Artboards panel to duplicate the business card by dragging “Front_card” to the New Artboard icon. In the Artboards panel he double-clicked the copy’s name and typed “Back_card,” and reordered the artboards (which renumbered them) by dragging “Back_card” to just below “Front_card.” Because duplicate artboards automatically get added in a single row to the right of the last artboard drawn, Putnam selected the Artboard tool (Shift-O), to drag the artboards into a custom arrangement. Using Smart Guides (C-U/Ctrl-U) he could easily line them up in a well-organized fashion.
  2. Figure 2-29 Setting up multiple artboards

    Figure 2-30 Customize, name, and reorder artboards using the Artboards panel and Artboard Options dialog

    Figure 2-31 Customizing the layout using the Artboard tool and Smart Guides to help align the artboards

  3. Making symbols for replication and quick updates. Putnam began by designing the logo. He then dragged it into the Symbols panel to save it as a symbol, named it, and clicked OK. If he modified the logo, he only had to alter the one symbol to automatically update all instances of it throughout the document. If he needed a variation of the logo, he could break the link to the original symbol to create a new symbol (see the Expressive Strokes chapter for more about creating and modifying symbols). Using multiple artboards with symbols adds appreciably to productivity. Artboards in one file share the same libraries, so if there were any changes in the future, Putnam wouldn’t have to open separate files for each item in the identity package, and then open the library containing the modified symbol. One file would always contain all the libraries and correctly-sized artboards ready for modifications.
  4. Figure 2-32 Using symbols for logos to maintain consistency, to make updates a snap, and to modify or place symbols from a shared library onto different artboards as needed

  5. Copying and duplicating artwork with artboards. Putnam created the design for each element of the identity package, placing the logo symbol on the artboard and adding text and artwork as needed. He linked the photo to the insert, making it easy to replace for the next event. Although the letterhead and insert only required a single version, he needed to create a business card that could be duplicated and personalized later for each employee and different events. When he needed to create another business card for a different employee and/or event, he could either duplicate the front and back cards in the Artboards panel as before, or, with the Artboard tool selected and Move/Copy Artwork enabled in the Control panel, he could hold down the Option/Alt key while dragging a selected artboard. With everything in place, Putnam only had to select the text, graphic, or linked image that needed changing and quickly replace it. Because he could add up to 100 artboards in a single file, Putnam was now able to stay organized with just one file.
  6. Figure 2-33 Duplicating the artboard with the artwork by enabling the Move/Copy Artwork with Artboard icon and holding down the Option/Alt key

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