Presentation folders can be a daunting thing to create for the first time but they are really not so complicated. We have templates available in both Adobe Illustrator EPS (version 8) and PDF formats. These templates show exactly where the die cuts and scores are located, you only need to choose the appropriate template and supply the art.
For this discussion we will assume that you are going to build your presentation folder in a page layout application such as InDesign or QuarkXPress. We will also assume that you have access to Adobe Illustrator or similar vector program (such as FreeHand or CorelDraw). You may also choose to build your folder directly in Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, CorelDraw, or even Photoshop or PhotoPAINT if you prefer. The process is essntially the same in each case, only the application specific commands will differ.
To better illustrate this let's build a folder from a real template. For this example we will use one of our provided templates for a 9" x 12" folder with one 4" pocket on the left side (inside front cover) and with no business card slits. Here is the link to the EPS used in this example: No Card Slit - EPS
Step 1: Determine the Actual Trim Size of Your Folder
This is easy, simply open the EPS file in Adobe Illustrator (or similar program) and select the outer edge of the die (hint: it is colored red with a funny name in the file). Make a note of the dimensions of this shape (length and width) because this will become the overall size of your document (hint: this information is shown in both the Info and Transform palettes).
In this example the template dimensions are 18.75" x 16".
Step 2: Set Up Your Document
In your page layout program create a single-page document that is 18.75" wide and 16" high. In your layer palette create a new layer and name it Die. Drag this layer to the top of the list if it is not already there.
Step 3: Import Your Die
Next, import the die EPS file into your document and place it at these (upper left corner) coordinates: X = 0, Y = 0. Make sure that you place it on the Die layer. Lock this layer. Now you are ready to start building your art.
Step 4: Building Your Art
First, you may notice that the pocket is located at the bottom of the right side of the die. This is because dies are always made as looking at the outside of the piece laid flat. Thus, the front cover is on the right side (with the pocket below) and the back cover is on the left side. Never fear, this pocket will be on Remember that any art that will appear on the pocket must be rotated 180 degrees and placed upside down as you see it here.
You should place your art on either an existing unused layer (Layer 1) or add a new layer for your art. I prefer to place this layer below the locked die layer so that I can always see the die while placing my art but you may drag your art layer up or down as you prefer while designing your folder. You should always drag the die to the top when you are finished with your design so that you can double-check your art and make certain that everything lines up and bleeds correctly.
To make things easier, you will want to start by dragging a few layout guides onto your page. Put the first vertical guide at 9" (the center fold). Place another at 18" (the front cover right trim edge), and place a third at 18.125" (the cover bleed). Now place a horizontal guide at 12" (the pocket fold) and another at 12.125" .
If your design has elements that stop at the fold they should be snapped to the guide that you placed at 9". You should extend any element that bleeds .125" beyond the trim edges (the red lines) in all directions (except for the glue tab).
It is not necessary to extend your art into the glue tab area beyond the .125" bleed (the guide that you placed at 18.125"). The .75" glue tab (located on the right side of the die) has a knockout incorporated into the art to prevent any excess bleed from interfering with the glueing process.
If your design bleeds on all sides there will be bleed extending beyond your document page at the top, the left, and the bottom sides when your design is finshed.
If your design has printing on the inside of the folder then for design purposes the die is simply mirrored on your inside page. The pocket and .75" glue tab will now be on the left side. There will be printing on the pocket so your art will stop at 12.125" (the height of the folded cover plus .125" bleed at the bottom. Remember to extend your bleeds at the top and sides.
Good luck! Don't hesitate to call us if you are having trouble with your design or if have any other questions.