Preparing your working surface
First tape your working surface to your drawing board so that it doesn’t move while you are working. Then use your T-square and set square to mark out the printing area – the outside line of your ad. If you have a border, a line around the ad, then draw the line in black. If not, draw the edge of the area to be printed in light blue pencil, so that it doesn’t show up when photographed. Your working surface should be big enough to have a 50mm margin all around the printing area.
If you are doing a brochure, use this margin to draw the various reference marks for the printer in black. These are the trim lines and any fold lines.
• Trim lines are lines at the four corners of the printing area, which show the printer where to trim or cut the brochure to size.
• Similarly, the fold lines indicate where it is to be folded.
Now draw, with your blue pencil again, where each element is to go. Refer to your layout, making sure that you get each piece in exactly the right position. Use your T-square, ruler and set square (and protractor if necessary) to ensure that your lines are straight and your angles correct. Don’t worry if you overdraw, or if you make a mistake. The lines won’t photograph.
It is best to start with your key element first – it may be your main illustration or your headline or a particularly complicated picture; once you have got that right, relate the rest to it.
Laying down the artwork
Now you are ready to put it all together. Do it one step at a time, and you should have no problems.
1. Draw in any rules or key lines, in black. Rules are straight lines to be printed, such as a ‚box‘ around a particular piece of text, or a line dividing one part of the ad from another. Keylines are usually also straight lines, but they are there just to indicate divisions between one colour and another. For example, if you want a particular panel to be printed in cerise while the rest of the background is pink, you would draw a keyline around it, and indicate on your overlay which colours are to go where.
2. If the line drawings are the right size, paste them down one at a time; make sure that they are in exactly the right position and at the right angle, using your T-square to ensure that they are correctly aligned. Cover them with a piece of tracing paper and press down firmly. If they have to be enlarged to reduced to fit, then just mark where they are to go on the artwork at the enlarged or reduced size, and supply the original drawings to the printer separately.
3. Unless the photographer has supplied reference prints, do not paste down any photographs. Simply draw a solid line around each photograph’s precise position, and supply the photographs to the printer separately. Number each position, and write the corresponding number on the back of each photograph. Paste down any reference prints into their correct position.
4. Lay down the typeset text, unposted. The typesetter should have set the text to the right measure for each section, but if your layout is complicated you may have to cut it with your scalpel to fit it round the illustrations or logo. If, despite your calculations, the typeset copy is too long to fit (and it does happen), you should be able to cut out a line or two before pasting. Make sure that you cut it absolutely parallel with the lines of text so that it will fit easily onto your guidelines. When you are satisfied that it is right for the space allowed, paste it down.
5. If you plan to use flashes, you can buy sheets of different kinds from an art shop, and simply transfer them to the artwork, pasting them down in the correct position.
Source: Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith