10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2009 4:57 PM by JimSned

    Need help with a few basic things

    JimSned Level 1

      Hi, I'm working on a simple design project--a CD cover.  It's been a long time since I took an Illustrator class, but I've retained enough to import and position my artwork and to get the text where I want it.  I have just a few questions.

       

      1. How do I resize the entire piece so it will print out the proper size?  The cover should be about 4 3/4" x 4 3/4", but the default size that popped up when I started the document appears to be 8" x 11".  I went to Document Setup but saw nothing about resizing.

       

      2. How do I select and paint the entire background with one color?  (I know this is a really basic thing, but my memory eludes me.)

       

      3.  A continuation of #2--I may want to have the artwork, which is a black-and-white line drawing, to have the same color as the background.  That is, I want the black drawing itself to stay black, but for the white interiors of the drawing to have the background color.  So I'd like to know how to do that, as well as make the drawing stay in front of the background color without becoming colored (so I can add a separate color later).

       

      4.  I want the text to not be part of the colored background.  How do I keep it with its own color?

       

      Thanks for your patience and help!

        • 1. Re: Need help with a few basic things
          Scott Falkner Level 5

          You did not state what version of Illustrator you are using. ALWAYS state that, preferably in the subject line, so we know what tools you have available. Based on question 1, I assume you are using Illustrator 14, aka CS4.


          1. Use the Artboard Tool. Click on the tool that looks like a square with crop marks, then click on the page you want to resize. If there’s only one page, then this is done already. Now either resize the page from the sides or corners or enter a new size in the control panel.
            Screen shot 2009-11-01 at 10.42.04 AM.png  Screen shot 2009-11-01 at 10.42.39 AM.png
          2. Illustrator is object oriented. You need to have an object on the artboard to give it a fill colour. So you’ll ned to draw a rectangle and fill it with the background colour you want. I suggest you create a new layer for this, lock the layer after drawing the rectangle, then dragging the layer to the bottom of the layer stack.
          3. Try to make the illustration o compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). It can be trick to get right. You might have better luck using Live Paint (Object > Live Paint > Make). Once you have a Live Paint object you can then use the Live Paint tools to fill and stroke the object more Photoshop.
            Screen shot 2009-11-01 at 10.51.00 AM.png
          4. I don’t understand this question. Text is always a separate object, so can always be coloured independently of the background or surrounding artwork. Can you post a screen shot showing what you mean and explain how you can’t do what you want?

          You are asking some very basic questions. You should get a book to help you become more familiar with the program. The Visual Quick Start series is very good for beginners and scales well to intermediate once you are more familiar with the program
          • 2. Re: Need help with a few basic things
            JETalmage Level 6
            ...but I've retained enough to import and position my artwork....
            What kind of artwork. What kind of file have you imported?

             

            I went to Document Setup but saw nothing about resizing.
            You didn't see any value fields labeled things like Size, Units, Width, Height?

             

            How do I select and paint the entire background with one color?

            You don't. A brand-new empty document in Illustrator is not white. It is empty. There is no background. This is not Photoshop. If you need color for a "background", you create an object and fill it with color.

             

             

            A continuation of #2--I may want...a black-and-white line drawing, to have the same color as the background.  That is, I want the black drawing itself to stay black, but for the white interiors of the drawing to have the background color.
            This is a decidely print-oriented program. "White" does not mean "print white ink." It means "print no ink." That's true whether the "white" is pixels in an imported raster image (which you haven't yet verified), or whether it is the empty space of the AI document.
            (There are ways to set up for printing of an actual white ink, [using spot color] but that is not considered "usual and customary" in programs like Illustrator. The assumption is always translucent inks like those used in offset printing.)

             

            4.  I want the text to not be part of the colored background.  How do I keep it with its own color?
            Simply make the text whatever color you want it to be. It is a separate object from your imported whatever-it-is.

             

            You need to check with whomever is going to print the labels for you. If you are doing them yourself on some kind of desktop printer, read the documentation. CD label printers come in several kinds. Some print with halftone dots from fairly opaque resin-based ribbons. Others are merely glorified inkjet printers. Some print directly on the disk. Others print on an adhesive label. Some print only line art; others print continuous-tone. Some print only spot color; others print full color.

             

            JET

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Need help with a few basic things
              JimSned Level 1

              Sorry, about that--my version is CS 4 (tryout).

              • 4. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                JimSned Level 1
                ...but I've retained enough to import and position my artwork....
                >What kind of artwork. What kind of file have you imported?

                 

                It has a ".bmp" tag.

                 

                 

                I went to Document Setup but saw nothing about resizing.
                >You didn't see any value fields labeled things like Size, Units, Width, Height?

                 

                No, I see "Bleed and View Options", Transparency", and "Type Options."

                 

                 

                 

                How do I select and paint the entire background with one color?

                >You don't. A brand-new empty document in Illustrator is not white. It is empty. There is no background. This is not Photoshop. If you need color for a "background", you create an object and fill it with color.

                 

                Yes, thanks.  I knew I was not saying correctly.

                 

                 

                 


                 

                • 5. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                  JimSned Level 1
                  >You are asking some very basic questions. You should get a book to help you become more familiar with the program. The Visual Quick Start series is very good for beginners and scales well to intermediate once you are more familiar with the program.

                  As I mentioned, I do know these are basic questions.  The trouble with books is that you often have to hunt, and hunt some more to find the answer to your question.  Books aren't always written in such a way that can answer specific questions--they speak in generalities, from the mind of the author, rather than from the mind of a user.  They're good at telling you what things are, but they often don't tell you how to use them or why you'd want to use them.

                  I've always enjoyed these types of forums, because they're like having a teacher at your side--people can answer specific questions instantly, and show you how to do it, for your specific circumstance.  Books assume you know nothing and often require you to read a lot of build-up information that may or may not be able to help.

                  • 6. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                    JETalmage Level 6
                    I've always enjoyed these types of forums, because they're like having a teacher at your side--

                     

                    Funny. If I may be so presumptuous as to consider myself one of the "teachers"--I learned the program by:

                     

                    Reading the instructions.

                    Working the examples in the instructions.

                    Practice & experimentaiton.

                     

                    Asking specific questions here about specific techniques, or ideas, or new approaches, or problems, etc., etc. is one thing. Asking very basic questions about how to operate the program is another. I suspect that's all Scott was saying, and I concur.

                     

                    I can absolutely GUARANTEE you that reading a book, working the examples in the book, practice and experimentation will be a much shorter path to becoming proficient than typing how-to questions in this forum and awaiting answers (which are as often wrong as correct) for every little basic thing you stumble over in the interface.

                     

                    Not telling you what to do, of course. I'm certainly no forum Sherrif here. Just some of that good teacher-like advice you enjoy so much here.

                     

                    JET

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                      jay fresno Level 1

                      You might also consider taking an Illustrator class. I think it's a good way to get a grasp of the basics before "practice and experimenting."

                      • 8. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                        JimSned Level 1

                        JET, Jay, and Scott, you're absolutely right.  It's just that I'm lazy.

                         

                        I have in fact taken two Illustrator classes--but about six years ago.  And I have the Illustrator 10 manual, which, I figure should have the basic answers as I do think that basic answers don't change (that much), no matter what version you have.

                         

                        The problem is that I rarely use Illustrator--maybe once every three years.  But I feel that I have retained enough of the fundamental intutitiveness of the program that I should be able to figure it out without having to re-learn it all over again.  Every now and then, though, I hit a stumbling block where I just can't quite remember a basic move.  And experimenting-- though it can be satisfying when you finally figure it out--spends a lot of time.

                         

                        Thanks for your thoughts, and help.

                         

                        Jim

                        • 9. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                          JETalmage Level 6
                          fundamental intutitiveness of the program

                           

                          Now I know you need to give yourself a refresher course.

                           

                          ;-)

                           

                          JET

                          • 10. Re: Need help with a few basic things
                            JimSned Level 1

                            Hmmm... maybe that's my trouble?  (aside from not being able to type "intuitiveness")