10 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2010 2:05 PM by Wade_Zimmerman

    Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging

    gingeralenz Level 1

      what are your thoughts?

       

      i'm pro illustrator because it's what i've always used, and most people use it in my country. Our IT guys keep suggesting we must change to indesign. There are a few annoying things about using indesign for packaging. 1. there is no way to collect links in illustrator. 2. Indesign has no keyline mode like illustrator. 3. When you make a box and add a stroke or take a stroke away the box dimensions change.

        • 1. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
          [scott] Level 6

          My preferences... Indesign for anything with multiple pages - i.e. booklets, brochures, manuals, etc. And illustrator for anything with a non-standard shape. I don't see any inherent reason why Indesign would be better for packaging over Illustrator. Other than possibly the fact that more users are more comfortable with Indesign than Illustrator.

          • 2. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Our IT guys keep suggesting we must change to indesign.

             

            Why would anyone with brains suggest such a thing? Latest at the point when you need to create a die-cut template with complex curves, stamping and varnish plates you will be going back to AI no matter what.

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
              gingeralenz Level 1

              He is suggesting drawing all vector art in illustrator and doing all images in ps and bringing it all together into indesign. He thinks its a better workflow for output, this may be the case for most print design firms, but i tend to disagree for packaging. My normal workflow is to bring it all into illustrator, but... recently we've had some large packaging jobs with lots of transparent psds, it was pretty taxing on the system. It got me thinking gee perhaps there is a different way of doing things, indesign does handle multiple psds better than illustrator. But theres certain things in indesign that make me a bit weary of trying it. Please comment.

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              • 4. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                I think the IT is seeing this from a different vantage point and might have learnt about a workflow that does not actually make sense although to them it would seem to be quit logical.

                 

                That is they are being influence from someone who has no real packaging experience. Die cut info is usually sent by way of Illustrator to either .dwg or dxf or some third party software that will do this conversion. i am not certain I have ever heard that this can be accomplished by InDesign.

                 

                As far as the stroke issue in Illustrator you can align the stroke to the inside of the path so that the outer dimension does not change you do this in the stroke panel.

                 

                Strokes.jpg

                 

                And if you are using the path to cut a window in that package you can align the stroke to the outside of the path as well so that the die does not cut stroke. Yu can also in either case use the Effect>Path>Offset Path command to adjust the position of the stroke by first highlighting it in the appearance panel.

                • 5. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                  There is also a script to collect link images as well for AI and a plug in to collect images and fonts.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    Yeah, of course AI is not the best when using transparencies... Still, I don't see why that should be per se a reason to switch to ID. You could of course add bitmap data in ID, but you'd still prepare the shapes in AI for the simple reason that everything needs to be aligned perfectly and you can easily extract additional "plates" for hot stamping, varnishing etc. which will often require to save them as entirely separate files with custom registration crosshairs and additional markers (mounting points for cutting blades fo instance). IMO that is much easier to do in AI. For some workflows you would actually even want to avoid any tripping to ID alltogether, as placing your files on the document/ PDF level would add additional bounding box info, which could complicate things again (changes relative position info or may mess up the logic of internal paths)... Really depends on what you do. Even at the most rudimentary level, AI's concept of a single huge canvas that can be arbitrarily separated into artboards works much better for me for any "infinite" design such as packaging presents.

                     

                    Mylenium

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                    • 7. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                      gingeralenz Level 1

                      Thanks guys some useful suggestions there. Had a quick search for scripts but couldnt find any compatible with cs5. Which one were you referring to? It would be incredibly handy at work. We do mainly send files out as pdfs, but often get requests for open files and would be great for collecting links internally.

                       

                      Regarding strokes sorry my post wasnt worded well, I meant my issues with strokes were in indesign. If you draw a box 100x100 and add a stroke or take away a stroke indesign takes into account the stroke for the boxes dimensions. Maybe I missed something but I couldnt find a way to make indesign treat strokes like illustrator. It was also another reason not to use indesign for packaging.

                      • 8. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                        Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                        InDesign CS 4 and 5 work the same as Illustrator as far as strokes. ID takes lots of features from ID but some of the features in ID's stroke panel are not worth much for instance their select of preset strokes, they look fine when zoomed out but take a close look zoomed in and they stink in the corners and the diagonal line borders go the wrong way on the vertical returns.

                         

                        Here is the stroke alignments.

                         

                        Go to the Illustrator Script Forum they may have this available I think this was an optional script in either CS 2 or 3 I do not see it any more.

                         

                        This one does a package it is called Package

                         

                        http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?s=5&o=desc&exc=17&cat=210&event=productHom e&l=%2D1&from=3

                         

                        There are others on the exchange as well.

                         

                        I point out this script is by what looks like a russian user. But i t has a fair amount of downloads and good ratings.

                         

                        More powerful at a cost is Worker 72a's Scoop does even more like extracts embedded images and then I believe links them for you. And fonts of course.

                         

                        http://www.worker72a.com/72a_Pages/CS3_Plug-ins.htm#SCP

                         

                        Yes I do not know if these work with CS5 as of yet.

                        • 9. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                          Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                          Ok I found it and it is in he Scripting Folder of the AI CS5 application folder installed on your hard drive  you find it s such. No need to buy if you just need the images collected.

                           

                          Screen shot 2010-05-28 at 5.03.07 PM.png

                          • 10. Re: Indesign vs Illustrator for packaging
                            gingeralenz Level 1

                            thankyou very much! will try it out on monday.