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Step-by-Step Artwork Preparation Guide with Illustrator

To make it easier for you, we put together a step-by-step instruction on how to set your artwork file with PakFactory’s dieline. Enjoy!

Step 1: Verification

Open PakFactory provided dieline on Illustrator and verify the job information at the bottom of the file.

Verification process for custom packaging artwork.

Step 2: Layer Set Up

Check to make sure that all layers except for ‘artwork’ are locked.

This ensures that the dieline specifications do not change.  

Layer set up for custom packaging.

Step 3: CMYK Color Mode

To ensure that you are working under CMYK color space, click on File > Document Color Mode > CMYK color and the tab of your artwork file should indicate (CMYK/Preview).

CMYK color mode for custom packaging.

Step 4: Artwork

Before you begin working on your artwork, it is MANDATORY that you follow our General Artwork Guideline or Artwork Guide Digital Corrugated for digital corrugated boxes,.

Part 1: Artwork can be created directly on the dieline or transferred from another file.

Make sure to include bleeds (artwork surpasses bleed line) if you do not want white borders on the edges of your boxes. See image below.

If you want to include a white border, make sure your artwork does not surpass the cutting line.

Merging the artwork with the custom packaging dieline.

Part 2: All texts must have outlines. Outline and select all text elements and go to Type > Create Outlines

*Important Note*: DO NOT flatten layers. Keep all artwork links visible and unbedded.

Creating a text outline for your custom package.

Step 5: Send File To PakFactory

Accepted File are Illustrator & PDF

Send the artwork AI and/or PDF file along with required font files  (if fonts are not standard) to the product specialist you were working with.


Step 6: Approval

Our designers will verify the artwork and we will will let you know if there are any additional requirements. Otherwise, once artwork is approved, you are good to go!

Does your box require 2 side printing?

Step 1: You will need two separate dielines (PakFactory will provide the two dielines) using one for your outside artwork and the other for the inside artwork.

Two sided printing for your custom package dieline.

Step 2: Follow Step 1-5  afterward for both dielines.

Step 3: When sending both files to PakFactory, make sure to indicate which dieline is for outside and inside printing along with the font files

(ex, filename_exterior.eps & filenane_interior.eps or filename_exterior.pdf & filename_interior.pdf)

Does your box require PMS color?

Step 1: Selecting Pantone Color Swatch

The Pantone Color Swatch PakFactory uses is Pantone + CMYK Coated. To access these colors, go to Swatches > Bottom Left Icon > Color Books > Pantone + CMYK Coated

Accessing the Pantone Color Swatch your custom box.

Step 2: Choose Your Colors

Now you are free to choose your Pantone Colors for your artwork. Avoid clicking on the left and right arrows to prevent you from switching to another color book.

You can choose up to 4 Pantone Colors for your artwork.

Choosing the right Pantone colors for your custom package.

Step 3: Indicate Pantone Color

It is very important that you add your Pantone Colors at the bottom of the artwork file indicating both the color and the color code to avoid delays. Our designers need this information for verification!

And there you have it! Follow these steps carefully and you will definitely have an easier time getting through the rest of the packaging process. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact us.

About author

Mark Velarga

Mark Velarga is PakFactory's Director of Digital & Content Marketing. He writes about all things related to design, business and technology and how it serves value to customers, business owners, packaging designers and industry experts. Connect with him on Linkedin.
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