A gang of cards

Imposing a number of bleeding business cards onto a press sheet


As a designer, you normally create your designs on a page the size of the final product. If you have an element that bleeds off the page, you let it overlap the page boundary. Then you hand it off to the printer to mass produce.

In this case, you are going to become your own print shop. You have a need for a small number of official-looking business cards and will use your own inkjet printer to produce them.

To save money you will create a layout to fit as many cards as possible onto the sheet.

This is what the commercial printer would do. They would impose the cards on the sheet. They might do this with InDesign or use special imposition software.

You will create your own page impostion, with allowances for the bleed areas and crop marks to guide trimming.

The exercise:

After reading chapter three in Real World Print Production, you will be able to create this layout.

Your print shop will print your cards on a letter-sized sheet.

Create a quick business card design that has some imagery bleeding off the edge.

Use the standard 3.5 x 2" card size and plan your layout to fit 8 cards onto the sheet. You will need to give yourself enough space between them to trim them with your Exacto knife. The print shop would need at least 1/8th inch; but they have a big computer-controlled guillotine cutter; so give yourself 1/4 inch.

Set up the layout grid, add the trim marks for every cut; place them around the edges of the group of cards.

Place your card design over the grid. Include the bleeds.

Save this as a PDF X1a.

Turn this in to the appropriate folder in AVA Classes>GRDSN142 Dropoff folder.

Print a test sheet on the laser printer and cut out one of the cards. (When you make the horizontal cuts, the vertical trim marks are disconnected! Make some light pencil lines to guide the vertical cuts before making the horizontal cuts.)