web design Cohasset Massachusetts

Cohasset web agency

web design with html & css3

Hello and welcome to this web agency Web Designer Cohasset video tutorial.

I’m Owen Corso from Google.

web design tips web design words

And today, we’re going to build a rich media expandable creative with video.

Let’s start by selecting file, New File.

This opens a dialog box where we will set up our ad.

First, let’s make out high of project.

We have four options– The default is Display & Video 360so we will leave that as is.

web design resume template

Color in Design Systems

Sketch was made for screen-based design.
Websites, app interfaces, icons… these objects of design exist within a world of pixel measurements, RGB colors, and presentation on digital screens. Unlike many of the Adobe creative tools which include 10,000 features and the kitchen sink, Sketch is laser-focused in its purpose—and consequently works far better (and more efficiently) for what it does do.

Sketch was not made for print-based design.
Business cards, brochures, posters… these exist within a physical world of inch/centimeter/point/pica measurements, CMYK or Pantone colors, and presentation on a variety of papers and materials. Adobe Illustrator and InDesign are two of the most popular tools in this arena.

If you’re like me, you’re far more efficient working in Sketch.

And when a print design project rolls around, you might find yourself yearning to continue using the same tool you’ve become so adept at using for web/UI design. I want you to know that it’s possible. Here’s how I do it:

(full disclosure: Adobe Illustrator is required)

The Magic Number 72

Dating back to the craft of setting lead type for a printing press, the primary units of measurement were points (72 per inch) and picas (12 per inch). Lead type (pictured here) is measured in points, and is produced in pica or half-pica increments such as 12, 18, 24, 36, and 72 points. Those numbers should sound familiar to you, as they became standard digital font sizes with the Macintosh. The first Macs used screens where every inch contained 72 pixels, resulting in 12pt text that looked practically the same size onscreen as in print. The evolution of pixels per inch (PPI) is too extensive for this article (especially since the advent of retina displays), although it’s important to know a bit about the origins of this 72:1 ratio.

This article will mostly use inch measurements, as used for print design in the US. If you are familiar with a centimeter workflow, I’d love to hear from you!

Sketch measures everything in pixel units, so we need a way to convert our design to the physical world of inches. By now you may have guessed where this is going: 72 pixels in Sketch converts to 1 inch in an exported PDF.

  • An 8.5" × 11" piece of paper (US Letter) converts to a 612px × 792px artboard.
  • A typical 3.5" × 2" business card converts to a 252px × 144px artboard.
  • When adding a new artboard, Sketch 3 gives you a few “Paper Sizes” presets. Speed things up by adding your own custom artboard presets!

The pixel dimensions of a 72 PPI layout may be far smaller than you are used to when working on websites or user interfaces. Remember that the clarity of your print project is dictated by the print method you use—Sketch’s “Show Pixels” function is of no use here!

Tips for Designing Your Layout

  • For elements in your design, try to use measurements that make sense in inches. 1px = 1pt for lines and font-sizes. I’ll often use 1/8 inch (9px) or 1/16 inch (4.5px) increments for layout elements.
  • You can use Sketch’s Grid feature to make these inch-appropriate positions or measurements easier. I suggest a grid with a 9px (1/8 inch) block size and thick lines every 8 blocks (1 inch). Show/hide the grid with ⌃G on your keyboard.
  • You can turn off “Pixel Fitting” in Preferences. There’s no need to be a stickler for pixel alignment as you would be for screen-based design.

Margins & Bleeds

Professional print shops often require your artwork to have extra space on all sides, extending any parts of your design that “bleed” out to the edge (see example below). This compensates for the slight, yet inevitable, variance in where the edges are cut on your final print. My printer asks for a 1/8 inch bleed, and I often add this to my Sketch layout (9px extra on all sides). If your design has elements that bleed, I suggest you do the same—if not, you can easily add these extra margins later when saving a PDF from Illustrator. Printers will also recommend that any text is at least 1/8 inch inside the trim lines (a “safe zone” or “critical print area”), as in the business card below.

The “Trim Lines” indicate what the final card will look like. Because trimming is rarely 100% accurate, any parts of the design that extend to the very edge should continue out to a “Bleed”. Shown here, the bleed extends to 1/8 inch outside the artwork.

Preparing the File for Print

99% of print shops are strict about the specifications of your “artwork” files. The following process will help you give printers the files they want! If your layout relies heavily on images, gradients, or shadows, skip to the next section!

When you have finished your design in Sketch, export it as a PDF at 1x scale. Many programs, such as Preview or Adobe Illustrator will automatically interpret the file at 72 PPI. You can view the PDF’s dimensions in inches in Preview (Tools > Show Inspector, ⌘I), or in pixels using Finder’s Get Info window (under “More Info”). If you save your PDF through Illustrator, pixel and inch dimensions will be automatically included in the file.

There are 2 other things we need to change about Sketch’s exported PDF:

  1. Text needs to be “Converted to Outlines”.
  2. The colors need to be CMYK values instead of RGB.
  3. Any images in the design need to be embeded as CMYK images.

Converting Text to Outlines

To ensure that your design is printed exactly how you see it on your computer, it is important to convert the text objects in the PDF to actual vector shapes, or “outlines”. This makes the text look exactly the same on any program on any computer, regardless of the fonts you’ve used in the design, and regardless of whether or not those fonts are installed on the printer’s computer.

You can convert text to outlines in Sketch (more about that here), although if your design has more than a few lines of text, Sketch will slow down dramatically. If you want a guaranteed way to crash Sketch, try selecting a dozen text objects and converting them to outlines all at once! Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator excels in this department, so we’ll use that instead.

  • Open the PDF in Illustrator and navigate to Select > All (⌘A), from the menu bar.
  • Also in the menu bar, navigate to Type > Convert Text to Outlines (⌘⇧O). Easy as that!

Converting to CMYK Colors

After opening your PDF in Illustrator, navigate to File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color. This converts the entire document to a CMYK colorspace from RGB. That’s the easy step. Now we have to change the colors in our design to actual CMYK values.

If you’re used to screen-based design and appreciate great colors, I feel obligated to tell you that CMYK may disappoint you. Due to the nature of combining those 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) in ink, many bright and saturated colors are difficult or impossible to recreate. Without diving into color theory or the pros/cons of various print methods, I will simply suggest that for any color that is important to your design you see a sample of that exact color value from a similar printer on a similar material. To do this I recommend choosing a close match on a Pantone swatchbook (a bit pricey, but a great investment), or ask your printer for a printed sample of a variety of colors printed on the paper you’ll use (they probably already have these, and can give you each color’s CMYK value).

Once you’ve chosen great CMYK values for all your colors, it’s time to replace the color value for each of the elements in your design. This sounds tedious—and to a certain extent it is—but I’ve discovered a few shortcuts to help you!

  • First off, you will need to select the elements whose colors you want to change. If you aren’t familiar with Illustrator, know that a layer is only selected when you click the small circle to the right of it. Simply clicking on the layer’s name will not do anything!
  • If your design has many elements with the same color (say, all green text), they can be selected all at once by first selecting one instance of the element then clicking the “Select Similar Objects” button on the right of the toolbar. If this toolbar or button isn’t available, try navigating to Select > Same in the menu bar.
  • When your elements are selected, hold down the Shift key when you click on the fill color in the toolbar (fill color to the left, stroke/border color to the right). Even elements that are pure black need to be converted to CMYK black, for which there is a little swatch below the color sliders.

Last Step!

When all of your text has been converted to outlines and all of your colors are CMYK, it’s time to save a separate PDF (I add “-print” as a suffix to the new filename). By using File > Save As, you get a trillion options for the PDF. The single option I ever use is to add a bleed margin (my printer likes 1/8 inch) on all sides of the artwork. To do this, go to the “Marks and Bleeds” section on the left and uncheck “Use Document Bleed Settings”, as shown below.

You’re all done! Trust me, next time this process will take you half as long!

Is Your Design Image-Heavy?

If your Sketch design includes bitmap images (non-vector images), they will be automatically converted from RGB to CMYK when you change the Document Color Mode. Upon importing the PDF to Illustrator, any shadows in your design will be converted to bitmap images and any gradients will become un-editable “Non-Native Art”. Because of this, if images, shadows, or gradients are important to your design, I strongly suggest you instead save the entire Sketch layout as a PNG and convert it to a CMYK file in Photoshop using the following steps.

  1. Export the Sketch artboard as a PNG at 4.166x scale, which gives you the amount of pixels you’ll need for a 300 PPI print-ready file. Printers rarely accept bitmap images less than this resolution. Make sure your artboard includes the necessary bleed margins (described above) before export.
  2. Open the PNG in Photoshop and navigate to Image > Image Size, in the menu bar. Uncheck the “Resample” checkbox and type in either the artwork’s dimensions in inches or the “Pixels/Inch” you used when exporting from Sketch (again, this is often 300 PPI). Click “OK”.
  3. In the menu bar, navigate to Image > Mode > CMYK Color. This will alert you that Photoshop is converting the file to a default CMYK color profile. This step may visibly change the colors of your design. Rest assured that your computer screen is not an accurate representation of colors in print, although you should also not expect the same bright or saturated colors capable with RGB (as described above).
  4. Adjust the colors slightly if you desire, then Save As a .psd or .tif file. Be sure to tell the printer what bleed margins you included in the artwork!

Of course you can use this process in conjunction with the PDF + Illustrator workflow above, by embedding the Photoshopped images into your Illustrator document. But most of the time I stick to one process or the other.

Is This Workflow Right for You?

If you’re fast at designing in Sketch, feel more at ease or more creative using it, or aren’t very familiar with Illustrator/InDesign, this may be good for you. This may also be a useful workflow if you have existing designs from Sketch (an interface, icon, logo) that you want to prepare for professional printing. I can’t read the future, but with Bohemian Coding’s small team and success focusing on screen-based design, I don’t advise you to hold your breath for print features. It’s a huge can of worms!

Examples of projects made with this workflow. From packaging, to letterpressed business cards, to laser-engraved signage. This work for Juice Shop recently won the Type Directors Club’s prestigious annual design competition.

I’ve written this article to share my workflow for print design projects, but also to learn of ways that I might improve this workflow in the future. If you have any suggestions, especially related to Illustrator or the print process, feel free to share them!

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Cohasset web agency

Next, we can select the type of ad.

We want to make an expandable, so we select Expandable on the left.

Next, we can set again ad’s dimensions.

We are building a 320 by 50that expands to 480 by 250.

So I will make those changes.

We then assign the Cohasset creative a name.

I will leave my Save ToLocation as the default, and leave the talk about set to Quick.

Once I’m happy with my settings, I click OK.

Google Web Designer creates the initial pages of the ad for me with the dimensions I defined.

 

web agency Cohasset

The collapsed page already contains a Tap Area event to expand the ad and an expanded pageCohasset with a close tap area to collapse back down.

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7 future web design trends

web design wix

This reading list is for anyone who wants to learn or deepen their knowledge in the disciplines of User Research, Usability, Information Architecture, User-Interface Design, Interaction Design, Content Strategy or Experience Strategy.

The list is broad and includes books that exemplify design thinking, processes, methods, principles and best practices. Some of the books on this list are over 20 years old, yet still relevant more than ever.

There’s not a day where I don’t find myself applying the ideas from these books. Each has helped shaped the designer I am today, helped me advance my craft. I hope that you too, can extract the same value.

Last updated 09/10/2017

My Top Ten

  1. The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman
  2. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, Alan Cooper
  3. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, Jesse James Garrett
  4. The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, Leah Buley
  5. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, Jocelyn K. Glei, 99u
  6. A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, Donna Spencer
  7. Designing Together: The collaboration and conflict management handbook for creative professionals, Dan M. Brown
  8. Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences, Stephen Anderson
  9. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, Susan Weinschenk
  10. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

More Must-Reads On Thinking, Methods, Principles and Best Practices

I find it helpful to choose what to read based on what’s relevant at the time. Applying what you’re reading, as you’re thinking and making is a great way to solidify concepts, reflect and learn.

Some old, some new. All important reading, in no particular order.

Last updated 09/10/2017

  • The Shape of Design, Frank Chimero
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior, Indi Young
  • Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work, Indi Young
  • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, Steve Portigal
  • Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions, Bill Scott, Theresa Neil
  • The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life), John Maeda
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing for the Web and Beyond, Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld, Jorge Arango
  • Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, Saul Greenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale , Nicolai Marquardt, Bill Buxton
  • Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love, Jon Kolko
  • Thoughts on Interaction Design, Jon Kolko
  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin
  • Don’t Make Me Think AND Rocket Surgery Made Easy, Steve Krug
  • Designing Interfaces, Jennifer Tidwell
  • Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests, Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell
  • Designing Interactions, Bill Moggridge
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information AND Envisioning Information, Edward R. Tufte
  • A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making, Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler
  • Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
  • The Mobile Frontier: A Guide for Designing Mobile Experiences, Rachel Hinman
  • Design Is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable, Nathan Shedroff
  • Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide, Todd Zaki Warfel
  • Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences, Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, Darrel Rhea
  • Content Strategy for the Web, by Kristina Halvorson, Melissa Rach
  • Just Enough Research, Erika Hall
  • Design Is A Job, Mike Monteiro
  • Designing for Emotion, Aaron Walter
  • Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills, David Sherwin
  • Letting Go of The Words: Writing Web Content that Works, Janice (Ginny) Redish
  • Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design, Robert Hoekman Jr
  • Designing the Moment: Web Interface Design Concepts in Action, Robert Hoekman Jr
  • Designing for the Social Web, Joshua Porter
  • Undercover User Experience Design, Cennydd Bowles, James Box
  • Product Design for the Web: Principles of Designing and Releasing Web Products, Randy Hunt
  • Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, by Ben Shneiderman, Catherine Plaisant, Maxine Cohen, Steven Jacobs
  • This is Service Design Thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases, Marc Stickdorn, Jakob Schneider
  • Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences, Nancy Duarte
  • Metaskills: 5 Talents for the Robotic Age, Marty Neumeier
  • The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design, Marty Neumeier
  • Getting Real AND Rework, 37 Signals, Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
  • The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems, Jef Raskin
  • Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design, Giles Colborne
  • Search Patterns: Design for Discovery, Peter Morville, Jeffery Callender
  • Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Don Norman
  • Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click? Susan Weinschenk
  • Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services, Kim Goodwin
  • A Web For Everyone, Sarah Horton, Whitney Quesenbery
  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess, Abby Covert
  • Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results, Christina Wodtke
  • Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams, Peter Merholz, Kristin Skinner
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, Dan M. Brown
  • Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World, Peter Merholz, Todd Wilkens, Brandon Schauer, David Verba
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, Nir Eyal
  • The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity, Marty Neumeier
  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days, Braden Kowitz, Jake Knapp, and John Zeratsky
  • Designing with Data: Improving the User Experience with A/B Testing, Rochelle King, Elizabeth F Churchill, Caitlin Tan
  • Banish Your Inner Critic: Silence the Voice of Self-Doubt to Unleash Your Creativity and Do Your Best Work, Denise Jacobs
  • Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Designing Interface Animation: Meaningful Motion for User Experience, Val Head
  • Practical Design Discovery, Dan Brown
  • On Web Typography, By Jason Santa Maria
  • Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences, Cathy Pearl
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Donella H. Meadows
  • Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, Tom Kelley, David Kelley

More Useful Reading

Reading books is only a partial source of my inspiration and learning. I also frequently read blogs and articles. I highly recommend staying connected to these sources of great thought leadership:

  • Eleganthack, Christina Wodtke
  • Peter Merholz
  • The Year of the Looking Glass, Julie Zhuo
  • Bokardo, Joshua Porter
  • Information Architects, Oliver Reichenstein
  • Felt Presence, Ryan Singer
  • Whitney Hess
  • Disambiguity, Leisa Reichelt
  • Form and Function, Luke Wroblewski
  • Frank Chimero
  • Aral Balkan
  • David Cole
  • Seth Godin
  • Scott Berkun
  • Intercom
  • Google Ventures Design Library
  • Adaptive Path
  • Boxes and Arrows
  • UXmatters
  • UIE Brainsparks
  • UX Magazine
  • UX Booth
  • A List Apart
  • Smashing Magazine
  • Signal vs. Noise, Basecamp
  • 52 Weeks of UX

If you’ve found this article helpful, I would love to hear about it. Comment, tweet me or reach out to share your story: simon.pan@me.com

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💸 How to budget for your web design project 💸 - Web Design is Broken e05

Sketch was made for screen-based design.
Websites, app interfaces, icons… these objects of design exist within a world of pixel measurements, RGB colors, and presentation on digital screens. Unlike many of the Adobe creative tools which include 10,000 features and the kitchen sink, Sketch is laser-focused in its purpose—and consequently works far better (and more efficiently) for what it does do.

Sketch was not made for print-based design.
Business cards, brochures, posters… these exist within a physical world of inch/centimeter/point/pica measurements, CMYK or Pantone colors, and presentation on a variety of papers and materials. Adobe Illustrator and InDesign are two of the most popular tools in this arena.

If you’re like me, you’re far more efficient working in Sketch.

And when a print design project rolls around, you might find yourself yearning to continue using the same tool you’ve become so adept at using for web/UI design. I want you to know that it’s possible. Here’s how I do it:

(full disclosure: Adobe Illustrator is required)

The Magic Number 72

Dating back to the craft of setting lead type for a printing press, the primary units of measurement were points (72 per inch) and picas (12 per inch). Lead type (pictured here) is measured in points, and is produced in pica or half-pica increments such as 12, 18, 24, 36, and 72 points. Those numbers should sound familiar to you, as they became standard digital font sizes with the Macintosh. The first Macs used screens where every inch contained 72 pixels, resulting in 12pt text that looked practically the same size onscreen as in print. The evolution of pixels per inch (PPI) is too extensive for this article (especially since the advent of retina displays), although it’s important to know a bit about the origins of this 72:1 ratio.

This article will mostly use inch measurements, as used for print design in the US. If you are familiar with a centimeter workflow, I’d love to hear from you!

Sketch measures everything in pixel units, so we need a way to convert our design to the physical world of inches. By now you may have guessed where this is going: 72 pixels in Sketch converts to 1 inch in an exported PDF.

  • An 8.5" × 11" piece of paper (US Letter) converts to a 612px × 792px artboard.
  • A typical 3.5" × 2" business card converts to a 252px × 144px artboard.
  • When adding a new artboard, Sketch 3 gives you a few “Paper Sizes” presets. Speed things up by adding your own custom artboard presets!

The pixel dimensions of a 72 PPI layout may be far smaller than you are used to when working on websites or user interfaces. Remember that the clarity of your print project is dictated by the print method you use—Sketch’s “Show Pixels” function is of no use here!

Tips for Designing Your Layout

  • For elements in your design, try to use measurements that make sense in inches. 1px = 1pt for lines and font-sizes. I’ll often use 1/8 inch (9px) or 1/16 inch (4.5px) increments for layout elements.
  • You can use Sketch’s Grid feature to make these inch-appropriate positions or measurements easier. I suggest a grid with a 9px (1/8 inch) block size and thick lines every 8 blocks (1 inch). Show/hide the grid with ⌃G on your keyboard.
  • You can turn off “Pixel Fitting” in Preferences. There’s no need to be a stickler for pixel alignment as you would be for screen-based design.

Margins & Bleeds

Professional print shops often require your artwork to have extra space on all sides, extending any parts of your design that “bleed” out to the edge (see example below). This compensates for the slight, yet inevitable, variance in where the edges are cut on your final print. My printer asks for a 1/8 inch bleed, and I often add this to my Sketch layout (9px extra on all sides). If your design has elements that bleed, I suggest you do the same—if not, you can easily add these extra margins later when saving a PDF from Illustrator. Printers will also recommend that any text is at least 1/8 inch inside the trim lines (a “safe zone” or “critical print area”), as in the business card below.

The “Trim Lines” indicate what the final card will look like. Because trimming is rarely 100% accurate, any parts of the design that extend to the very edge should continue out to a “Bleed”. Shown here, the bleed extends to 1/8 inch outside the artwork.

Preparing the File for Print

99% of print shops are strict about the specifications of your “artwork” files. The following process will help you give printers the files they want! If your layout relies heavily on images, gradients, or shadows, skip to the next section!

When you have finished your design in Sketch, export it as a PDF at 1x scale. Many programs, such as Preview or Adobe Illustrator will automatically interpret the file at 72 PPI. You can view the PDF’s dimensions in inches in Preview (Tools > Show Inspector, ⌘I), or in pixels using Finder’s Get Info window (under “More Info”). If you save your PDF through Illustrator, pixel and inch dimensions will be automatically included in the file.

There are 2 other things we need to change about Sketch’s exported PDF:

  1. Text needs to be “Converted to Outlines”.
  2. The colors need to be CMYK values instead of RGB.
  3. Any images in the design need to be embeded as CMYK images.

Converting Text to Outlines

To ensure that your design is printed exactly how you see it on your computer, it is important to convert the text objects in the PDF to actual vector shapes, or “outlines”. This makes the text look exactly the same on any program on any computer, regardless of the fonts you’ve used in the design, and regardless of whether or not those fonts are installed on the printer’s computer.

You can convert text to outlines in Sketch (more about that here), although if your design has more than a few lines of text, Sketch will slow down dramatically. If you want a guaranteed way to crash Sketch, try selecting a dozen text objects and converting them to outlines all at once! Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator excels in this department, so we’ll use that instead.

  • Open the PDF in Illustrator and navigate to Select > All (⌘A), from the menu bar.
  • Also in the menu bar, navigate to Type > Convert Text to Outlines (⌘⇧O). Easy as that!

Converting to CMYK Colors

After opening your PDF in Illustrator, navigate to File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color. This converts the entire document to a CMYK colorspace from RGB. That’s the easy step. Now we have to change the colors in our design to actual CMYK values.

If you’re used to screen-based design and appreciate great colors, I feel obligated to tell you that CMYK may disappoint you. Due to the nature of combining those 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) in ink, many bright and saturated colors are difficult or impossible to recreate. Without diving into color theory or the pros/cons of various print methods, I will simply suggest that for any color that is important to your design you see a sample of that exact color value from a similar printer on a similar material. To do this I recommend choosing a close match on a Pantone swatchbook (a bit pricey, but a great investment), or ask your printer for a printed sample of a variety of colors printed on the paper you’ll use (they probably already have these, and can give you each color’s CMYK value).

Once you’ve chosen great CMYK values for all your colors, it’s time to replace the color value for each of the elements in your design. This sounds tedious—and to a certain extent it is—but I’ve discovered a few shortcuts to help you!

  • First off, you will need to select the elements whose colors you want to change. If you aren’t familiar with Illustrator, know that a layer is only selected when you click the small circle to the right of it. Simply clicking on the layer’s name will not do anything!
  • If your design has many elements with the same color (say, all green text), they can be selected all at once by first selecting one instance of the element then clicking the “Select Similar Objects” button on the right of the toolbar. If this toolbar or button isn’t available, try navigating to Select > Same in the menu bar.
  • When your elements are selected, hold down the Shift key when you click on the fill color in the toolbar (fill color to the left, stroke/border color to the right). Even elements that are pure black need to be converted to CMYK black, for which there is a little swatch below the color sliders.

Last Step!

When all of your text has been converted to outlines and all of your colors are CMYK, it’s time to save a separate PDF (I add “-print” as a suffix to the new filename). By using File > Save As, you get a trillion options for the PDF. The single option I ever use is to add a bleed margin (my printer likes 1/8 inch) on all sides of the artwork. To do this, go to the “Marks and Bleeds” section on the left and uncheck “Use Document Bleed Settings”, as shown below.

You’re all done! Trust me, next time this process will take you half as long!

Is Your Design Image-Heavy?

If your Sketch design includes bitmap images (non-vector images), they will be automatically converted from RGB to CMYK when you change the Document Color Mode. Upon importing the PDF to Illustrator, any shadows in your design will be converted to bitmap images and any gradients will become un-editable “Non-Native Art”. Because of this, if images, shadows, or gradients are important to your design, I strongly suggest you instead save the entire Sketch layout as a PNG and convert it to a CMYK file in Photoshop using the following steps.

  1. Export the Sketch artboard as a PNG at 4.166x scale, which gives you the amount of pixels you’ll need for a 300 PPI print-ready file. Printers rarely accept bitmap images less than this resolution. Make sure your artboard includes the necessary bleed margins (described above) before export.
  2. Open the PNG in Photoshop and navigate to Image > Image Size, in the menu bar. Uncheck the “Resample” checkbox and type in either the artwork’s dimensions in inches or the “Pixels/Inch” you used when exporting from Sketch (again, this is often 300 PPI). Click “OK”.
  3. In the menu bar, navigate to Image > Mode > CMYK Color. This will alert you that Photoshop is converting the file to a default CMYK color profile. This step may visibly change the colors of your design. Rest assured that your computer screen is not an accurate representation of colors in print, although you should also not expect the same bright or saturated colors capable with RGB (as described above).
  4. Adjust the colors slightly if you desire, then Save As a .psd or .tif file. Be sure to tell the printer what bleed margins you included in the artwork!

Of course you can use this process in conjunction with the PDF + Illustrator workflow above, by embedding the Photoshopped images into your Illustrator document. But most of the time I stick to one process or the other.

Is This Workflow Right for You?

If you’re fast at designing in Sketch, feel more at ease or more creative using it, or aren’t very familiar with Illustrator/InDesign, this may be good for you. This may also be a useful workflow if you have existing designs from Sketch (an interface, icon, logo) that you want to prepare for professional printing. I can’t read the future, but with Bohemian Coding’s small team and success focusing on screen-based design, I don’t advise you to hold your breath for print features. It’s a huge can of worms!

Examples of projects made with this workflow. From packaging, to letterpressed business cards, to laser-engraved signage. This work for Juice Shop recently won the Type Directors Club’s prestigious annual design competition.

I’ve written this article to share my workflow for print design projects, but also to learn of ways that I might improve this workflow in the future. If you have any suggestions, especially related to Illustrator or the print process, feel free to share them!

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I just released Sketch Master — online training courses for professionals learning Sketch. You’ll learn tons of tricks and practical workflows, by designing real-world UI/UX and app icon projects.

Sketch Master
Sketch Master is a collection of video training courses for professionals learning Sketch—the popular design tool. sketchmaster.com web design with html & css3 Image by bluesbby / CC BY

Intuit has open-sourced ‘Karate’, a framework that makes the tall claim that the business of testing web-APIs can actually be — fun.

I know what you must be thinking. There’s no way that making HTTP requests and navigating the forest of data that is returned could be fun.

But really, that’s what developers who tried Karate had to say. It actually didn’t surprise us. Because Karate was born out of a strong dis-satisfaction with the current state of solutions that exist. And a lot of thought went into Karate to keep it simple and elegant, to allow the user to focus on the functionality instead of boiler-plate, and to keep things concise.

Karate strives to reduce the entry barrier to writing a test and more importantly — reduces the friction to maintain a test, because of how readable tests become.

The obligatory “Hello World” example may throw some light on the unique approach that Karate takes.

Hello World!

So if you found that compelling, and if you or your teams are in the business of testing complex web-service APIs, be it REST, SOAP, JSON, XML or GraphQL — do check out Karate.

Karate is in the early stages of adoption by teams within Intuit, but we decided to open-source this right away, so as to accelerate the process of community feedback. It is our firm belief that Karate is already equipped to take on the challenge of testing any real-world web-service, and the feature-list on the home page is a testament to this.

And your feedback can make it more awesome. It would be great to see your feature requests on the GitHub project page, and do pass on the link to those who you feel would benefit from what Karate has to offer.

And remember, testing web-services can be fun!