So I received the dieline from my client as both a PDF and an EPS file. I prefer PDFs, so I loaded it into Adobe Illustrator…

It’d be sort of hard to design a vertical package this way, so I copied, pasted and rotated the dieline into a new Illustrator document. I always leave my dielines on their own layer, and set the Layer Options to “NOT PRINTABLE” (It’s still viewable on screen). I lock the layer so I don’t mess with it, then I start dropping on the elements I have (text first)…

The next step is going to be sampling my cover artwork for a general background color for my package – I don’t want it to look plain white, but I will be able to add design elements as I go so it won’t be a solid color… but first things first.

In Photoshop, I’m going to load the previous cover artwork I created when concepting the package in a previous project, and sample a CMYK color that I think will work well for the package’s artwork:

Sampling a CMYK color from the cover art

I’m going to go with a deep red, sampled from the background of the image. In this case, c0 m97 y100 k50. Next I’ll return to Illustrator and hash out a quick fill on a new “background” layer (below my “artwork” layer). I am careful to not cover the flaps with needless ink, especially where adhesive will be placed. I’m also going to place my existing cover art and do a quick resize of it in Illustrator for placement only (FPO):

Placing the existing artwork and color flood in a new layer

The cover art is going to need to be resized to fit the new dieline – I’ll do that in Photoshop, a little larger than the placed area. In Illustrator, I am going to create a rectangle to be used as a Clipping Mask for the artwork, which will hide the small bit of oversized art – it generally will help with positioning and fine-tuning.

Adding a rectangle to be used as a Clipping Path on the placed image.

The next thing I need to do is load my original Illustrator layout from my first mockup, and copy over the vector elements I used – logos, titles, text etc. because my client approved them for an initial presentation, but the sizing is a bit different now. Here’s a closeup:

Copying vector elements from original AI file.

And I will place it onto my new layout, and with a little fine-tuning and a guide to establish my center line… VOILA!

Placing and fine-tuning the front panel's vector elements, Net Wt, etc.

That’s enough for tonight… next time, I’ll start exploring design concepts for the back panel (on paper first, to present rough concepts to the client). ¬†Thanks for following along!

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