Dust Cover Design & Exporting Guide
Welcome to our dust cover design and exporting guide
If you are inexperienced in any design related work you may want to consider hiring a professional, there are many places to find designers for hire online. However if you do have some experience and familiarity with design programs you should be able to easily follow this guide to create print-ready files. Using our pre-made templates will make your work much easier and get you into the design process right away. These files can be downloaded and opened in either Adobe InDesign or Affinity Publisher.
Official documentation and learning:
You can use different programs to make print-ready art, but we are unable to offer guidance here on all programs. A print-ready file must conform to the following specs:
- PDF file (PDF-X4 if available)
- Proper size for your desired dust cover
- 1/8 inch (.125") bleed area included
- Raster art at least 300 dpi (Vector art recommended whenever possible)
- CMYK Colorspace
- Art centered on artboard
- Dieline on separate layer OR a file with and one without dieline supplied
To find the correct size dust cover for your candle measure from edge to edge of the inside of your candle vessel. Do not measure from the outer edges, as the dust cover must fit inside the vessel. Once you know the inside dimension we recommend downsizing .125" to .25". This will allow for some wiggle room if your wicks aren't perfectly centered, or if there is any variation in your candle vessels.
Example: If the inside dimension of your vessel is 2.875". Subtracting the recommended amount would give you the following sizes:
2.875 - .125 = 2.75"
2.875 - .25 = 2.625"
Another great option is to download the templates below you think may fit your vessel. Print them out, making sure you print them at 100% as to not change the size. Carefully cut along the dotted die-cutting line indicated on the dust cover template file. Place the cutout dust covers in your vessel to find which size best fits.
Below you are able to download any of our standard size dust cover templates. These range in size from 2" to 4" in 1/8" increments, with or without a pull tab. These template files are IDML files that can be opened in either Adobe InDesign or Affinity Publisher.
Let's cover the initial view when you open your template file. First let's look at the five layers in the layers panel.
Layer 1: Art - Design on this layer
The unlocked layer is called Art design on this layer. This is the layer you'll be using for your design.
Layer 2: Safety Margin Guide
This layer consists of a pink safety margin and a blue bleed margin, each are 1/8 in wide.
The Safety Margin indicates how far to place text and art from the edge of the dust cover as to not risk your design coming too close, or even being cut off of the final piece.
The Bleed Margin indicates how far art or background color should extend beyond the cutline.
Layer 3: Cutting Line
This shows the shape and size of the dust cover. The piece will cut along this line.
Layer 4: Preview
The Preview layer can be used to help get a better visual of how your final die-cut dust cover will look by covering up any art that bleeds. It helps to turn off the Safety Margin Guide when using the Preview Layer.
Layer 5: Template Info
This layer includes information like the size and details of the dust cover as well as the QR code and URL at the top.
That's a quick overview of the layers in our dust covers templates. These layers can be turned on and off to help as you create your design. All layers other than the Art Layer (Layer 1) are locked. These should stay locked and no art should be placed on them.
Now comes the fun part! You get to bring your design to life and create something unique for your brand. Get as creative as you want, just keep these things in mind as you go:
- Watch the template Bleed and Safety Margins. Remember that any art you want to go all the way to the edge of the piece (like a background color for example) should extend all the way to the outer edge of the blue Bleed Margin (it's fine if your art extends even further than the blue margin). Any art or text that you definitely don't want to risk getting cut off should remain inside of the magenta Safety Margin.
- Vector & Raster Art: We highly recommend text and any object that can be vector art should stay vector art. Only use raster art when necessary. Vector art will always print better than raster art. Vector art also gives us more color control if your file uses Pantone spot colors. Letterpress and foil-stamped designs must be vector art.
- Speaking of colors, work in CMYK and Pantone spot colors. We do not recommend working with RGB colors as these will not always print the way they appear on screen.
- Remember to keep all of your design on the Art Layer.
- Feel free to turn on and off any of the other layers as you work to help visualize your final piece.
Once your design is complete it's time to export a PDF. This is the file that will be used to print and there are a few specific options to select to make sure it's print-ready.
If you are working in InDesign follow these steps:
- Save your file (you have been all along, right?!)
- Navigate to File > Export
- Name and choose a destination for your PDF, then click Save
- In the first dropdown menu select PDF/X-4:2008
- In the same window find the group of checkboxes in the Options section and check Create Acrobat Layers
- Click Export, your PDF will be saved to the location you've chosen. Note that you may get a warning from Indesign about hidden layers, this is fine, just click OK.
You can save these options as a preset on the PDF export window to save time in the future.