Working with patterns in Illustrator 5

Hello Everyone!

I found some beautiful patterns on Graphicriver (Envato) and I would like to use them to create business cards. I am creating these in Illustrator CS5. I already know that I can just place the pattern in Illustrator and drag into the appropriate window (can’t remember which), but the image is 2000 x 5000 pixels and I am afraid it might increase the file size.

My question is what is the best way to place these textures or patterns onto the business card. Should I make the pattern smaller in Photoshop or can I just use the pattern as it is?

I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

If you are using Illustrator, I would save the file as a PDF as this gives you the option to crop image data to what is used.

You can use Photoshop to shrink or crop the pattern, then place the new version (always keep the original file) in Illustrator. You will have to make sure than you end up with around 300dpi at the appropriate size, including any bleed required.
At 300dpi, 2000x5000 pixels is 6.67x16.67 inches or 423x169mm so the quality will be good enough even with bleed.

It also works out at 28.6Mb file for RGB and 38.1Mb for CMYK so it is a big file, especially because the printer will likely step it up x45 or so. The good news is that you are scaling it down so at business card size and 300dpi you will have a file around 2.5-3Mb.

A note to all, the OP is using CS5 so some features like Package aren’t available.
The important part here is to Place the image in Illustrator. Don’t embed it. Be sure to create a folder that holds both the .ai file and the image link. A true Package would also include the font files used but that is getting iffy these days anyway.

Then for handoff to a printer, Save As a PDF using the parameters your printer has given you. Sometimes they will have a file called Job Options and instructions on how to use them when creating your PDF. If you are granted such a boon, USE THEM! If your printer is recommending .jpg handoff, reconsider your print vendor…

Image size of the texture at final print size should be around 300ppi for business cards.
Mask your image so you don’t have junk hanging off outside your trim bleed.
Don’t forget your bleeds!

As far as I know, if you keep the resolution at 300dpi, reducing the dimensions of the image in Photoshop won’t affect its quality.

Depends on what you mean by “reducing the dimensions.”
Assuming the image is 300ppi to begin with, If you uncouple the resample box, and tell photoshop to keep the image at 300ppi while reducing the dimensions, Photoshop has to dump some of the data. Under normal circumstances this doesn’t reduce the quality too much. Unless we are talking about a bad image to begin with. For instance any image that’s been repeatedly saved using .jpg compression will have all sorts of crap artifacts in it that only get worse as data is tossed. Sort of the old GIGO rule. (Garbage In, Garbage Out.)

If you keep the resample linked, and reduce the dimensions, you will get a smaller image with a higher ppi resolution, no data lost. But your file size is that much larger too.

BTW, it’s PPI as in Pixels per Inch.
DPI refers only to the print end of things either as a halftone dot resolution for a plate press, or, on an inkjet machine, the actual number of ink dots spewed out per linear inch. With inkjets, it’s totally possible to have two different DPIs, one in the feed direction, one in the head direction. That’s why you will sometimes see 1800x1200 on a desktop inkjet printer (and even the huge production machines are the same way. Step and head can be two different numbers, step usually being the smaller.)

Forgive my intrusion PD, perhaps its my misunderstanding of your terms “uncouple” and “link,” but to be clear; with the Resample box checked, you would retain the current resolution through a change in dimensions (hence resamping), and with it un-checked, the resolution would change—adjusted to new dimensions entered (not resampling), no?

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Yes, my wording was poor and referred to the lines connecting the dimensions boxes to the resolution box as “coupled.”
I didn’t have photoshop nearby to verify checked vs unchecked, and that is just one of those things that is so automatic I know longer know which is which off the top of my head.

Hmm…went and had fresh look at the Image Size dialog, and it turns out your terms weren’t altogether wrong. With Resample un-checked, the Resolution field is indeed “linked.”
image

And with it checked, Resolution is “uncoupled.”
image

Weird how a UI designer’s effort to make something more clear can also make it more confusing.

Yes, ppi – pixel per inch – that’s what I meant. Thanks for the correction, PrintDriver.

I want to thank everyone for their feedback. It is really helpful to me. Now I feel I know what I’m doing.

Regards

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