How To Set Up A Presentation Folder In Adobe Illustrator For Offset Printing

This tutorial covers how set up a presentation folder in Adobe Illustrator for offset printing.

Download the Offset presentation folder template from Clubcard’s website and insert it into your document. In this case, each side (outside and inside) has been placed on separate layers, with the outside template on the left artboard and the inside template on the right artboard.


For a two-pocket presentation folder, the outside and inside templates are the same. If you are designing a one pocket presentation folder, the template for the inside is a mirror image of the template for the outside.

On the left, we have the outside of our template, and on the right the inside template. The right side of the outside (left) template is our outside front, while the left side of the outside template is the outside back. The left side of the inside (right ) template is our inside front, while the left side of the inside template is the inside back.

On the bottom of the templates, we have the pockets. The inside (right template) has the left pocket on the left side and the right pocket on the right side. Now the pockets on the front side of the template are on the opposite sides, but after printing when the presentation folder is folded the pocket on the left will become the inside right and the pocket on the right will be come the inside left. Once the pockets are folded, they will no longer be visible from the outside.


Now we are going to take a look at the front side in more detail. You will see a perforated line running down the centre of the template, this is where your presentation folder will fold in half. The grey perforated lines running along the bottom (above the pockets), is where your pockets will fold.

The orange line is the Critical Margin or Text Safe Area. It lies 1/8” in from the trim line (red perforated line). You are going to want to keep all important information within this area so it does not run the risk of being cut off when your document is trimmed.

The red perforated line is the Trim Line. This is where your presentation folder will be cut out.

The solid black line on the outside is the Bleed Line. You are going to want to extend your bleed 1/8” past the trim line (red perforated line).

If you are ever in doubt, please refer to the legend in the bottom right corner of your template.

Additionally, you will see the angled grey lines on the pockets, these are the business card slits. They will be cut during the trimming process so that you can insert a standard sized business card into them.

Now you will see that we have two different layers for the templates. One for the outside and one for the inside. We have a third layer, this is where we are going to put our artwork. All template elements are on a separate locked layer from our artwork. This way we do not mix the template and what we are sending to print.

Now that you have an understanding of how the template is set up, we are ready to bring in our print ready artwork and place it on the Artwork layer.

We have placed our artwork. You can see the outside front on the right, the outside back on the left and our two pockets on the bottom. You are going to want to make sure that the artwork for the pockets doesn’t extend past the grey perforated lines on the bottom. This way, when the pockets are folded towards the inside, this portion of the artwork is not visible from the outside. You are also going to want to ensure that your artwork appears upside down, this way when the pockets are folded it will appear right side up on the inside.

I have also placed the artwork for the inside of my presentation folder. Please note that the artwork does not extend past the bottom fold line or onto the inside of the pockets. I have made this decision because you are not going to see the reverse side of the pockets once they are folded.

Inside Presentation Folder

Now that we have our artwork ready for print, I am going to make sure that all text has been converted to curves. Select all artwork > see that all text is not live (if you are unsure how to do this, please check out our other videos on how to outline your fonts) -- Link To : How To Convert Fonts To Curves / Outlines in Adobe Illustrator

Next we are going to go ahead and save a print ready PDF. First, I am going to hide the Template layers as we do not want them to print.

Save Print Ready PDF

Select “Save as” from the File menu. Rename the file. Select “Adobe PDF” from the “Save as type” menu and be sure to use all the artboards. Hit save and the Save Adobe PDF window will appear. This is where we set our PDF for print.

Select [Illustrator Default] from the Adobe PDF Preset drop down menu. By default this preset has no compression, which you will see when you select the Compression menu on the left of the window. Under the Marks and Bleed menu, you are going to want to check the Trim Marks box under “Marks” and ensure that they are Offset by 0.125”. Aside from that, you can leave all of the defaults for this preset.

Check Trim Marks Box

Open your saved PDF, double check that your artwork looks as it should and both pages are included. There you go, you now have a presentation folder set up in Illustrator and saved as a PDF for print (Open PDF). We hope this video has been helpful.

Double check your work

You can get our Offset Presentation Folders at Clubcard Canada or Clubcard USA.

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