Wrapping paper

22/12/2011

Wrapping paper is a kind of paper designed mainly for gift wrapping. Its purpose is purely decorative but also to ensure the element of surprise for the item it hides inside. Lets see what we need to know before creating a wrapping paper web-to-print template.

Things to consider:

  • high image resolution – at 300 DPI
  • paper size – there are different standards
  • bleed – what process will be used – offset or digital?
  • seamless patterns – if printed on a roll

Color space

In order for the colors on the final printed product to look as close as possible to the colors you chose on your PC display, you should work in 4 color CMYK mode. RGB color space may print off-color, which may be unacceptable for the customer. Spot colors are OK if they can be converted to CMYK or are absolutely required for the design.

Image quality

Just like in most templates for printing purposes, the image placeholders should have high quality 300 DPI of resolution.

Template creation

Lets say we’re making a web-to-print wrapping paper template for a 70cm wide roll print. Start by creating a new 70cm x 70cm paper size CorelDRAW document.

Repeating image in a seamless pattern

Insert a variable web-to-print square image placeholder (we went with a 7cm x 7cm image size) place it in the top left corner of the document and rotate it by 30 degrees.

Note. Pick a good image field name now since it will be more difficult to do it later when the placeholder is copied over 40 times and they all have to share the same image field name.

Our main concern here is to make the variable web-to-print image appear like it is repeating its self in a seamless pattern after it is printed on the roll. People should not be able to tell where the 70cm x 70cm page begins or ends. To achieve this, first we’ll have to calculate the CorelDRAW nudge distance setting. If one column of repeating images contains 6 of them then the nudge distance will be 70 cm (the paper width) divided by the number of repeating images (6) which is 11.6 cm.

In the top setting bar of the Pick tool, set the nudge distance to this value.

This will ensure that the spacing between all images is identical which is crucial to achieve the seamless pattern illusion.

With CorelDRAW’s Pick tool, select the web-to-print image placeholder, copy it to your clipboard (Ctrl+C), paste it on top of its self and hit the downwards arrow key on your keyboard once. This should move the copied version of the image exactly 11.6cm downwards, same as the nudge distance value.

Repeat this step a few times till you reach the bottom edge of the document.

We now have our first repeating images column created.

Select all images in the first column, Copy/Paste them and use the Right arrow key to move the copied column to the right. We still have the nudge distance set to 11.6cm so the horizontal space between the repeating images will also be identical.

Add one more image to the bottom of the column. Change the nudge setting to half of its current value – 5.8cm, select the entire second column of repeating web-to-print image placeholders and hit the upwards arrow key, the result should be something similar to this.

Set the nudge distance back to the original 11.6cm value, select both columns, Copy/Paste and hit the Right arrow key twice to move the copies to the right.

Web-to-print repeating image

Repeat this step as many times as needed to reach the right edge of the document. The result should be similar to this.

Camouflage the margins

Some of the top row images need to be visible only partially. We can’t simply crop the printable area by placing all images in a document-sized PowerClip container since the user uploaded images might not have same proportions as the image placeholder. Thus, it is better to fit them in the placeholder rather than have them stretch to fill.

In order for customers to get a more realistic preview, you can use a plain white frame shape to cover everything that goes outside the paper size. Make it only as thick as it needs to be to cover a variable web-to-print image placeholder that goes outside the page. Demonstrated here in a wireframe view.

Web-to-print wireframe margins shape

After uploading the templates in your catalog, make sure to set the PDF settings not to include the bleed area in the generated PDF. That way everything outside the page border, including the camouflage frame, will get cropped and the output file will indeed be ready for the printer to use without modification.

The identical spacing between the image placeholders will enable the printer to print the same page over and over on a roll simulating an endless print.

Web-to-print roll print wrapping paper

Download the free sample CorelDRAW template file used in this tutorial.

Add a few fancy features

To make your web-to-print wrapping paper even more universal, you can

See also: