Using the Spring Gift Tag Kit is simple. Here are some instructions and suggestions on how to get started. They are broken down by program - Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop (free trial programs available at Adobe's website). Photoshop instructions can be mirrored in most other similar photo editing programs, such as Paint Shop Pro.
Please note these instructions were based on CS2 program organizations and capabilities - older versions may have different functions listed in different places.
- There are three pages within the PDF provided. The first is a title page, the second is for dielines (paths that are drawn out to mark where to cut) and TO/FROM copy, and the third features different decorative edges and graphic elements. Open the second PDF page in either Photoshop or Illustrator and choose your gift tag shape(s). To make things simpler, you may want to create a new letter-sized document at 300 DPI as a workspace. You can use this document later to copy and paste the finished composition to make multiples if you'd like to make them in quantity.
- Choose your color scheme. Not really sure what colors to pick? If you have Adobe Illustrator, you can open up a number of swatch libraries and browse color options for inspiration. This can be found under Window » Swatch Libraries. I highly suggest using the Brights, Garden, and Pantone Pastel Libraries for this project.
- Determine your tone. Is the occasion fun or formal? Different combinations of the typefaces available in this kit (or ones you have yourself!), colors, and design elements can send different messages.
- Adobe Illustrator: Probably the simplest way to change the elements from black and white to match your color scheme, simply select the item you want to change and you'll notice that on your toolbar, the colors will show up (visual). These swatches represent the fill color (solid square swatch, shown in visual as the white swatch) and the stroke color (square swatch with square hole in middle, shown in visual as the black swatch). You can either double-click the swatch you want to change to bring up the Color Picker or you can simply click once on the swatch to bring it to the foreground then click any square in the Swatch Library window if you have brought one up (directions to opening the libraries can be found in Getting Started).
- Adobe Photoshop: There are two ways to change colors in Photoshop, and which way you use depends on which element you're using. If you are coloring a dieline which already has a black stroke, select the Magic Wand Tool and make sure Anti-Aliasing is turned on (visual) and select the white area inside the dieline. Use the Paint Bucket to fill the white interior with the color of your choice. If you are changing the color of one of the silhouette graphics or type, select the element and make your color choice and open up a separate document. Ensure that the imported page has already been rasterized (Layer » Rasterize » Layer) before you continue, or this will not work. Paste the graphic into this document and create a new layer (Layer » New...). Flood the entire new layer with the color you want to change it to with the Paint Bucket. Navigate to Layer » Layer Style » Blending Options and under "General Blending", choose "Lighten" as your blend mode. The graphic should now be knocked out in the solid color. If you're up for experimentation, try different blend modes or instead of a solid color, try a pattern.
- Adobe Illustrator: Size can be changed with the Free Transform Tool on your tool bar or by navigating to Object » Transform » Scale. When using the Free Transform Tool rather than the Scale pop-up function, you can hit the Shift button on your keyboard to scale proportionately (without distortion). Orientation can be changed by navigating to Object » Transform » Reflect and choosing "Vertical" under the Axis options. Similarly, items can be rotated by choosing Rotate rather than Reflect on the same menu and entering the angle of your choice.
- Adobe Photoshop: All transformations can be done through the Edit » Transform menu in a similar fashion to Adobe Illustrator. Changing orientation is easier in Photoshop because they have the "Flip Horizontal" and "Flip Vertical" functions. To change from left to right (and vice versa), choose Flip Horizontal; to swap from top to bottom (and vice versa), choose Flip Vertical.
- Use a hole punch on whichever part of the tag you want to use to affix it to the gift. Consider a fabric ribbon for more formal tags or shredding curling ribbon (by cutting it in half to make thinner, more attractive curled ribbon) for more fun, playful tags.
- Consider fun materials to us e along with the ta. Rhinestones? Grommets? Embossing powder? Think of all the possibilities!
Hope this helps! Comment with any other questions you may have.