1/2 page Ad - Input Required


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 26, 2005
Rampaging Tokyo

I need to put a 1/2 page Ad together for print.

I'm a software developer, not a designer, but I'm doing this to help someone out.

I have CS3, some basic photoshop skills, and have poked around InDesign just a bit.

The ad is not too complex. There will be stock photo background image(s), the company logo (existing) front and center, and then various vendor logos(existing) surrounding company logo. There may be some text added, but minimal.

I could use some input around workflow, and making sure I create the documents in the correct size and format.

I'm assuming I should do my background images and logo placement within Photoshop, and then put that into InDesign for any text and finalize document....

I've included the mechanical requirements for the 1/2 page ad below. Based on that, if someone could provide input on proper approach, Photoshop document settings (dimensions, dpi, etc), InDesign document settings, etc, etc, that would be great.

Any input appreciated, as well as any links on 'HowTo' related to this subject.

Thanks in advance.

• Trim size of publication is 8” X 10.5”
• “Live” image area is 7” X 9-5/8”
• “Bleed” pages must have 1/4” bleed all
sides (i.e. 8.5” X 11”)
• Half Page image area is
7-1/4” W X 4-1/2 “ H
• All images scanned at 300 DPI
• DPS - trim size is 16” X 10-1/2”, with the
full bleed size being 16-1/2” X 11”


macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007

It sounds like you have a pretty handle on things. A few things that I would recommend. First of all, it is important to know what line screen your ad will be printed at. Your printer should be able to provide this for you. Once you know the line screen, you can figure out what DPI (or PPI) to use for your Photoshop files. If you don't know who will be printing it, you can use use just use 300 DPI at 100% (which is pretty much standard for most offset litho work). The normal rule is double the line screen. I would also recommend that you make sure to use CMYK (or the appropriate spot colors), sure most modern RIP's will convert RGB images to CMYK but normally if you convert them yourself, you will end up with better looking images. I would also recommend that when you have the opportunity, use vector artwork over raster artwork. Vector artwork will print crisper and look better than raster art (of course this is only for logos and artwork that do not contain photographs or any kind of raster images or raster effects like drop shadows, etc).

There are probably plenty of other things that I didn't mention but those are some of the things that I thought of. Best of luck!


macrumors member
When your creating in photoshop make sure your image size includes the bleed (usually 1/8" - 1/4").

Also, make sure when your done that you collect your file so if they need to make changes etc, they have the InDesign file, fonts, images, etc. Usually people are ok with just the pdf being sent to the printer, but I always send with the file collected just in case.

Looks like the above poster took care of the rest.

300 dpi (minimum, might ask your printer, some magazines print at 600 dpi but very few)
Obviously for logos use vector or an already sized .EPS

Good luck!


macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
I see no mention of "customer", "market" or "competitor."

These are not immaterial concepts in the architecting of an ad message...

Draft the message in verbal form on the back of a business card. Until you have that to the point where you can read it from across a dining table, don't bother with the rest.

Once the message is set, start thinking of corresponding visuals.

Then and only then comes the layout.
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