By Grace Fussell

Final product image

What You’ll Be Creating

Looking to create your own packaging for sharing your business cards in style or for wedding favours? These handheld pillow boxes are simple to create and leave a lasting impression.

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to set up the template and artwork for the pillow box, and show you how to apply a stylish marbled finish. You can easily customize your pillow box with different backgrounds, typography and text to make it completely unique to you.

final white design with sweets

Once you’ve finished, simply send your artwork off to .

pompiere font

Add a few new CMYK Process swatches to apply to the text:

  • C=100 M=92 Y=41 K=41

swatch options

  • C=29 M=48 Y=69 K=22

swatch options

  • C=15 M=32 Y=68 K=4

swatch options

You can add some quirky glyphs from the Glyphs panel (Window > Type & Tables > Glyphs). Nexa Rust Extras is a great source for decorative glyphs in a hand-drawn style.

nexa rust glyphs

Step 8

Lock the Artwork layer and unlock the top layer, NOTES – DO NOT PRINT. Here you can put any information that might be useful to the printer.

notes layer

Use the Type Tool (T) to create text frames and write ‘GLUE’. Place on the outer left and right flaps of the pillow box template.

glue notes

And you’re done! Your pillow box design is finished. Awesome work!

final wedding artworkfinal white marble design

You can easily customize your pillow box to create a huge range of designs and to suit different purposes. This design uses a green mineral texture for the background, and typography on the Artwork layer is set in Futura.

final green artworkfinal green design

This creates a really cool, modern look that would suit a creative, perhaps for sharing business cards or USB sticks.

You can tweak the design of your pillow box to make it suitable for a huge range of purposes. Why not try adding a retro floral background for packaging sweets or biscuits? Or why not use it to package jewellery, scarves, or other small items for sale?

Once you’ve finalized your design, all that’s left to do is export it to a print-ready format, ready for sending straight off to the printers. Read on to find out how…

5. Export Your Pillow Box for Printing

You have two options for sending your pillow box to print—one is to send the printer the native files, that is the original packaged InDesign artwork. From this the printer can export your design as a press-ready file that will suit their purposes. To do this, go to File > Package. Once the file is packaged, compress it into a ZIP file and send this to the printer over large file transfer.

Alternatively, you can send Smartpress.com a print-ready PDF file that’s good to go! Here’s how…

Step 1

Remaining in your InDesign document, go to File > Export, and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format drop-down menu.

Give the file a name like ‘Pillowbox_FINAL FOR PRINT’. Click Save.

In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose

[PDF/X-1a:2001] from the Adobe PDF Preset drop-down menu at the top.

export adobe pdf

Step 2

Click on the Marks and Bleeds option on the left-hand side of the panel.

Under Marks, check All Printer’s Marks. Then click Export.

all printers marksfinal pdf

You’ll end up with a press-ready PDF file, which is ready for sending straight to Smartpress.com. Fantastic work!

design with sweetsgreen design

Your Finished Pillow Box

In this tutorial we’ve covered a range of skills and techniques for preparing packaging artwork in Illustrator and InDesign, and getting the design ready for professional printing. You now know how to:

  • create die line and perforation line templates in Adobe Illustrator
  • import die line and perforation line templates into InDesign and set them as spot colors
  • prepare a layered packaging design file in Adobe InDesign
  • create a simple yet striking design for your pillow box
  • package your InDesign file or export your pillow box as a press-ready file

Awesome work! I’d love to see your pillow box designs—feel free to share your beautiful packaging designs in the comments below.

This tutorial has been brought to you compliments of Smartpress.com. Find out how Smartpress.com can be your partner in all your digital printing projects. Select a product and get an instant quote today.

green marble design open

Read more here:: How to Create a Die-Cut Pillow Box in Adobe InDesign