How to Create Brochure Mockups in Photoshop

How to Create Brochure Mockups in Photoshop
Once again, a short summary what dpi is. DPI specify the amount of dots which creates image's details. Dots are arranged in columns and rows. The horizontal and vertical amount of dots can vary, but I won't shake up your heads; besides it's just printing trick. Just remember- 300 DPI for print if you don't have other recommendation.
step-002c

Step 3 - About the bleeds and margins

What bleeds really are? As you can see in step 1 our document is a bit oversized from what we want to have printed out. Just look what could happen without those bleeds and everything will be clear. At first I will get you through a short and bad story line:
step-003
To the point- bleeds are those parts of design that will be cut out after print. They will fall out, notwithstanding sometimes batch is setted wrongly, by, let's say, 1 milimeter. If we would use the sizes of our business card as we set in bad example, we could get those white ugly stripes. But, if we extend our design by few milimeters, this cutting imperfection will be invisible. That's what bleeds are for. I have set bleeds of 2 mm in my brochure, however, the common bleeds size is 3mm. Those 2mm is just a preference of my printing service. Some accepts even 1 mm. If you don't know how big your bleeds should be, just assume they are 3 mm (0.125 inch) on each side. Sometime, when you have a white background of your document and any of the objects don't even touch the documents edge, there is no need for bleeds at all. But you have this in mind before you will start to design. Now, let's try to make a business card with bleeds. The size of 3,5x2 in corresponds to 89x51 mm and this is US standard (but also used in other countries). The standard size in Poland for business cards is 90x50 mm. Not a big difference, but I will use this second size to show calculations more clearly.
step-003b
As you can see there is an extra 3 mm on each side of the document all around. So what dimensions you should type on? Here are calculations:
  • Real size: 90 × 50 mm
  • Bleed size: 3 mm
  • Adding bleeds: 90+(3×2) × 50+(3×2)
  • Document size: 96 × 56
Notice that while we add bleeds to the document we are multiplying bleed size by two. The reason is that the bleeds are on both sides. Don't miss that. The boundary of document is determined by the crop marks (they show where to cut the sheet, you can see some preview above in the 'bad example story line'). However, we can't do them automatically in Photoshop (as far, as I know). There is possibility of drawing them manually, but it's quite nonsense. It is super easy to import the document to illustrator and there bleeds are added automatically. If we don't have Adobe Illustrator nor InDesign, just tell the print worker that bleeds are seted to 3 mm and are determined by guidelines. It's second to add them (I will show how to do that later). Now a little about margins. It is just a safety case. If without bleeds we have that 1mm white stripe, means, that on other side of the document 1 mm is cut out from the design. And if you don't want to have anything 'eaten' just place all your important things (like logo or text) in some distance from the edge. It is usually 5mm.
step-003c

Step 4 - How to make bleeds and margins easy way

We will base on that business card template one more time. First of all- the concept. Our business card is 90 x 50 mm. We want to add guidelines that will determine the margins and bleeds. This is the fasten way that I know to add them. Also, it is good to make a sample file where you have all guides already placed. It is time saving- just opening the sample rather than making those guides again and again with every new project. Let's say our margins will have a size of 5mm, and bleeds- 3mm. Bleeds extends real size, while margins are inside the document. My next actions could be confusing, but focus yourself- you will save your time in future with this. Margins are on both side, so actually they affect 10mm of the document horizontally and vertically (and bleeds are 3mm on each side, so they affect 6mm). Now just get your real values (90x50) and delete from each the margin value (10x10). You will get the size of 80 x 40 mm. Create new Photoshop document with that size. From now, you don't have to calculate anything.

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27 comments on “How to Create Brochure Mockups in Photoshop”

  1. Thank you so much. This is an excellent tutorial. You're awesome! I hope your New Year is great! :)

  2. Tutorial was confusing and unclear,You really have to find simpler ways of explaining things to people. Thanks for the information though.

  3. Fascinating. It seems like most Adobe users would naturally choose InDesign over Photoshop for something like this, since that's essentially what InDesign is made for. But this is a very thorough tutorial for hardcore Photoshop users!

  4. very important and very useful information.. i m a web graphic designer and didn't have knowledge about printing graphics and bleed and safety margin etc etc.. this is very useful to me.. thanks keep it up. please refer font size information on business card that what should be font size in photoshop and in illustrator.. etc etcc thankkss please mail me.

  5. I'm sure this tutorial is great for beginners, but the title is very confusing. I thought this was about making the mock-ups not the whole brochure and just tell us to download your finished mock-up psd file.

    1. That's what I also thought. I guess that we won't find any tutorial on how to make a mock-up template soon. :|

  6. This really helped me out. Thanks a bunch. I made a great 3 fold for my business. I tweaked some stuff to make it my own, but it was very helpful to utilize the file you posted as an outline.

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