Once you have finished your artwork it is time to create your single color plate. In order to avoid confusion, create a new layer via the layers palette and label it as ‘Foil’. (If the rest of your artwork is on one layer then label this as ‘Artwork’).
You can now add the items you wish to print in foil onto this layer, but you need to do this without removing them from the main artwork. This requires duplicating each item and moving it to the new layer.
The most accurate way to duplicate them is using ‘Step and Repeat’, which you can find in the Edit menu. Step and Repeat creates a duplicate version of your object in a chosen location, but if you set the Offset values as 0 then it will replicate your item in exactly the same position.
Alternatively, you can Copy each item and use Paste in Place to create a copy. This will paste the copied item in to its original position. You can find the Copy and Paste options in the Edit Menu, but remember to use Copy and not Cut in order to preserve your original artwork.
You now need to move your item on to the ‘Foil’ layer. Select the object in the main window and open the Layers palette. Here you will see a small colored square to the right of the layer you have selected. Click on this square and drag it onto your ‘Foil’ layer, You will notice that the color of the artwork’s frame edge will change to match that of your foil layer. It is now part of this ayer and you can see it there by expanding the layer using the triangle to the left of the name in the Layers palette.
Once you have your elements on your foil layer, it is best to convert all text to outline by selecting it and going to Type > Create Outlines. This will turn your text into a vector shape, which will eliminate any issues to do with fonts needing to be embedded into a PDF. Please note: this process creates a new outline version as well as the original live text, which you should delete to avoid confusion.
Now all you need to do is convert the colors and strokes of any elements in your ‘Foil’ layer to a single color. We recommend process black, but you can use any single plate color. If you are using a spot color, (see our articles on creating a spot color here) use a contrast color like a bright pink or green, that is not included in your artwork to help it stand out.
To export your single color layer separate to your 4 color artwork, start by hiding the ‘Artwork’ layer by clicking on the eye icon next to that layer in the Layers palette. Now export your single color files as a JPEG or PDF and give it a unique name (e.g. add ‘_FOIL’ to the end). To export the 4 color artwork, simply hide the ‘Foil’ layer and reveal the ‘Artwork’ layer then export that as a separate file, also with a unique name (e.g. _ARTWORK).
If you are using the spot color method, simply export your PDF and a fifth color plate will be included in the final file.