Bleeds should be set up using File > Document Setup, when applicable. Do not include additional crop marks or bleed lines.
Margins should be clear of text and images (unless they are intended to bleed to the edge) to ensure that users can properly print files without issues.
All text must be editable and use Adobe Fonts - do not outline text. Users expect the ability to edit and customize text to their needs.
The minimum acceptable font size is 8 pt. Anything smaller is subject to rejection for legibility reasons.
For more information, see Text in Templates.
Images must be embedded in the template. Adobe Stock templates are single files that do not allow for packaging of external files. Do not link images in your template - they will not appear for the end user.
Embedded images must be saved as .ai, .eps, .jpg, .png, or .tif files. We do not accept images in .psd or .indd format in Illustrator templates because end users may not have access to all Creative Cloud apps.
Make sure that embedded images have the same effective ppi as the resolution of the document - a web/mobile template at 72 ppi must have embedded images also at 72 ppi; a print template at 300 ppi must have embedded images also at 300 ppi.
For more information, see Images in Templates.
Colorspace & Swatches
A document should be set up in CMYK for print templates, and RGB for screen-based templates.
Change the color setup in File > Document Color Mode
Swatches are named and saved colors, tints, gradients, and patterns. Using swatches in Illustrator files allow users to keep track of the colors being used and makes it easier to change them across the entire document.
Every color, gradient, and pattern should have its own swatch. Do not create gradients manually with solid swatches.
Examples of gradient and pattern swatches
Do not include spot colors (such as Pantone) - only CMYK or RGB swatches should be used. All swatches in a file should match the document colorspace.
- A Print template with CMYK colorspace must have CMYK swatches
- A Mobile or Web template with RGB colorspace must have RGB swatches
Select all unused swatches and delete them before saving and submitting the template to avoid confusion.
In the Swatches panel, click on the menu icon > Select All Unused, and click on the trash icon to delete the unused swatches
For more information, see How to use and create swatches in Illustrator.
Global Colors (for commissioned templates)
Global Color swatches allow for quick and easy changes to all items that are assigned that swatch. If you alter a Global Color swatch, everything that is assigned that swatch will update.
Global Colors are indicated with the white triangle on the right corner of the swatches; Check "Global" when creating a new swatch.
For commissioned templates, we require all swatches to be Global. Set up Global Color swatches by checking “Global” when creating a new swatch.
For more information, see Save time with Global Color swatches.
Excessive vector points on a path weigh down a file. To remove any stray or unnecessary points, go to Object > Path > Simplify.
In the Object menu, select Path > Simplify to simplify your paths.
For more information, see How to smooth and simplify paths.
Clipping masks are objects used to show/hide parts of an image. Use clipping masks when creating templates with images to ensure that they are displayed accurately and are easy to replace.
Example of a clipping mask in the Layers panel
The clipping mask must not be overly specific to placeholder images (such as outlining shapes of people or specific objects). Make sure the clipping mask is generic enough that a user can insert their own image without needing to change the mask.
For more information, see How to use and edit clipping masks in Illustrator.
Last Published: October 25th, 2019
Top image credit: Hands-on Everyday