Artboard Layout for Designing

Some of you have been asking me how I start my design process and what tools I use to design.

To tell you a long story short, I use Adobe Illustrator CS6 for the initial START of designing everything (except websites). Then I bring it into Indesign or Photoshop.

But for most COLLATERAL (print materials) I stay in Illustrator.

This is how I start my artboard layouts.


It’s really important to know exactly what it is that you’re going to design.

Is it a logo?

A brochure? A shirt?

Unless you’re just playing around with different design elements and practicing, If you’re going to be showing someone your work, later on, start by 4 or more artboards so that you can easily create a presentable PDF.

I usually start with 4 artboards and label them on the top right or top left corner.

For example, LOGO SAMPLE 01, LOGO SAMPLE 02 and so on.

Make sure you have your bleeds in place as well especially if its print work.

Also, turn your SMART GUIDES on, they are really useful.

Sometimes if I know roughly what I am going to do, I start with guides showing the exact center of the artboards.

It helps me align my work and make it a bit more easy on the eye.

But most of the time, if I’m just going to do a brainstorming kind of design process, I like to start with a blank canvas. A big one.

I just open up an A4 sized artboard, then start from there. Once I have something, then I start to divide the artboard or duplicate it so that it gets a bit more organized and presentable.


Once I have something to show my clients or if I feel like I need to do a “mid-process checkup” with the clients to get confirmation on if I’m on the right track, I just quickly create a title page artboard, then export everything as a PDF and email it off.


If you’re like me and you like organized things and have your files, design folders easily accessible, then I suggest this method. If you’re more on the free-spirited side, then go for the big blank canvas!