scalpelWhen I first started in design if someone said they needed a design mocking up I used to break out in a cold sweat. I always seem to end with a brochure page upside down and enough spraymount in my hair that I could be in a commercial for ultra hold hair gel.

Over the years I picked up a few tips from fellow designers who came to rescue me from under the piles of screwed up paper and failed attempts. Now although its not my favourite job, it’s one I can do.

Tip 1
To start its always good to know an easy way to work out pagination. All you need to do is take the number of pages in a booklet and add one. Each pair of pages will then add up to this number. For example on an 8 page brochure 8 + 1 = 9, so all spreads add up to 9, this means page 6 will sit next to page 3, page 4 next to page 5 etc. This is based on the cover being classed as page 1.

Tip 2
Before you cut brochure pages out, put a ruler down the middle of a spread (using the computer registration marks) and with a sharp scalpel push through two tiny holes top and bottom. Now when you turn the page over so you can score it for folding, you can just join up the two small holes with the ruler rather than having to measure.

Tip 3
If you are mocking up a brochure and you haven’t got a long armed stapler. fold your pages as you would normally, then flatten them out so you can see the crease. Open out a normal stapler, put an eraser (or bit of foam board) under the crease of your paper pages and shoot the staple through the paper into the eraser. Gently pull the paper and staple out of the erasre and bend the staple ends in.

Tip 4
I usually produce my printed visuals on A3 sheets and mount onto A2 boards. To save time I have created an L shaped piece of mount board the right height from the bottom and side of the A2 board. Instead of having to measure where to put my A3 visual each time, and rather than it ending up on the skew by eye, I put the L shape on my mount board which shows me where to position the A3 sheet. This is also useful for mocking up pages in a design portfolio if they are all the same size.

Tip 5
If at all possible get someone else to do it 🙂

What tips do you have for mocks ups and presentations?