How to Create a Package File from a Template in Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator comes with templates for all kinds of promotional media - everything from brochures and business cards, to t-shirts, disk labels and boxes. In this tutorial, a template will be used to start the packaging design for a carton.

  1. Go to File > New from Template.
  2. The directory brings you to the Templates folder inside the Adobe Illustrator folder. Open the Blank Templates folder.
    Dialog Box
  3. Select Boxes.ait, then click New.
    Dialog Box
  4. A new file is created from the template with three carton die lines on separate artboards.
  5. After you decide on which dieline to use, the other two can be deleted in the Artboards Panel.
    Artboards Panel
  6. Go to the Layers Panel and you'll see there are two layers with the die line layer on top.
    Layers Panel
  7. Different die lines will require different techniques for changing the dimensions. Let's say the box needed is 6" x 8" x 3". Create two rectangles, one at 6" x 8", the other 3" x 8". Give them a different stroke color with no fill, and position them side by side aligned with a fold line in the template.
    Packaging Layout
  8. Use the Direct Selection Tool and Group Selection Tool to adjust the lines and shapes in the dieline. Keep in mind that the Reference Point Selector in the Transform Panel provides precise positioning of lines and shapes.
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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