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Make an Anti-counterfeit Ticket with Blend Modes and a UV Varnish

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Create your own anti-counterfeit raffle ticket from scratch in Illustrator. You will learn how to use various blending modes to create a complex design and also how to prepare your file for printing with an offset UV varnish.


For this tutorial I'll recommend you to pay attention to the small details, this way you can learn, explore and practice better, just follow the basic steps and let your creativity flow. Feel free to create your own graphics, colors, and object distribution.

Step 1

Let's start! First, make a new document as shown. I'm from Mexico so in my case I like to work with centimeters, I made the canvas size 15.5cm by 6.5cm. The work area will be within the 15cm by 6cm (You can change the unit system later in the preference panel). To make the rulers visible click Command + R and drag some guide lines to the work area, then go to View > Guides > Lock Guides to prevent them from moving.

Step 2

Make a rectangle the size of the canvas and it fill with a green gradient, color both ends with the first color and the middle with the light green; make a green dashed line with a strong green color and place it 5cm from the left guide line; lock the layer and make a new layer.

Step 3

Select an icon, logo or element and make a pattern brush. To do this, apply a stroke color (82A03D) to the graphic and leave the inside clear, then select the element duplicate and flip it 180°, select both images, go to the brush pallet and click on New Brush, then select the Pattern Brush and type the values as shown.

Make one line from one side of the ticket to the other with the selected new brush, then select the line and duplicate it downwards by holding Option while dragging down with the mouse. Make the line a little bit longer and align them to make another pattern.

Select both lines and group them with Command + G. Keep duplicating the group downwards until you fill the entire ticket area. Select all the line patterns and group them (Command + G) and change the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Step 4

Make a Rectangle on the ticket area about the same size, then go to the Brush Pallet, select the Brush Libraries Menu > Borders > Borders_Lines and select the green one, now adjust the border to fit as is shown on the example. You need to remember to leave some space between the guide lines and the border, since the guide lines are the ones that determine the safe area when the ticket is trimmed. Select the border and go to Object > Expand Appearance, then Object > Expand > Fill and Stroke, then Pathfinder > Unite. Change to this color to (5C833A) and change the Blend Mode to Darken.

Step 5

Go to the Brush Pallet and select Brush Libraries Menu > Borders > Borders_Decorative and drag the decorative corner onto the canvas and change it to the same color as the border, place one on each corner, then select all 4 corners and the border and select Unite in the Pathfinder and change back to Darken in Blending Mode.

Step 6

Make a rectangle on the base and top of the border, with the Pen Tool add 1 anchor in the middle of each side, move the anchors to the inside of the rectangle to make a seal, fill with this color 82A03D and stroke color 5C833A at 0.75 weight, change the Blend Mode to Darken.

From the Brush Pallet select Brush Libraries Menu > Decorative > Elegant Curl & Floral Brush Set, drag the shown element to the canvas, change the color to 5C833A and Blend Mode to Darken, place one on each side of the seals.

Type any text in the seals, then from the Brush Pallet select Brush Libraries Menu > Borders > Borders_Decoratives drag the leaves to the canvas and make a pattern to fit the side of the text on each side of the seal, change color to 5C833A and Blend Mode to Darken.

Step 7

With a bold typeface type the value of the ticket, in this case it will be $50 worth. Click Command + Shift + O to make it vectors, then change the fill color to 82A03D with a 0.75 pt. white stroke.

On top of the number, draw a long 0.25pt stroke in white. Duplicate the line by dragging downwards holding Option. Select both lines and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options > Specific Steps and type 70, go to Object > Blend > Make. Now duplicate the Blend and flip it 90° and arrange both to cover the numbers, select both and Group them (Command + G).

Duplicate the mesh two more times, (one for each number and sign); Send the numbers on top of the mesh, select one mesh and one number, Right Click > Make Clipping Mask, select the outside of the number and with the Eyedropper Tool (I) select the color of the numbers again (do this step with the other remaining numbers); make it a bit smaller and place it on top of the right corner.

Step 8

Go to the Symbol Pallet and select Symbol Libraries Menu > Web Buttons and Bars and select the sticker shown in the image below. Drag it to the left side of the canvas at the middle of the ticket area, select the sticker and in the top menu bar select Break Link.

Delete the inside of the sticker leaving only the outer shape, change the color to white, then place the logo (the diamond in my case) on top of the sticker, select both and in the Pathfinder click Minus Front to subtract the shape, now change the Opacity to %30.

Step 9

Place the logo in the center of the ticket area and change the color to 5D833A with the Blend Mode set to Darken. From the top right corner select the $50 and duplicate and arrange it on the opposite corner (lower left corner). Select the 50 again and duplicate it, make it bigger and arrange it on the middle right side of the ticket. Change the fill color to 82A03D, stroke to 5D833A and Blend Mode to Darken.

Make a white rectangle below the 50 to place the serial number of the ticket; on top of the 50 make a signature with a white Brush or with the Pen tool, if you have CS5 you can change the Stroke Profile from the Stroke Pallet to make it look more organic and not so stiff; select the signature and go to Object > Expand Appearance then in the Pathfinder select Unite to merge the signature strokes.

Step 10

Now on the left side place some text boxes like name, telephone, e-mail, and address. Make a rectangle to place the serial number and place the logo. If you use any other guidelines besides the first indicated make sure to erase them, just leave the original guidelines. In the Swatch Pallet select the Registration color and make some Crop lines, one in each corner on top of the guide lines like shown below; change the Layer Name to "Ticket".

Step 11

In the Layer Pallet on the top left corner click to open the panel and select "Duplicate Ticket" and name it "Tear Line", then lock and turn the Ticket layer off by clicking on the Eye. On the "Tear Line" layer we are going to select and Erase all the objects on the layer except the dash line that separates the ticket area from the receive area, change the stroke color to CMYK Red from the Swatch Pallet (this is to let the printer know that it's supposed to tear when pulled).

Step 12

Go to the Layer Pallet and Duplicate the "Ticket" layer, turn off the "Ticket" layer and keep it locked, rename the duplicated layer "UV VARNISH".

Now we are going to apply the spot varnish, since there is no determined color fill for varnish we need to select a color that hasn't previously been used, this is important because it will let the printer know what is supposed to have varnish. In this case we'll use purple, make a purple rectangle on the outside of the canvas and type "UV VARNISH". Now change any vector you want to have Varnish on top to purple.

When you are done, select everything else and erase it, just leave the purple colored objects; I recommend to apply the varnish on complex details and several objects, such as strokes too. When you are done you will have something like the image below.

Note: Make sure that any object that you change to purple has no blend mode (normal), just plain purple.

Step 13

Now, you're done! Some important things to remember — You can make this ticket as complex as you can, this means that the patterns, shapes, colors and object can be mixed with the Blend Modes, so feel free to try out different results with this basic tools.

— When you send this to print, make sure you specify and explain to the person in charge of printing what is supposed to have varnish, in this case the purple is supposed to be the varnish, also, let the person know where the serial number is supposed to be, in this case it will be below the 50 and on the stub. I hope you've enjoyed this tut.

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