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We are making PDFs/EPS files to print. If we needed to make a crop mark to cut, we made small 90 degree angles from lines in the corners where the graphic was white.

I checked crop marks which you can make in Illustrator but I don't like it. I need something similar. My question is: can I make something like a custom rectangle? Possibly by creating a rectangle on the artwork (including bleeds) and with a click or some action it transforms that there are only corners left about 15 mm long. So it looks like there are 4 black corners in the end of dartboards.

This is what I'm trying to achieve:

what I'm trying to achieve

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It might require some crafty planning (see below), but you could create a custom Pattern Brush to use for this case.

Steps:

  1. Create your custom crop mark, make a Swatch out of it
  2. Create another swatch of a white line (this step is skipped in the demo below).
  3. Create a new Pattern Brush, set the Outer Corner Tile as your custom crop mark, set the Side Tile as your white line
  4. Apply the pattern brush to any rectangle to use it

Demo

Custom Pattern Brush creation

Here's the result applied to a simple grey rectangle, use your imagination to replace that with your artwork:

Custom crop marks applied to artwork

Crafty Planning

The custom Pattern Brush is going to be centered on the rectangle's path, so you need to compensate for that with a bounding box when designing the crop mark in Step 1. If you divide my custom crop mark into four quadrants (guides denote center-lines), only the bottom right quadrant will be covered by the artwork.

my custom crop mark

So you need to create a bounding box 4x the size of the crop mark you want then place it within the lower right corner of the bounding box. In this example I shaded the bounding box with a lighter gray so you can see what I mean.

crafty planning demonstration

  • This puts the mark inside the bounding box, so precision is lost. Should the OP correct for this when making the box, is there a "in/out/centerline" option? – Yorik Mar 16 '16 at 19:06
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    @Yorik that's part of the "crafty planning" that I glossed over; I didn't want to get too specific without an idea of precisely what kind of crop marks and bleed settings Alex is striving for. The custom Pattern Brush is going to be centered on the rectangle's path, so you need to compensate for that with a bounding box when designing the crop mark in Step 1. If you divide my custom crop mark into four quadrants (guides denote center-lines), only the bottom right quadrant will be covered by the artwork. – JohnB Mar 16 '16 at 19:14
  • Hi thanks for the interest in topic. s27.postimg.org/3ma16paxf/Untitled_1.jpg The Green rectangle is my artwork where i want to make bleeds on. What i need is one the left of image. Tried your way but it shows an example on the right side. It appears i cannot lower the distance from the edge of my rectangle (the one I'm using to cover the artboard and make the bleeds) to 0 so it overlaps my artwork edges. This is what I'm trying to achieve. Any help? – Alex Mar 17 '16 at 9:00
  • @Alex see my other comment above. You need to create a bounding box 4x the size of the crop mark you want then place your crop mark within the lower right corner of the bounding box. In this demo I shaded the bounding box with gray so you can see what I mean. – JohnB Mar 17 '16 at 13:49
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Just a reminder.

Remember to leave a space so the crop mark does not show. For some business cards can be 2mm, for some flyers can be lets say 3mm.

But for binded magazines you probably need more, depending on the binding technique. Probably 5mm.

For a large billboard can be for example 2 cm width.

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