How to Meet Text Constraints by Creating Grids in Adobe Illustrator

by The Creative Cloud Team

posted on 09-05-2017

A lot of advertising platforms, like Facebook, have restrictions on the amount of text and typography that can be used on the ad. A good rule of thumb is to have your text stay within 20% of the ad. It’s very helpful to break your artboard into a grid so you can visualize this standard and adhere to it. In this tutorial, designer Jacob Amundsen shows you how.

To make a grid on your artboard in Adobe Illustrator CC, start by drawing a square. Click the rectangle tool in your toolbar and draw out a square by double clicking on the artboard. We’re going to make our square 250 pixels wide by 250 pixels high.

Once you’ve put in those numbers, select OK. Make sure that your square has no fill color and 1pt stroke. Now duplicate the square by hitting **+C (Mac) or ctrl+C (PC). Paste the copy directly on top of your square (also called “Paste in Front” by hitting +F (Mac) or ctrl+F (PC)**. Next, we’re going to move that copied square by using the shortcut for “Move” (+Shift+M/ctrl+Shift+M) or going up to Object > Transform > Move. In the dialog box, next to “Horizontal,” put 250px. In “Vertical,” put 0 px. For distance, put 250 px. Lastly, under “Angle” put 0. Select “OK.”

This moves your copied square exactly 250 pixels to the right, putting it right next to the first square you drew. We can use a shortcut for the next part.

Holding down or ctrl, hit C for copy, F to paste in place, and then D to duplicate the last action (moving the square over 250 pixels). Do this three times until you have a row of 5 squares. Now select the entire row of 5 squares. Copy the row (⌘+C/ctrl+C) and paste in place (+F/ctrl+F). We’re then going to move this set again, (+shift+M/ctrl+shift+M) but this time, leave the “Horizontal” section in the dialog box at zero and put 250 px in the “Vertical” section. The angle section should read -90°. Select “OK.”

This should move the new row down 250 px, putting it directly below the first row. We’re going to duplicate this move TWO times by hitting copy, paste, and then **+D/ctrl+D** to duplicate the last action. When done correctly you should be staring at a rectangle 5 squares wide by 4 squares tall.

Group these squares together by hitting **+G/ctrl+G**. This is your template for 20% text check on Facebook advertisements. As long as your text stays within 5 of the 20 squares, your ad should be approved by Facebook. You can use these squares to stretch over whatever the size of your ad may be. Don’t worry about distorting the rectangles — whichever way you distort them, the proportions will still accurately measure your text percentage.

This is such a simple, visual way to be sure your ad is correct before uploading it to the system. And remember: You want to share your message with as little text as possible. Most ad platforms have spaces below your ad submission for the call to action. If at all possible, think outside the box and add subtle motion to your advertisement to help share your message and make your ad pop even more.

Topics: Design

Products: Illustrator, Creative Cloud