It is helpful to keep all elements in one large file (one big work space) so that individual pieces can easily be compared for fit, graphic scale, color matching, etc. I start with a 12 x 12 inch work space, and sometimes increase that. Some elements or design guides get “parked” just off the design page, and can be referred to as needed (below left). After all elements are designed, individual print files are produced by copying elements into these smaller files with 8.5 x 11 inch paper size (below right). A large design file may yield 4 to 6 print files, depending on how many pieces fit on one page of cardstock.

During construction, alterations may become apparent for an element. When an element is redesigned, be sure to update the master design file and the print file so that the design is ready to be reused for a subsequent model. Use a temporary print file for these reprints and try to batch them to suit the builder’s work style.