Butting Balloons

How to butt, or attach, a balloon to the panel border.

Butting balloons is an excellent way to conserve space in a tight panel. Use them only when necessary, though, as they can reduce the margin of error available when the lettering is merged with the finished artwork.

1. The top line of text on a butted balloon should be wider than usual, but still a little narrower than the line directly below it. Draw the balloon so it overlaps the panel border.

2. Using the box tool, draw a box that covers the area you want to remove. Make sure the edge is centered on the panel border.

3. Send the box to back using Object > Arrange > Send to Back (command-shift-[). Select both items, and click “Minus Back” in the Pathfinder palette.

4. Select the balloon(s) and tail, and click “Unite” (“Merge” in Illustrator 10 and above) in the Pathfinder palette, and you’re all set.

5. Before finishing the page, be sure to zoom way in and make sure all your balloons line up exactly with the panel border.