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Art and Graphics Information
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Art and Graphics Information

Getting the right art for the job can be a real challenge. When imprinting on almost anything your image is vital to the success of the print, and in some cases you can not even print at all without the right format.

Below we have outlined some information that hopefully can clarify graphic formats.

One basic tenet to remember: Vector art is a clearer and higher level art file, so you can save vector art (like .ai or .eps) into a non-vector format (like .gif or .jpg). But you can not save non-vector art (like a gif or jpg file) as a usable vector art file.

Art and Graphics information

Many products and suppliers need vector art files like .eps (Adobe Photoshop) or .ai (adobe Illustrator) files to imprint the logo or graphic on the product. These files differ significantly from formats like .bmp, .jpg, and .gif in that they are vector based. Vector-based art allows the image to be resized and manipulated, because the graphic format knows how to draw the image at any size or any resolution without distortion or blurring.

Images that are not vector based can not simply be "saved as" a .eps or .ai, since they would lack the crucial ability to redraw and resize the image without a loss in resolution. Quite simply a jpeg or gif simply will not work without being redrawn with a program using vectors.

When vector art (.eps or .ai, or similar) is needed you can not use web graphics. As you can see on the right side of this page, web graphics (like a gif, jpg, or bmp) look fine on the web, but when they are expanded to a larger print format (as is used for printing and premiums) these graphics lose their resolution and are not usable.

  • Sample Vector Art File Types: Adobe Photoshop (.eps), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Macromedia Freehand
  • Non-Vector Art File Types: bmp, jpg, gif, tiff

Some printers have in-house art departments who can clean up images or redraw them (sometimes called "vectorize" the graphics or logos.) Most charge an hourly fee for the service. Each supplier varies and delivering the right art can be the difference between the perfect product and a sloppy imprint or countless art delays.

Often times the best method to obtain this file type is to check with your art department or whoever does your printing. Nearly all printing processes use vector art and will have the proper format. If you are unsure we recommend you connect your art people directly with the party you are ordering with.

Some useful web sites for defining file types:

Our Services:

Mark Out Productions and Gameops.com has some in-house art capabilities. We have all the major programs to open and edit images and graphics (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, Fireworks). We also have a good library of sports team logo art (vectorized logos), so we may even have several versions of your logo at hand.

We also have purchased a logo encyclopedia of high quality vector art for over 12,500 companies. We have made these investments to save on expensive hourly art fees and set-ups.

If we still are unable to resolve your art we have access to two specialty art houses, who charge a fee to produce this vectorized art. We use it as a last resort and it can also add 2-3 days to the process in addition to a nominal art fee.

Search over 500,000 products from Gameops.com on the
Gameops.com LogoMall.

Definitions

  • Camera-ready art
Any drawing, photos, illustration or lettering suitable for photographic reproduction.
  • Bitmap (or "raster")

Electronic representation of a page, indicating the position of every position spot (zero or one). A graphic image or picture portrayed in pixel. Such as jpgs, gifs, eps, tiffs, picts, psd, bmp, etc…

  • Vector

A mathematical defined object (geometrically perfect). Can be resized or reshaped without diminishing its sharpness or smoothness. Found in ai, eps, cmx, cdr, dxf,wmf/emf

  • Paper Proof

Color or black and white artwork printed on paper before printing on actual product(s).

  • Register Marks

Cross-hair marks applied to negatives, artwork, photographs or mechanicals to ensure precise register on the final product.

  • Crop marks
Indicators on artwork to show where an illustration is to be cut or sized.
  • Pantone Matching System (PMS)

Color scale used to precisely match colors for printing. Each hue has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that hue. Available for spot colors and process colors in coated and uncoated colors. PMS COLOR CHART

  • Logo or Logotype

Style of lettering or design of a company used as a trademark to identify itself.

  • Color separation

Separation of multicolored original art by camera or laser-scan techniques to produce individual separated colors. There are four common separations: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.

Vector Artwork Files

Vector artwork files must be written in the PostscriptTM language. Files can obtain no PostscriptTM errors, stray points or colors assigned to elements in a manner inconsistent with the supplier's published requirements.

Any type set on paths must be converted to Postscript outlines (curves). If additional or future typesetting is anticipated or type left unconverted, the font files must also be supplied for use on the supplier's specified computer platform (operating system).

Any line thickness must exceed the supplier's minimum when the artwork is scaled to the actual imprint size. Files with any placed, parsed or linked elements require certain additional criteria described in the standard for "metafiles".

The artwork file(s) should be accompanied by a printed proof, or its electronic equivalent, which communicates to the supplier the desired result of the use of the e-artwork file(s).

Bitmap Artwork Files

Bitmap files should render images at 100 percent of actual imprint size.

Images that contain halftones, tints, grayscales or are intended for process color separation should have a bitmap resolution (pixels-per-inch) that is a multiple of no less than 150 to 200 percent of the line screen frequency specified by the printing process.

Images that contain line art or areas of solid color should have a bitmap resolution (pixels-per-inch) of no less than the supplier's specified minimum.

Unless suppliers specifically request CMYK files, the color space of images submitted for process color separation should remain in the native RGB color space to permit suppliers to apply their own separation setup preferences.

Page Layout Documents

Page layout documents must be prepared to render artwork and/or other elements to be printed at a scale of 100 percent of the actual imprint size.

In addition to submitting the page layout document(s), there must also be the submission of all vector and/or bitmap files that are referenced by the page layout document.

The font files and document preferences necessary to properly render any text in the page layout file must also be supplied for use on the supplier's specified computer platform (operating system).

The page layout file(s) should be accompanied by a printed proof, or its electronic equivalent, which communicates to the supplier the desired result of the use of the page layout file(s).

Acrobat (PDF) Files


PDF files created from vector files must be suitable for reverse-conversion to vector files or to use in the PDF format such that the file meets the quality standard for vector files.

PDF files created from bitmap files must be suitable for reverse-conversion to bitmap files or for use in the PDF format such that the file meets the quality standard for bitmap files.

PDF files created from metafiles or page layout documents must be submitted together with the source document, all fonts and imported graphic components unless the supplier specifically waives these requirements.

PDF files are acceptable as proofs (both for submission of the order to the supplier and pre-production examination by the distributor) subject to the limitations of the Adobe PDF file format and any other limitations published by the supplier.

Source (CameraReadyArt.com)

Pros and Cons

TIFF
Advantages:

  • Fonts are embedded in image
  • Works well with paint/image editing applications
  • Prints well on postscript and non-postscript printers
  • Uses lossless LZW compression

Disadvantages:

  • Permanently converts spot colors to process
  • Large file size (compared to vector-based graphics)
  • Loses image quality when enlarged
  • Text cannot be edited with text tools

EPS
Advantages:

  • Preferred by graphics professionals for use with vector graphics
  • Very small file size
  • Editable text
  • Works with vector-based graphics
  • Supports spot colors
  • Does not lose image quality when enlarged

Disadvantages:

  • Prints unacceptably on non-postscript compatible printers
  • Requires linked font files if text not converted to artwork
  • Cannot be edited in paint applications unless converted to bitmap

GIF
Advantages:

  • For web graphics with areas of solid color
  • Background color can be made transparent
  • Supports web animation
  • File size can be reduced by limiting colors used
  • Built-in, customizable color table gives good color control

Disadvantages:

  • Maximum 256 colors
  • Most GIF's are saved at screen resolution (72 dpi--unacceptable for print)
  • Text cannot be edited with text tools
  • Loses image quality when enlarged

JPEG
Advantages
:

  • For full color web graphics (photographs)
  • Uses compression optimized for reducing file size for web publishing

Disadvantages:

  • Compression proportionally reduces image quality
  • Compression results in progressive color shifts
  • Most JPEG's are saved at screen resolution (72 dpi--unacceptable for print)
  • Most JPEG's are compressed too much for use in print
  • Loses image quality when enlarged

(From UNCW)

Production and Imprinting Definitions and Terms
Placement is the Key: Imprinting Tips
Concourse Displays
Imprinting Industry Terms and Definitions
Pantone Matching System Colors
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