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Custom Artwork

Good artwork is essential to produce top-quality promotional products. We're here to help you manage your artwork needs.

Technical information is provided below for designers and pre-press specialists to help you determine what kind of electronic artwork files work best.

Technical Information

This is a the most essential information needed by our customers for the preparation of artwork for the printing or decoration of products. If you need more specific information, please let us know.

Most of the factories who do imprinting prefer to work with vector files, e.g. Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand and in some cases, CorelDraw. Vector files are subject to damage when they travel on the Internet without compression, so if you plan to send vector files from one place to another, please be sure to compress them first. Popular compression software for Macintosh users is Stuffit; most Windows users will use PKZip or WinZip.

It's also a very helpful to handle your fonts before problems arise, instead of afterward. Vector illustration programs allow you to "create outlines" or "convert text to curves." These features are important and should be used whenever additional typesetting is not needed with the same font. (If the latter happens to be the case, please supply your fonts, too.)

Many people make the mistake of thinking that "EPS" is a guarantee of success. While we do have a degree of confidence that your EPS files are the kind we can use, it's important to note that putting the letters "EPS" at the end of a file name, or saving certain files in the EPS format, does not necessarily make them the kind of files people expect when they say "EPS." For example, Photoshop files saved in the EPS format are still bitmap files.

The use of bitmap files (i.e. Photoshop) requires a different kind of attention. Very often, people think that the graphics they see on the World Wide Web can be used for printing. Almost always, this is not true. Web graphics are very low-resolution and they use colors which do not correspond to printing inks. However, most web graphics are derivatives of better quality files, often vector-based graphics, which you can obtain with a little time and effort and thereby get much better results.

Screen printing and other printing processes sometimes require special attention with issues like under-colors, dot gain, trapping, color adjustment, and so forth. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the logo that looks great on your office color printer can also be used to do professional printing without some extra attention. Even the best artwork files sometimes need a bit of professional "tweaking" to assure the highest quality results.

4-color (full-color) process printing is very common in lithography (printing on paper) but not always possible on promotional products. Remember, the products we decorate are made of a variety of surfaces, colors, shapes, textures, materials ... why, some (like balloons, for instance) even change shape and size after printing. So please understand that the artwork or color photography which looks great on stationery or annual reports may not easily convert to something like gold-foil stamping on leather.

We work with a variety of other non-print processes too, such as engraving, embroidery, casting, and each of these has its own special considerations.

Proofs: we recommend pre-production proofs, especially in today's fast-paced world of electronic artwork and Internet transfers. With all the time we save with these modern conveniences, it's well-advised to take a few extra precautions to make sure nothing goes wrong along the way. Proofs are the only way to make sure your products are decorated just the way you want.

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