Artwork files for graphic images and logos

Graphics, Artwork and Logos

Artwork for logos and graphic images fall into two main groupings -

  • Raster, bitmap type files (eg.: jpg, bmp, png) - these are generally photographic type images made up of pixels. They are produced as photographs or in photographic editing and some desktop publishing software. The higher the resolution, the better quality the image and the smaller the pixel size.  These files are suited to printing. They are not suitable for engraving or casting purposes or for cut vinyl graphics.

  • Vector (curves/lines)  (eg.: ai, eps, cdr, ps, pdf* see note below) files generally produced on dedicated graphics software these files are shapes formed by lines and are re-sizable to any size without affecting the image quality.  All files for engraving and casting and for cut vinyl graphics graphics must be vector images.

  • NOTE 1 - home based publishing or photo editing software claim to produce files with vector format file extension (ai, eps), however, they do not - the files are simply re-labelled versions of the original raster files.  This is misleading and confusing and we would urge you to check with us before spending a lot of time on designs using this type of software.  These files are generally only suitable for printing.
  • NOTE 2 - PDF files are very commonly used but can be either raster or vector formatted depending on the software used to create them. 

Files for engraving, casting and cut vinyl graphics

Signmakers can reproduce a wide range of images but size and detail will determine what is possible and results vary between materials. For example we can engrave finer detail in softer plastic, aluminium and brass than is possible in very hard stainless steel.

Artwork is required in a suitable electronic format (emailed or delivered on a USB memory stick or disk) and the following vector or line art file extension types are preferred:

  • eps or ps (transferable formats produced by most graphics software)
  • ai (Adobe Illustrator)
  • PDF vector (see Note 2 above)
  • cdr (Corel Draw)

If a suitable vector file is not available it may be necessary to create one which can be time consuming and expensive.  Signmakers can provide an indication of cost before any work is undertaken.

If you do not have vector or line art type files it would be best to submit the file for any artwork to us early in the process in order for us to assess suitability or what might be involved in transforming it.

We have a library of artwork and may have something that suits your needs or advice on other artwork options.  Don't be put off - discuss your ideas with us.


Engraved text and graphics are usually paint filled and we can do this in any colour.  For example, if you prefer blue or red lettering instead of black that is no problem. 

We can fill in multiple colours for example provided there is adequate separation between colours and graphics are of suitable size.  For example a heading or logo in blue and the rest of the text in black.  Overlapping colours, shades (fades) or multiple colours on small objects are generally not possible.  

Files for Printing

It is possible to print from most raster/bitmap (photographic) type files but the results will only be as good as the file provided. Low quality, low resolution files are not suited to large format printing where images are blown up in size much beyond a normal photograph.  You can check image quality by zooming in on it on your computer screen to get some idea of how it might reproduce at expanded size.

All electronic files have a file size after the name and generally the larger this number the better the resolution.  For example a file size of 20kb is low resolution and will have a poor image quality (large pixels) whereas file size that get up into several hundred kilobytes or into megabytes will generally be good.

Emailing Files

Please ensure all files sent by email are attached to the email as a separate, stand-alone file and not embedded into the text/body of the email.

Internet Files and Business Cards
Signmakers is frequently asked to prepare sign or engraving artwork from images that have been downloaded from the Internet or to duplicate artwork from business cards. 

Unless Internet images are downloaded from a reputable website and in the correct format the quality is usually very poor. These images are very often not suitable.  Tiny images on business cards are very difficult to reproduce.  It may be possible to work with these images but any work required to transform them may be expensive.