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 commonly photographic type images made up of geometrically shaped pixels. 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 "professional" graphics software these files are shapes formed by lines and are re-sizable to any size without affecting the image quality. They can look like photographic images but the format is different. Generally, all files for engraving and casting and for cut vinyl graphics graphics must be vector images.
- NOTE - 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* - 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 above)
- cdr (Corel Draw)
It may be possible to create vector files from a raster/bitmap image but the original image needs to be high resolution and preferably have clearly defined lines (strong black and white contrast is preferred) so it can be traced. However, this work may be time consuming and can be 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 lettering and graphics are usually paint filled and we can do this in almost 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, if you wanted a heading in blue and the rest of the text in black. However, overlapping colours, shades (fades) or multiple colours on small objects are generally not possible. As with every other aspect of the process early discussion about what is possible is advisable.
Files for Printing
It is possible to print from most bitmap (photographic) type files, however, the results will only be as good as the file provided to us. 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 - load a photo and zoom in and see what it will look like expanded to that 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 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.
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.
Home Produced Artwork
See note above