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What Is Good Artwork For Imprinting?

Category: Apparel

2013/12/26 8:29:43

I can send you a .JPG file.  

Can you just grab my logo off my website?

As a promotional products consultant, those are two things I never, EVER want to hear when accepting an order. Why? Because it's just about impossible for me to imprint it for you. Let's see why that is.

Usually for it to be "good artwork" for imprinting on fabric, what's required is "vector" artwork. Vector artwork is created through "mathematically defined" objects, like plotting points and drawing lines between them. The result is clean, crisp graphics are scalable, meaning that it will look essentially the same whether you use it at 1 inch or 100 inches. The graphic below on the left is a representation of a vector graphic (some resolution may be lost if you are viewing it on a screen instead of a physical book).

Good Artwork  For Imprinting

On the other hand, "raster" artwork is a bitmap image. Bitmap images are composed of a checkerboard type grid of squares and are usually used for photographic type images. Most web type images are 72 pixels per inch (very low resolution) and those used for high resolution printing can be as high as 300 or 600 per inch. If you zoom in on a web image, you can see the squares.

The reason the clean lines are needed is because ink imprinting your logo art is usually done with a screen printing process.  Think of it as somewhat like a stencil. Now imagine you have to cut the stenciled design using the rough edge graphic shown on the right. Might be less than smooth edges for sure!

Your logo designer should be able to provide you with an Encapsulated Postscript (.eps), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), or a print production quality PDF file that you can pass along to your promotional products consultant. Once you have that, your consultant can easily resize it to whatever imprint size you'll need for your project. Word of caution: Do not try to "convert" a .jpg or .gif file to an .eps or .pdf format, thinking that it will magically turn into production ready artwork. It will not. It just converts the low resolution file into a file that can be read (not used) as an .eps or print ready .pdf.

If, for some reason, you cannot get a vector art file for your project, your consultant can usually have it redrawn for you by a graphic artist. This will involve extra expense and time. So investing in hiring a designer to create imprint-ready artwork will save you time and dollars over the years.

And while we're talking about graphic design, please do yourself, your promotional product consultant, and your marketing image a favor by investing in an official logo for your business. This is the face you show to the world!