Q. What is "artwork"?
A. Artwork, in the printing and graphic design sector, is generally defined as ready to print files in a soft-copy format such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Quark Xpress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Pagemaker, etc. This file may include text, images, vector art, clipart or any other type of printable material.
Q. What is "vector art" and why is it different from drawing in Microsoft Word or Paint?
A. Vector Art is a scalable format which does not lose sharpness or quality when resized. If your logo is in vector art, you can make it as small as a pinhead, or as large as house and the quality is perfect at both sizes. Programs such as Adobe Illustrator use vector art to draw, however Microsoft Word does not. This would mean that if we were to make your standard logo drawn in Word, say, the size of an A4 page, it would become very blurry and look like a big mess! This cheapens your logo and makes you look like a second rate organisation. Vector art is the graphic design industry standard.
Q. If I want to supply my own artwork, what formats can you accept?
A. Generally, we can work with all files, however, there may be additional charges involved if the supplied files are not in the correct formats. We accept Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop (subject to conditions), Quark Xpress and Adobe Pagemaker for direct artwork files. If supplied in Adobe Photoshop, the image must be supplied in PSD or BMP format, with a minimum of 300dpi. We recommend 600dpi, as this allows for some later scaling if necessary.
Q. What colours can I use in my artwork?
A. This question depends on the type of printing you would like done. There are generally 3 options - 1 colour only, 2 colours or full colour. With the first two options, we recommend using the PMS (Pantone Matching System) colour matching system, as it is identical across any offset printer and allows easy of use. If you require full colour, the CMYK colour space is used. This means that your artwork is divided up into 4 individual colours - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. These colours combines can make over 16 million definitive colours!
Q. Can I use images in my artwork?
A. Of course! The world would be pretty bland if all we had to look at was text. We recommend that if you are going to supply us artwork, the images are in TIFF format, 8-bit preview, full colour and at least 300dpi. This is generally the safest option for images embedded in artwork files. A common problem with images is that if they are scanned from photographs, or taken from the web, they are in the RGB (red, green, blue) colourspace, which distorts the colours from the image when they are produced on the printer. Just remember, RGB is for viewing on your computer screen, CMYK is for printing.
Q. What does DPI stand for?
A. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. The higher the DPI is, the better the print quality. Web graphics use 72dpi, as they are generally only used for viewing on your screen (which incidentally is shown in 72dpi), whereas printed media needs to have more dots packed closer together so the image does not have whitespace.
If you have any further questions about artwork, are unsure about something, or just think there should be another Question and Answer, please Contact Us.