Art Specs

Art Requirements

We prefer to receive art in an Adobe Illustrator .eps file. Artwork must be vector, and have all text converted to outlines, curves or paths, at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi in either CMYK or RGB, with PMS colors specified. We accept electronic art in .eps or .pdf files. Keep in mind that artwork with high color saturations will print with better quality. Art with halftones, screens, fades or blends subject to review and approval.

*If you do not have the necessary file format, our artists can recreate the art for a minimal fee.


Q: I have a JPG image. Why can't I use that for printing? A: Jpg's and Gif file formats are both bitmap - based images which are series of pixels. The pixels often give a blurry, "stairstep" look when printed. Both JPG's and Gif's are compressed file formats to make smaller file sizes for faster loading on web sites but do not print clearly.

Q: I saved my jpg as an Illustrator file but that still won't work. Why? A: Opening a jpg or gif in Illustrator and saving it as an Illustrator file does not change the fact that it is still a pixel-based or "raster" image. Artwork that is actually created in a drawing program such as llustrator, Freehand, or Corel Draw is vector-based. That means that the lines and shapes of the artwork are based on mathematical formulas which make the artwork completely scalable. No matter how much you magnify the image, the lines will still be sharp and clear. When we change your jpg or gif into an Illustrator file, we actually re - create it.

Q: What is "dpi" and why does it matter? A: DPI stands for Dots per Inch. Images saved from web sites are normally low resolution which means they are about 72 dpi. Low resolution images work very well for web sites because they are smaller file sizes and hence load faster than a high resolution image would but those same images will not give you satisfactory results when it is printed. A raster or pixel-based image needs to be at least 300 dpi and sometimes even higher.

Q: How can I change my low-resolution image into a high-resolution one? A: Unfortunately it is impossible to turn a low-resolution raster image into a high-resolution one. Resolution can be reduced but it can never be increased.

Q: What are PMS colors? A: This is also known as Pantone Matching System. It is a popular color matching system used by the printing industry to print spot colors. Most applications that support color printing allow you to specify colors by indicating the Pantone name and number. This assures that you get the right color when the file is printed, even though the color may not look right when displayed on your monitor. If you’re not sure of the PMS colors, your graphic artist should be able to tell you.

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