Artwork Specifications

Artwork Specifications, Guidelines & Printing Methods Explained

Our preference format for all artwork files is vector EPS Illustrator files or Adobe Illustrator AI files.  If you don’t have artwork in the preferred formats, we can redraw your artwork for you into the correct format. Artwork charges are applicable.  An estimated cost to redraw your logo is somewhere between $30.00 – $75.00 depending upon the complexity of the drawing. Email your artwork to us and we can arrange a quote.

Digital artwork submission guidelines are listed below.  Art to be supplied in MAC or PC-formatted EPS files created in Adobe Illustrator (version CS5 or lower) or a high resolution PDF with bleed .

  • Create your artwork to the specific size of the product with one design per file/page of pdf
  • Allow at least 3mm bleed all around
  • Ensure that all text/fonts have been created to outlines/ curves to avoid font problems
  • Colour up any logos etc. that require colour matching to the relevant pantone colour
  • We cannot match colours that are not allocated their pms colour on the artwork
  • Digital printing cannot print metallic colours, contact us for advice
  • When saving pdfs, ensure that pdf settings are of a high reslolution and allow for 3mm bleed all around
  • Any placed images should be embedded in the eps files and to be high resolution (300dpi)
  • Do not have any white areas set to overprint
  • The 4 colour process will omit any elements set to overprint white
  • We can accept jpegs for products as long as they are high resolution
  • JPG Resolution (300dpi) and to the correct size of the product with relevant bleeds etc.
  • No specific colour matching will be available if a jpeg is provided

 

Laser Engraving 

Laser engraving produces a permanent natural finish using a laser to mark the product. Different materials produce different effects when engraved so to avoid uncertainty pre-production samples are recommended.

Advantages

  • Higher perceived value than other forms of branding.
  • The branding becomes part of the surface and is permanent.
  • Gives a similar finish to etching on glassware at a much lower cost.
  • Can mark curved or uneven products.
  • Can produce variable data including individual names.
  • The product can be shipped as soon as marking is finished

Limitations

  • The size of branding areas is limited on curved surfaces.
  • Fine detail can be lost on smaller products like pens.

Artwork Requirements

The artwork should be supplied in vector format.Digital artwork to be supplied in MAC or PC-formatted EPS files created in Adobe Illustrator (version CS5 or lower) or a high resolution PDF.

  • Where possible supply artwork to the imprint area allocated to that particluar product
  • Ensure that all text/fonts have been created to outlines/ curves to avoid font problems
  • Colour up artwork to the pantone colours to be printed
  • Logos for laser engraving to be supplied as solid Black (this will be the ‘engrave’)
  • We cannot use placed images or jepgs – all artwork must be fully editable vector graphic
  • Gradients and percentages of colour cannot be engraved or pad printed
  • Where logos have percentages of a colour – a solid pms colour must be assigned to each percentage

Pad Printing

Pad printing uses a silicone pad to transfer an image to a product from a laser etched printing plate. It is one of the most popular and affordable ways of branding promotional products due to its ability to reproduce images on uneven or curved products and print multiple colours in a single pass.

Advantages

  • Ideal for printing on curved or uneven products.
  • Close PMS matches are possible on white or light coloured products.
  • Metallic gold and silver is available.

Limitations

  • Halftones cannot be consistently reproduced.
  • The size of branding areas is limited on curved surfaces.
  • Unable to print variable data.
  • Close PMS matches are more difficult on darker products and will only be approximate.
  • Minor print distortion may occur on uneven or curved surfaces.
  • Pad print inks require a curing period before the product can be shipped.
  • A set up charge is required for each colour to be printed.

Artwork Requirements

  • Artwork should be supplied in vector format.

Rotary Screen Printing & Flat Bed Screen Printing

 

Rotary & Flat Bed Screen Printing is achieved by forcing ink through a fine mesh screen with a squeegee onto the product and is ideal for branding flat or cylindrical objects.

Advantages

  • Large print areas are possible on both flat and cylindrical products.
  • Close PMS matches are possible on white or light coloured products.
  • Ideal for large solid areas of colour.
  • Most screen print inks are quick drying and can be shipped immediately after printing.
  • Metallic gold and silver is available.

Limitations

  • Halftones and very fine lines are not recommended.
  • Close PMS matches are more difficult on darker products and will only be approximate.
  • Unable to print variable data.
  • A set up charge is required for each colour to be printed.

Artwork Requirements

  • Artwork should be supplied in vector format.

Imitation Etching

Imitation etching is a special pad printing ink used for producing an etch like effect on glass products.

Advantages

  • Much lower cost than real etching.
  • Can brand curved or uneven products.
  • Produces a subtle, high perceived value finish that looks like etching.

Limitations

  • Halftones cannot be consistently reproduced.
  • The size of branding areas is limited on curved surfaces.
  • Minor print distortion may occur on uneven or curved surfaces.
  • Requires a curing period before the product can be shipped.
  • Unable to print variable data.

Artwork Requirements

  • The artwork should be supplied in vector format.

Resin Coated Finishing

Resin coated finishing is produced by printing the artwork onto a vinyl material with strong adhesive on the reverse. The branded area is coated with a crystal clear resin which is allowed to dry. Once dry, the finished decal is applied to the product and the adhesive forms a permanent bond.

Advantages

  • Ideal for producing vivid full colour images as well as spot colour branding.
  • Produces a stunning 3D effect that elevates the perceived value of a product.
  • Can print variable data including individual names.
  • Only one set up charge is required irrespective of the number of print colours.
  • Branding can bleed off the resin coated area.

Limitations

  • Only approximate PMS colours can be reproduced.
  • The resin requires a one day curing period before the product can be shipped.
  • Metallic gold and silver colours are not available.
  • Larger print areas tend to be more expensive.

Artwork Requirements

  • Artwork can be supplied in either vector or bitmap format.
  • A 3mm bleed should be added to the artwork if it bleeds off the product.

 

 

Offset Lithography

offset-printing-bongo

Offset lithography is the most commonly used commercial printing process for the bulk of desktop publishing on paper requiring high volume mass production. Print projects such as glossy magazines and brochures with spot color or full color photographs will most likely utilize offset printing.

Direct Digital Printing

direct-digital-printing

Digital printing Direct to product digital printing involves the transfer of ink directly from the print head of a special inkjet machine to the product. This can be used to produce full colour printing on flat or slightly curved surfaces. It is difficult to reproduce PMS colour matches and some colours including metallic gold and silver are not possible to achieve. One big advantage of direct digital is that these machines can print a layer of white ink under the copy making them ideal for branding dark coloured products.

Advantages

  • Ideal for producing vivid full colour images as well as spot colour branding.
  • Can print variable data including individual names.
  • Only one set up charge is required irrespective of the number of print colours.
  • Can be cut to special shapes.
  • The branding can bleed off the edges of the product.

Limitations

  • Only approximate PMS colours can be reproduced.
  • Metallic gold and silver colours are not available.

Artwork Requirements

  • Artwork can be supplied in either vector or bitmap format.
  • A 3mm bleed should be added to the artwork if it bleeds off the product.

Sublimation Printing

sublimation-printing-bongo

Sublimation printing (or dye-sublimation printing) is achieved by heat transferring a digitally printed full colour image from a paper transfer to the product. This process can reproduce stunning, vivid, full colour graphics but there is limited control over the colour outcomes which makes reproducing PMS colours very difficult and in some cases impossible. Only certain surfaces and materials can be branded with sublimation printing.

Sublimation printing is used for branding products that have a special coating on them or fabrics suitable for the sublimation process. A transfer is produced by printing sublimation ink onto transfer paper and then heat pressing it onto the product.

Advantages

  • Sublimation ink is actually a dye so there is no ink build-up on the finished print and it looks like part of the product.
  • Ideal for producing vivid full colour images as well as spot colour branding.
  • Can print variable data including individual names.
  • Only one set up charge is required irrespective of the number of print colours.
  • The branding can bleed off some products.

Limitations

  • Can only be used for suitable products with white surfaces.
  • Only approximate PMS colours can be reproduced.
  • Some colours cannot be reproduced including metallic silver and gold.
  • When printing large images some minor imperfections may appear in the print or around the edges of it. These are unavoidable.

Artwork Requirements

  • Artwork can be supplied in either vector or bitmap format.
  • A 3mm bleed should be added to the artwork if it bleeds off the product.

Embossing and Debossing

embossing-and-debossing

Embossing is the opposite of debossing i.e. the image in in relief and thus creates a raised surface. Debossing creates a depression of an image into the surface of the material – and therefore the images sits below the surface.

Hot Stamping

hot-stamping

Hot Samping – hot stamping is mainly used on leather products.  Your logo is set in relief in the form of a plate which is heated and then pressed onto the surface of the products.  This results in a recessed image which is similar to debossing.

Etching

etching

Etching is a process of using strong chemicals to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal or glass surface to create the design.

Die Casting

die-casting-bongo

Die Casting is a metal casting process that is characterised by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mould cavity. The mould is created using two hardened tool steel dies which have been machined into the shape of the product – and work similarly to an injection mould during the process.  Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead pewter and tin based alloys.  This process is used to create custom made individual designs.

 

Full Colour Heat Transfers

full-colour-heat-transfers

Full Colour Heat Transfers – there are several methods of producing heat transfers. They can be printed and cut to shape on a digital inkjet printer. The disadvantage of this method is that the transfer can look like a label when heat pressed onto the product. Other methods are screen print, offset or full colour digital printing onto a release media. These methods give a finished print very similar to direct printing but the image is often much sharper and can reproduce finer detail. Heat transfers are commonly used to brand textile surfaces and bags. They are heat pressed onto the product and produce a permanent bond. Only approximate PMS colour matches are possible with digital printing.

Variable data – to be supplied in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, 1 column per data field. The longest name/entry will dictate the font size to be used. Recommend Helvetica font, other fonts may be rejected by the variable data programme. Barcodes can be generated by High Caliber in sequential numerical order. Please contact us for any further information.

Artwork Approvals – It is of the utmost importance to approve paper and product proofs as soon as possible in order to meet delivery dates. If approvals are delayed, rush charges and/or expedited freight may be required at the customer’s expense to meet a specified delivery date. Requests for paper proofs must be in writing on the PO or factory will produce the order per artwork sent using standard guidelines. Paper proofs must be approved within 24 hours of receipt in order to hold production schedule and inventory, except for rush orders. All orders requiring typesetting require a paper proof.

Tips – Consider how the artwork will appear on the required product ie. square logos can be very small when reduced to fit on pens.   Avoid having very complex logos at small imprint sizes – the smaller the logo the higher the change the details will fill in or be lost.  Avoid having important artwork close to the trim/finish edge of products.  Some products have multiple forme cut areas which need to have a ‘bleed’assigned to them (templates are available for these products).

Media – We can accept artwork via email (7mb maximum), CD, DVD, File Management Website, FTP site or IDisk. Please identify with your company name, job name and order number.

Conditions – Our competitive pricing and lead times are made possible by accepting print ready finished artwork. We reserve the right to charge artwork set up costs for any artwork changes necessary to achieve the best quality print ready files or artwork changes requested by our clients. Artwork changes will consequently affect production and delivery schedules.