Product Guide

One of the most important things we can teach you when selecting a product, is how to maximise the potential of the image being used.

So please take the time to use this information to your every advantage….

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO VECTOR ARTWORK

Even if you’ve never heard of vector art before today, chances are good that you’ve interacted with it or seen it in action without even realizing it!  Vectored artwork plays an important role in the world of graphics and design, and is crucial for a perfect final result

If you are confused about why vector art matters and why you should care about it, then you will definitely want to read this detailed guide.  Knowledge is power, and we guarantee you’ll feel incredibly empowered after reading this guide and learning exactly what vector art is, why it’s so important, and how it relates to graphic design, company logos, and promotional products. 

What Exactly is Vector Art?
The technical definition of vector graphics is complicated!  In a nutshell, vector files (encapsulated postscript) define a graphic by using mathematical algorithms, which allow the image to be scaled or modified without loss of image quality or resolution. When your artwork or logo is in a vectored format (either .ai or .eps), it allows you to increase or decrease the size of the graphic without compromising the integrity of the original image. The end result is a crisp, clear, and readable image no matter what the final output or size! Vector graphics are sometimes also referred to as “draw graphics”, but they mean the same thing.

When you create an image in Adobe Illustrator (or in Freehand or CorelDraw), you are creating a vector graphic.   A vector graphic retains its crispness at any magnification, and a bitmap graphic appears jagged when scaled up., when you create an image in a program like Adobe Photoshop, you are creating a bitmap 

Why is Vector Art Required for Promo Items?
Vector art is necessary for promotional products because it ensures the highest quality print result and it guarantees that your logo or image can be resized to any proportions without losing its resolution.
Poor quality graphics ruin the appearance of your promotional items. You certainly wouldn’t want to spend money on custom merchandise for your family, friends or business if your image appears grainy, pixilated, and warped!  After all, if people can’t read your message or recognize your image, then what’s the point?  Vector art is crisp and clear at any magnification (unlike bitmap or jpeg files), which is why it is required for your promo items.

I Don’t Have Vector Artwork. Why Can’t I Just Use a Bitmap or JPEG File?
Unfortunately, bitmap files (.bmp), jpegs (.jpg), and most PDFs cannot be used for your promotional products because they cannot be modified without resulting in a poor quality imprint. If you try to scale or enlarge the size of a non-vector format, like a bitmap file, then the image would be pixilated and show jagged edges when printed.

When you create your logo or artwork in a vectored format,  it could be resized from business card dimensions to billboard dimensions without losing any of its sharpness!  That kind of resizing is impossible with a bitmap file, a jpeg, a PDF, or a similar format.

That being said, if all you have is a jpeg (.jpg) file, please ensure it is at the highest resolution possible for a better result.  We do however, only go ahead with such images as a “what you see is what you get understanding.”

How Do I Convert my Artwork into a Vectored Format?
To change your image or logo into vector art, it is sometimes necessary to speak with the original graphic designer of the artwork or the person who designed it for you; many times, the artist will be able to convert a jpeg (.jpg) or a bitmap file (.bmp) to a vectored format for you.

What If I Don’t Have Access to Adobe Illustrator?
If you don’t have access to Adobe Illustrator to re-create the art, then don’t worry!  Before you place your order, Perspective Branding can check your art for free and then let you know what can be done to convert it into a vectored format. If your file needs to be converted to vector art and you are unable to do so, then we’ll convert it for you. Afterwards, you’ll have the vectored file to keep for future printing needs!

How Can I Tell if My Art is Vectored Already?
If your artwork is already vectored (created in .ai, .eps, .FH, or .cdr formats), then drawing a select box around it in Adobe Illustrator will make a bunch of blue lines and dots appear on your art. However, if your artwork is not vectored, then drawing a select box around it in Adobe Illustrator will only create a basic frame WITHOUT blue lines or dots.

What Does “Convert Font to Outlines” Mean, and How Do I Do That to My Fonts?
“Converting font to outlines” means that you will have to change the font in your file from text to an object in order to maintain that font when it’s printed. If a particular font is not installed on a computer trying to open your file, then the computer will substitute a generic font for your original font, and it completely changes the way the font would appear and print. However, if your font is converted to outlines, then it allows the computer to read it as an image object rather than as just text. So, if you have specific fonts in your art file that you want to use on your items, then you need to convert the fonts to outlines!

Can I Just Save My File as an Adobe Illustrator (.ai) File & Make it Vectored?
Unfortunately, there is no “easy fix” to convert your existing artwork into a vectored format—simply saving your file with an .ai extension will not make your artwork vectored.  Remember, in order for an image to be vectored, it needs to be built from scratch in a program like Adobe Illustrator (preferred). 

Keep in mind that professionally-designed artwork usually has a vectored version somewhere, but not every computer can open vectored files because a specific program is required. Sometimes you can find a vectored file on your computer that you didn’t even know you had, just because you’ve never been able to open it or view the icon! You can try searching your computer (press Windows Key + “E”) for art files. 

How Do I Send My Vector Art to Perspective Branding?
To send your artwork to Perspective Branding, simply attach it and email it to myorder@perspective-branding.com.au and we will take it from there!  It is best to send your artwork as an .ai, .eps, .FH, or .cdr. You can also send .psd, .tif, .jpg, .gif, .pwt, .doc, .pdf, .sea, or .zip.  Please note, if using a MAC computer, we do not accept any files unless converted to “IBM”  compatible files.

For Your Convenience, Here is a Breakdown of Common Image Formats:

We will always prefer CorelDraw files over anything else, as this is the software we print directly from for all our items.

For everything else, please see information below…

Adobe Illustrator CS 6 or Earlier (Vector)
Adobe Illustrator files are best for spot color logos & text on clothing, mouse pads, and pins. This format is best accepted as an .ai or .eps extension with the fonts converted to outlines or included on the disk, e-mail, etc. If images are placed in the file, then the originals must be included. (Adobe Photoshop images placed in Adobe Illustrator doesn’t automatically make them spot color images)

Photoshop (Raster)
Best for photos printed with HiRes AccuColor, Four Color Process, Photo Transfers, or Digital Imaging is best accepted as an .eps, .psd, or .tif extension at full size and 300 dpi (min 200 dpi) – any lower dpi will produce jagged edges. If there are halftones in the image, then bitmaps are not acceptable. The extensions .jpg and .gif are acceptable but require massive cleanup 98% of the time. Spot color is best done in “channels.”

Freehand 8.0 and CorelDraw 8.0 (Vector)
Freehand and CorelDraw are also acceptable for spot color logos and text on clothing, mouse pads, and pins, and are best accepted with program extensions .FH or .cdr, with fonts converted to outlines or included. However, art time will increase with more gradients. If images are placed in the file, then the originals must be included.

Other Programs & Files:
• .jpg and .gif- low resolution and is only good for viewing art. Most cases will require art re-creation.

• .txt and .doc- an extension from Microsoft Word that cannot be opened (not a graphics program).

• PowerPoint and AutoCAD- there is no way to export the file to something usable.

• PageMaker- incompatible with most software

Quark Express
Quark is used primarily for output. It works well for combined graphics from multiple files, and it is best sent full size with all placed images (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) and fonts included (select “file” then “collect for output”).

 

VECTOR ARTWORK

VS 

RASTER ARTWORK

This is a vector image designed in Adobe Illustrator and it offers a clean edge at any angle and any size. CorelDraw and Macromedia Freehand offer the same results. This file format can be resized without loss of resolution, making it the preferred format for logos, text, etc.

 

This is a 72 DPI raster image designed in Adobe Photoshop, and this image has to be redrawn from scratch to be acceptable. Only high resolution images (300 DPI at full size) can be used as is. This image type is made to print with four-color process (photographic images).