What Does This Designer Comment Mean?
During our proofing process Designers may reach out and ask questions using terminology you’re unfamiliar with. This topic covers some of our common phrases and what we’re looking for in response.
Request Vector Art
Ensuring the best possible print means working with the best possible source material. Vector art provides us the ability to scale, adjust, and tweak as necessary for all decoration methods we offer. By comparison, raster artwork limits us to the size we receive it at, is much more difficult to edit, and does not work with many decoration methods.
When providing artwork, always check the file format. Art in AI, PDF, SVG, EPS, or DXF format typically contain vectors. If you have JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, PSD, or GIFs, these will always contain rasters.
What If I Don’t Have Vector Art?
For corporate logos and areas of text, we require vector art or source text. We will not recreate corporate logos. This is to uphold brand standards and accuracy.
For other artwork, we can recreate from rasters when necessary. Keep in mind, transforming artwork from a raster into a vector will introduce imperfections and won't be an exact match to the original.
Request Fonts or Outline Fonts
When working on your computer you’ll typically use any fonts available to you. While many fonts are included with common software, like Office or the Adobe Suite, or available free online, others may be licensed and Kotis does not have access to them. When designers are missing these fonts, Illustrator automatically replaces them with standard fonts, changing the artwork.
If your text won't need edits, we suggest converting it from live to outlined text. The original designer can do this by opening the file in Illustrator, selecting any live text, then going to Type > Create Outlines.
If your text may require edits, like in a booklet or flyer, we'll let you know if we need your font files. The original designer can typically provide these in TTF or OTF formats.
Request High Resolution Artwork
When products allow for raster artwork we'll require it to be high resolution. For most products, this means 300 dpi, or dots per inch. This ensures that the files contain enough information that the printer can reproduce it at high quality viewed from a reasonable distance.
If you see a Low Resolution warning, when printed the artwork will likely appear blurry or pixelated.
Request PMS Colors
Every display and printer may reproduce color differently. Ensuring accurate colors across the design process, from the artwork provided to the final product, is difficult.
One solution used in the decoration industry are PMS colors, or colors in the Pantone Matching System. Across the process, the system is an agreement of what a color looks like, better ensuring the final product comes out as expected. These are used in most decoration methods, directly or as reference.
If you have brand or style guidelines, you’ll typically see PMS colors formatted as PMS ###.
What If I Don’t Have PMS Colors?
When necessary, we will determine a best match based on colors provided to us. If you have official RGB (formatted #xxxxxx) or CMYK (formatted C xx% M xx% Y xx% K xx%) colors, please provide those.
Keep in mind, a best match won’t be exact since PMS Colors don't cover all color spectrums.
Missing or Not Embedded Links
Similar to fonts, designers may pull in images from their computer for a design. Unless these are embedded, or saved into the file, these are only links. When our designers open these files on their machines, we're left with a blank image, changing your artwork.
When possible, ask the original designer to embed any images necessary for the design.
What If My Files Are Too Large to Send?
We recommend using a cloud service to host the files and then sending us a link to download it. Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or WeTransfer are a few example services we’ve used.
Request Brand Guidelines
Depending on the size of your organization you may have official brand or style guidelines. These typically cover language, logos, colors, photos, and more used in marketing materials.
When possible, provide current versions of these documents to our team. They give us the clearest vision of your brand and lets us better design to suit your overall appearance.
Design Altered for Printing Minimums
While many designs look great on screen, when they’re decorated on products we face physical limits.
When we modify your design, we’re attempting to make the only tweaks necessary to show how it can work on the final product. While your screen can present limitless details, on physical products we are limited by how inks, threads, or other decorations work on the product.
For more information on decoration type specifics, see Embroidery - The Basics.