What Is Print Ready Art?
For those of us that work in the printing or graphic design industry its easy to forget that our jargon or the terms we use day to day may not quite make sense to our clients or even worse may be misinterpreted. One thing we should all remember though is that we should ensure that our clients know exactly what we mean when we ask “do you have your own artwork?”
Here is a brief explanation of what anyone in the print or graphic design industry means when they say artwork.
What is artwork?
When a print company, sign shop or related industry ask the questions “do you have your own artwork?” or “will you be supplying your own artwork?” they specifically are referring to print ready artwork. Print ready artwork is a computer generated file or files which has been created by a professional design program to meet a certain set of specifications.
Print ready artwork is set up to the correct size that the printer requires, will have all the correct bleeds, will be set up at the correct resolution and saved in the correct file format for that particular printers requirements.
Print ready artwork should be logically….. ready to print. This means the production staff will be able to open the file within their system and send it straight to print without having to make any alterations to the files.
What is not artwork?
The most common confusion we see is clients confusing a brief as artwork. To explain what I mean here is an example.
A client is asked when ordering one single banner “will you be supplying your own artwork?” Client responds “yes… I have my own artwork”. The client is then emailed through our specs sheet. The client emails us in return attaching 1 file containing a logo in jpg format 6 additional files containing photographs in jpg format along with a word document explaining how they would like their banner to look.
This could be considered by those of us who work in the industry a brief and would not accept it as print ready artwork.
Whats the big deal?
Graphic design is a service. There is a lot to know about supplying files correctly and creating takes time. It is a very widely debated topic across the internet about the graphic design industry being exploited and we generally feel for those professional designers feeling the pressure of competing with inexperienced untrained designers.
Finding a good designer is hard but when you do find the right designer it can make a big difference to your business.If you would like contact details for some great designers just ask us.
Common Misconceptions or Mistakes
- Using the right program/s to begin with. Publisher, Word and Paintshop should not be used to design for print. The Adobe suite is the clear industry leader with Corel Draw also being widely used and accepted
- Understanding resolution is a must to be able to supply files correctly especially within the large format industry.
- Colour reproduction. Understanding the difference between RGB and CMYK as well as being able to use the Pantone colour system is is important
- Understanding vector images, raster images, bitmap images etc. What are they? and when should they be used?
- Bleeds are important. Not having a bleed can cause all sorts of problems and will usually deem your job unprintable. Too much bleed or adding bleed when not required can also slow down production.
- Outline your fonts, outline your fonts and outline your fonts. You should always “create outlines” or “convert your fonts to curves” when supplying print ready artwork. This is something which even the most experienced designers never seem to take seriously.
- Outline your fonts…..