Thursday, July 24, 2014

artwork...where promo products projects go bad!

There are 2 places where promotional products projects go bad fast...artwork and time.

Here's a piece of artwork
Renoir's "Two Sisters (On the Terrace)"

This is not what we mean when we talk about "artwork" for your promotional product or corporate apparel.

"Artwork" is the term used throughout the promotional products industry and refers to your design or logo.
It refers to any image or text that you want to see imprinted on your promotional item.

When your company's logo was created by a graphic artist they most likely created a few versions of the same image. One type is a "bitmap" or "pixel art" version. You'll recognize the file extensions like "jpg," tiff," or "gif." These are low resolution files most commonly used to send images back and forth by e-mail.

The other version is called "vector art." This is a high resolution file used for accurate reproduction of the design. It is scale able, meaning it can be enlarged without becoming distorted.

Pixel art is made up of individual squares of color. Vector art is derived from mathematical formulas that define the edges of the design. I don't begin to understand the math involved. But what you need to know is that when you enlarge "pixel art" the edges become ragged. When you enlarge vector art the edges remain smooth.

The best way to understand this is to show you some illustrations. You'll get what I'm talking about right away.

It's real easy to see from this image how the edges remain smooth with the vector art and become ragged in the bitmap.

Here's another.

This shows you pretty clearly what happens when you enlarge the two styles.

Here's one more just to emphasize the differences.

This shows you very clearly how the edges become ragged with pixel art and remain smooth with vector art.

What does this mean for your promo product or corporate apparel project?

The first thing to know is that the industry standard is vector art. Anytime you want to put your logo on something the supplier is going to want vector art. (You can't take a piece of pixel art and save it as an 'eps' file. It remains pixel art. Your design needs to be created as vector art in a program such as Illustrator.)

So, if you are planning a promotional product project make sure you have your logo in the proper format. Make sure you find that out before you start. The worst thing is to working under a tight deadline and finding out that the supplier can't work with your artwork because it's low resolution pixel art. Everything is going to stop dead in its tracks until you can supply the right kind of art.

Check your artwork now, make sure you've got the right format and be prepared with different versions depending on the size of the item.

Good luck and I hope this was helpful.

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