WHERE TO START! These questions will help guide you to your next step:
Is Your Artwork Production Ready and Looking to Upload Your File(s)?
- You can upload your artwork directly to our system using this link: ART UPLOAD , or by navigating to the top menu bar's ARTWORK section, or simply email us your logo/design.
Need Guidelines to Help Prepare Your Artwork?
- Review the info below for tips to guide you in the design process to ensure you have the best artwork ready for submission. Then access the art link directly here: ART UPLOAD, or by navigating to the top menu bar's ARTWORK section.
Need Us to Provide Artwork for You?
- Use the form on the ART UPLOAD page to tell us as much about your design concept as possible, including graphic files, desired colours, text to include, preferred fonts, etc. The more you provide the better we can match you concept. You may also navigate to the top menu bar's ARTWORK section, or just email us the details and files.
Promotional products can use any number of decoration methods and it all starts with the art. Some customers have their artwork ready to go, others have a design concept incorporating their logo and event information, while others rely on us to create something eye-catching to start the creative process.
Today, most artwork comes to us digitally and it’s important that we receive the artwork in the right file format. Vector graphics are the promotional products industry standard with file formats like .eps, .ai, .pdf, and .svg. These files allow us to resize the image as much as we like without any pixilation.
NovaSport helps create and set up the artwork for our customers and this can be anything from a simple 1 colour logo placement on a bag to a more complex wrap for a sport bottle. The design itself aside, there are a lot of factors that go into how promotional product artwork is set up on the backend. Overall this tends to include colour, formatting, typography and graphics.
If it is your job to oversee the creation of this kind of artwork, or if you are the actual designer, it’s important that you are familiar with the info below. If you need assistance in selecting proper colours, creating or visualizing your design concept, or are ready to see a virtual sampling of your logo added to a product than take a moment to review these art guidelines.
1) COLOUR GUIDE
When it comes to designing your artwork, colour plays an important part as it not only affects the final imprint but potentially the total cost. Promotional products are printed in either 1 colour or full colour options, and not every product offers all options. And understanding the differences and similarities between Stock Colour vs. Pantone Colour, and Spot Colour vs. Full Colour is key in the design stage to ensure you are preparing the art in accordance to the options available for the respective products.
Full Colour: Often referred to as CMYK or 4cp, full colour offers unlimited colours and has gradients aplenty. A photograph is a full colour image. Think of the thousands of shades you see when you look at a photo as colours can blend smoothly from highlights to the shadows.
Spot Colour: With spot colour art each colour is distinct. The imprint may include both blue and gold, but these colours will not blend together to form any combination of blue-gold. Note that both stock and pantone colours are a type of spot colours.
Pantone Colour: The Pantone system is similar to asking the paint store to mix a colour from a paint chip card. It is a colour-matching system universally used in the printing and graphic design.
Stock Colour: Colour selection is limited to a list of standard and most commonly used colours. Although some products are only available for printing with stock colours, not all products offer the same colour list as it is dependent on the production facilities.
Refer to the IMPRINT and OPTION sections on the product pages to identify what options are available for each product. Here are the options referenced:
1) 1 Colour Imprint: Uses spot colour with either stock or pantone colours. Some items will offer pantone colours free of charge and others at an additional fee.
2) Additional Imprint Colours: This is the multi-colour option of the 1 colour imprint where a 2nd or 3rd colour is added. Additional charges usually apply for each additional colour.
3) Full Colour Imprint: Offers the ability to print as many colours as required with no additional charges based on more colours.
2) FREE ARTWORK
Artwork is the creative design and preparation of the imprint/logo. We can assist in the creation of your artwork using your supplied logo and text. This service assumes your artwork is in proper file format, or in a workable format otherwise additional artwork services may apply as noted below.
3) ADDITIONAL SERVICES
Additional Artwork: $50 per hour
Do you require a new logo or marketing material? Our design team can take your concepts and create new material for you. Design & creation of NEW Logos and artwork.
Colour Change (Screen / Pad Print) : $25 per
This charge applies should you elect to print a different colour like ordering 1000 Pennants with 500 green imprints and 500 black imprints. The design is the same but time and labour cost is incurred to wash and prepare the machines to accept the new colour.
Copy Change (Screen / Pad Print) : Varies by product
This charge applies should you have minor text changes with the artwork. The most common application is to differentiate a division, department, standings, etc. from each other all while using the same base artwork, like Champions/Finalists, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place. A new screen is required for each variation of the artwork.
Colour Change / Copy Change (Digital Print) : $10 per
This charge applies should you elect to print a different colour on the item or have minor text adjustments to the artwork. This fee covers the additional art prep time required to prepare the variations.
Pantone Match: $25
A select few products print with stock colours, however many of these products can also be printed using Pantone colours for an additional fee.
Embroidery takes a special file to use and all artwork needs to be converted into embroidery digitized format unless a .DST file is supplied.
We will do our best to avoid this fee but there are times the logo provided is simply too low in quality to be used. In this case the fee is charged to have our design team re-draw and re-colour the artwork back into vector format (i.e. conversion of GIF/JPG/PNG to AI/EPS).
4) ARTWORK DO's & DONT's
- DO convert all fonts to outlines/curves
- DO be sure all placed art/files are original 300+ DPI and are in black and white.
- DO be sure all placed art/files are embedded. Even if the art/file is embedded, it is a good idea to also send these files along with the final art file.
- DO be sure all placed art/files are at 100% of imprint size.
- DO save files as either AI, PDF, EPS or TIFF.
- DO be sure elements such as font size, line weight etc. meet the requirements for the individual products when the art is at 100% imprint size.
- DO include a colour copy and indicate PMS colours for multi-colour imprints.
Artwork DO NOT's
- DO NOT use art from any files that were used in a Web site. No matter what you do to it or how it is saved, it will not be suitable for printing.
- DO NOT use art from a raster file that has a resolution of less than 300 DPI. Adjusting the DPI up to 300 DPI or higher will not improve the quality of the art.
5) ACCEPTABLE FILE FORMATS
- 100% Vector Files (AI, EPS, PDF, SVG)
- All fonts converted to outlines/curves
- 100% Rastor Files (Bitmapped)
- Raster elements at 100%+ actual imprint size
- Raster elements from an original 300+ DPI source
- Raster elements in black and white
- All fonts should be rasterized
- Save file as a TIFF, PDF or EPS
6) VECTOR vs. RASTER GRAPHICS
This file type is often referred to a bitmap and is composed of millions of tiny squares of colour information referred to as pixels. The most common type of raster graphic is a photograph. If your file ends with .psd, .tif, .jpg, .bmp, .gif, or is a photograph, it is a raster image. Raster files provide great colour detail and is often used in sublimation (CMYK) printing. A minimum 300 DPI at 100% original size is required otherwise the image becomes jagged (pixelated) when enlarging is required.
Vector art (line art) can be scaled to any size while maintaining quality and is preferred for all products (unless printing photographs). If your image file ends with .ai, .eps, or .pdf, it probably is a vector image. This type of file also allows for easy manipulation of the artwork to add, move, or replace individual sections, like text or just parts of a logo. Removing the lines, or colour within the lines, is a simple process that provides endless creative possibilities without compromising the quality of the design.
7) ART PROOFS
- A picture is worth a thousand words so feel free to email your artwork along with your questions.
- The design team will review the file(s) and questions and get back to you.
- Our team will prepare one (1) preliminary design absolutely free to show what your final design could look like.
- You don't need to be graphic designer, just send us the best possible version of your artwork based on the formats below. Alternately send a draft concept like the BEFORE image, or send a combination of both.
- Include as much additional information as possible like colours, fonts, positioning, etc. so we can create as close to your idea as possible.
- You will receive the Art Proof within 1-2 business days.
- And remember, upon order confirmation you can request multiple free revisions to the artwork.
8) CONVERT TEXT TO OUTLINES
Does the design include a company name, slogan, or maybe event details? If so, font’s may have been used that are only available on your system. Converting to outlines ensures that these fonts will stay exactly the way they were intended.
Not sure what all this means? No problem as our team will take care of this process for you! Just let us know the font names used so we can ensure they are on our system.
9) IMPRINT AREA
It’s important to pay attention to the product’s actual imprint area during the design phase. On most product pages you will find this info in the IMPRINT section located just above the price grid. Simply put, your large full colour logo with event details will look great on the t-shirt, but impossible to imprint onto a pen.
Bleeds are the added space created around a design that will be physically cropped off once the design is printed. This allows for some leeway in the printing process to account for any minor shifting during the print process.
Take a schedule magnet with a solid blue background as an example. If the layout has the imprint exactly set to 4” x 7”, that is without this extra bleed area, there is a good chance the final magnet will end up with unwanted white margins along the edges when it is cut down to size. However, expand the background an extra .125” bleed on all sides eliminates any chance of a white border when it is cut down.
Typography can be simple or very complex so stick to this rule of thumb - Make sure your type is legible! If in doubt just print out the design at 100% and read it yourself Don’t make it so small that it’s impossible to read and keep in mind who your target audience is while selecting the font and size. Also be sure the contrast between text and background is stark and as this helps with legibility. One of the final steps in preparing the artwork is to make sure to outline all text. This eliminates any issues with missing fonts and keeps the type looking as intended.