Artwork Submission Guidelines
About Graphics File Format
Digital artwork can be presented in two different forms:
Vector images that are stored geometrically and can be easily scaled to any size without loss of quality. These are generally produced with graphics applications such as Adobe Illustrator.
Bitmaps or Raster Artwork
Bitmap images have their information stored as pixels or dots and do not scale well without a loss of quality (jagged, stair stepped edges etc.). These are generally produced by digital cameras, scanners and painting applications such as Corel Photo Paint and Adobe Photoshop.
Acceptable File Formats
Here is the list of file formats that we can use in order of preference (Vector Formats):
.ai or Adobe Illustrator (The format that we prefer)
.eps (Encapsulated Postscript)
Bitmaps and Low Resolution Images
Avoid Sending Bitmaps and Low Resolution Images. Low resolution images such as those downloaded from a website are less than ideal. Websites use low resolution files that are not suitable for engraving. When sending bitmap files it's important to acquire a file that is not only a high resolution file of 300 dpi or greater, but also the appropriate size in regards to height and width.
We prefer that you submit your artwork as vector artwork saved in ".ai" format. If not available; or you are in doubt, you can send your graphics file and it will be checked for adequacy, then if necessary it will be traced or converted to vector format. In such a case, this service will incur additional charges on your purchase.
About Artwork Required For Etching or Engraving
A sketch or a drawing can be etched or engraved with fabulous results by utilizing a black & white line drawing.
Black and white
Artwork should be submitted without gray scales, halftones or color. i.e. in black and white similar to inked drawings. When etched black areas of your artwork are read as recessed and white areas as raised (in fact the original surface).
If your artwork contains specific fonts it should be converted to curves (Corel) or outlines (Adobe) before being submitted.
Minimum letter size
Letters can be as small as 5 Pt (1/16" or 0.16 mm). Small lettering with fine serifs is not recommended.
Painted Colors: The recessed areas (black areas in your drawing) of all etched plaques may be color-filled with any color.
Multiple Colors: Multiple colors may be specified for use on etched plaques, however, a raised area in the plaque (white line or area in your drawing) must separate each color (that is, two colors cannot touch each other).
If your order requires coloring; a separate file must be sent with colors. Remember, colored areas must be separated by a line and have to be solid (No gradients).
Considerations for laser engraving and cutting
Your artwork must be a vector artwork.
It must be composed from paths only. Nothing else.
All effects or styles must be removed or expanded.
All stroke weights must be equal to 1 or zero.
All text elements must be converted to outlines.
Special Considerations for laser engraving
Areas to be engraved in a vector artwork file must be formed by closed paths; i.e. lines joined together to form one path. The enclosed area of such a path can be laser engraved. If your path is not closed the apparent enclosed area will be ignored from engraving.
Overlapping closed paths
No overlapping is permitted. Overlapped paths must be merged to form one single closed path.
Any enclosed area formed by a closed path that is completely inside a larger enclosing area will be subtracted from the larger area; i.e. will not be engraved. Areas inside subtracted areas will be engraved.
Considerations for laser cutting
Any path or line can be assigned to be a cutting path. Cutting paths can be composed from any number of lines or paths. A cutting path does not have to be closed.
If two paths are exactly similar and one above the other, they will make the enclosed area ignored from engraving, in such a case you need to delete one of them. These can be occasionally produced from an auto-trace process.
The etching process reproduces artwork with black and white line drawing as well as halftone images through acid-etching into metal sheets.
One method utilizes a halftone dot pattern, made from a 50-line screen. Halftone portraits resemble newspaper photographs with their visible dot patterns. The etched, recessed dots are black infilled to contrast with the satin-finished metal surface.
The best photographs for halftone etched portraits have high contrast tones with bright white areas, dense black areas, and no grey tones.
The other type of etched metal portrait reproduces a black and white line drawing. Because a halftone screen is not used with hand-drawn art, the artist's fine lines are captured in great detail in the metal plate and can be etched deeper.