TIPS ON REDUCING ART CHARGES
For sign lettering/decals to be cut out of vinyl, the most economical process, you must follow these rules:
In a bitmap file, the computer "sees" a large field of white dots with a group of black dots interspersed in a specific pattern. In a vector file, the computer "sees" a white background and a black figure that starts at position (x1,y1) and goes straight to (x2,y2). In almost all cases, the vector file will be substantially smaller than the bitmap.
Advantages of vector files
How do I know if I have a vector file or a bitmap?
All BMP, JPG, GIF, and TIF are bitmap files. They can't be anything else. One way to tell if you have a bitmap is by using extreme magnification on any sharp edge. If you can see "stairsteps", it is a bitmap. Another way is to use "Help" in your application and lookup "Wireframe" (Corel) or "Artwork" (Adobe). The respective commands are "View>Wireframe" and "View>Artwork". For other programs, if you can't find the function, it often means your program can't read vector files, so the file you are looking at is probably a bitmap. If you find it, activate that mode, the colors and fills should disappear and your view should change to all lines. This means you have a vector file and we should have no problem using it. If there are patterns or grayed out areas, they are probably "imbedded" bitmaps and you must follow the "bitmap" rules for good results.
If I am using a vector drawing program, am I assured that my saved file will be a vector file?
NO!!! If you "save as" or export to any of the bitmap formats, the output will become a bitmap.
Are bitmap files totally worthless?
No, we have wide format printers and can print bitmaps. In order to get good results, the original bitmap must be at least 1MB per square foot of the final printed size. This will give approximately magazine quality output. For near photo quality output, the original file needs to be about 2.5MBs per square foot. Anything more than 2.5MBs per square foot is beyond the resolution of our printers to print and is just wasting upload and download time. Most files that are too low in resolution can be "resized" for better results, but there are limits to what can be done. Typical charges would be $50-$100.
If I have a bitmap file that is too low resolution is there anything I can do?
Yes, there are programs that take the bitmap files and convert them to vector files. Usually, in this process, they pick up some distortion, but the best thing to do is manually fix the distortions after the conversion, making the graphic look as close as possible to the original and then you can expand the new vector file to any size you want. We can do this for you. The typical charge will be around $100.
Isn't there a cheaper way?
The best way is to use existing clipart we already have vectorized. We have thousands of images. Unless you have a very custom image, more than likely we will already have something similar to what you want to use.
We accept PC files. The following formats are acceptable:
"tif" - file extension .tif -- these cannot be edited, but they are the best format for complicated artwork.
"bitmap" - file extension .bmp -- these cannot be edited, but they are a good format for complicated artwork.
"Adobe Illustrator" - file extension .ai -- these can be edited and we can add or change colors where necessary.
"Freehand" - file extension .fh -- these can be edited and we can add or change colors where necessary.
"j-peg" - file extension .jpg -- these are not a desirable format but we can try to work with it. Photos must be high resolution for us to produce a quality printed output.
We cannot download images from a web site because the images are very low resolution and can not be used as true artwork files.
Types of Media
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your order number, account number, your name and phone number. Please include all fonts and all imported images as well as a hard copy (fax) for reference.
We'll take your rough sketch and turn it into a great graphic design! If you don't want any of the stock graphics and you don't have camera-ready artwork, we can help. Simply fax us your idea using the sketch form. Our artists will put an estimate on your job for your approval. We'll then create artwork within a few days and fax you a proof. Your graphic can then be used on any of our custom products. We can also send you a disk with the digital artwork for you to keep. Attach the sketch form to your order. Click here for a printable version of the sketch form.
We have thousands of choices of these type of icons/clip art. Please call if you are interested in a particular type of clip art. We will probably have a few choices that might be exactly what you need to spruce up a sign or banner! See samples on right.