“How do you create production ready art work?”
This is a very important thing to understand for a few reasons. Taking the time to understand a printer’s art specifications will save a tremendous amount of time and ensure that you get the best possible product in return.
When art specs are overlooked, valuable production time can be lost chasing down missing linked images, finding PMS codes, setting up art to scale, and adding or modifying die lines.
The back and forth from printer to designer is exhausting, time consuming and decreases the chances of hitting the all important deadline.
Create Production Ready Art Work In 4 Easy Steps
1. Provide high resolution vector output set up to scale. For most,.ai files are preferable. You need to set up with exact sizing and proportions. This is very important especially if you are printing a ‘gang run’ and there are multiple sizes of the same graphic. It is important to understand how the image will scale with several copies
2. Convert all text to outlines. If you don’t know how to do this search “convert text to outlines in illustrator” in Google.
3. Create a cut path with at least 1/8″ from edge of graphic to die line. This shows the screen printer exactly how the graphic is to be cut. As there are many different ways to shave your cat, there are an infinite number of ways a graphic can be cut. Make sure you get exactly what you want by providing your own cut path.
4. If you are calling out specific “spot” colors, you must provide PMS codes for ALL spot colors. This saves you, the printer, and artist a lot of time and avoids confusion. If you don’t know what PMS codes are — google it. Having your screen-printer try and color match is a waste of time. Printers are printers, designers are designers.
If you follow these four simple steps, your printer will love working with you — and you will get your projects back faster than ever before!
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