Print-Ready Artwork Defined!
What does "print-ready" artwork really mean in layman's terms?
The print industry has it's own language that is sometimes hard to decipher and understand to those not associated with the printing industry or graphic design industry. Good print-ready artwork is the key to a successful print that is crisp and vibrant that will be visually appealing from up close and afar. Print-ready artwork also helps keep printing prices lower and budget friendly.
So when you are in the process of working with your chosen sign or print company, when the question of print-ready artwork arises, this is exactly what they are talking about. Understanding sign terminology greatly reduces errors and misunderstandings between the customer and sign company. Providing the correct print-ready artwork will also keep your sign costs down, and ensure that your signs or digital prints from decals to banners to vehicle graphics, magnetic signs and more, print properly and look great!
WHAT IS PRINT-READY ARTWORK?
Simply put, print-ready artwork, is artwork that is completely ready to print "as is". That means that no text will have to be added, deleted or altered on the artwork provided; that it is built to size and the formatted for the proper color output; has decent resolution properties ; and that all the components of the artwork are included in the design as one whole piece. Basically you will be submitting a piece of artwork that can be printed without hesitation. Most sign companies will check the submitted print-ready artwork to make sure of this before digitally printing your sign of choice. If they do find any issues that can't be resolved on the client's side by submitting another print-ready piece of artwork the overall price of your signage might go up to accommodate for any design changes or design help that your sign company may have to provide to print your sign, banner, poster, decal, etc.
So essentially if the files you have to submit to print your sign from have multiple photos that need to be placed with additional text to be added you do not have print-ready artwork. Your sign company can help you with compiling the various art files to make one cohesive design and will discuss your design and pricing options before creating a print-ready design for you.
For those in the know and are familiar with popular printing software platforms, submitting proper print-ready artwork, also involves making sure that the design is electronically packaged properly as well. What this means is that your design should either be flattened (Photoshop) and saved as an .TIF, .JPG or .PDF. For print-ready artwork generated in Illustrator the fonts will be need to be outlined and all images embedded on the file and saved as a .AI, .EPS or .PDF. Making sure the file is set up correctly greatly reduces any back-and-forth time between printer and customer. Please see our File Preparation Checklist in the Help Section for more detailed information.
If the above sentence sounds a little Greek to you and your print-ready artwork file extension doesn't match any of the ones listed above, it's best to submit your artwork anyway, and let the sign company determine if it will work for your needs; or if there is anything they can do to help make your artwork print-ready to create your signage, but again, this may come at an extra cost. If your budget allows it might be optimal to hire a freelance graphic artist or employ a design company to create a print-ready file for you to purchase that can be used for your signage needs. And if you have a design department, get them in contact with your sign company, to make sure that your own personal designers submit the proper print-ready files.
Have questions, need pricing or searching for a reputable sign company to help meet your signage needs? Give us a call at (866) 267-4467...we're here to help!