Artwork Specs for
perfect promotional products

For the best results – we need the best artwork file, it is that simple. The industry gold standard is a vector file.  
Don’t know what that is… we have got you … let’s break it down for you. 

Vector files: Useful in many different environments.

When you’re working digitally, there are two kinds of image file types: raster and vector. Both image types may be saved with several different file extensions. It’s important to understand when to use each image type and the best file extension for particular situations.

Vector files are images that are built by mathematical formulas that establish points on a grid. Raster files are composed of coloured blocks commonly referred to as pixels. Because they can infinitely adjust in size without losing resolution, vector files are more versatile for certain types of tasks than raster files. The most common types of vector files are:

.ai: Short for Adobe Illustrator, this file is commonly used in print media and digital graphics, such as logos.

.eps: Encapsulated PostScript is an older type of vector graphics file. .eps files don’t support transparency in the way more modern file formats like .ai do.

.pdf: The Portable Document Format is built for the exchange of documents across platforms and is editable in Adobe Acrobat.

.svg: The Scalable Vector Graphics format is based in XML (a mark-up language used widely across the Internet that’s readable by both machines and humans). It’s useful for the web, where it can be indexed, searched and scripted.

When to use vector files.

The key difference between vector and raster files comes down to utility. Raster files are composed of a set number of pixels. Because of this set number, if a raster file is printed at a larger dimension than what it was designed for, it will appear visibly grainy and pixelated because the dots that compose the image are forced to grow larger as the medium they’re printed on grows. In other words, don’t print an image from Instagram at poster size and expect it to look as crisp as it did onscreen. 

“The key difference between vector and raster files comes down to utility.”

Since vectors are based around formulas, a vector image can scale at high resolution to virtually unlimited sizes. If you have a business logo saved in a vector format, it can be resized to fit on a billboard with no problems or reduced to be printed on a ballpoint pen or business card. Many printing processes can only work with vector file input. 

“Since vectors are based around formulas, a vector image can scale at high resolution to virtually unlimited sizes.”

Editing vector files in different applications.

The most common type of editable vector file is the Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file. This file type can store an enormous amount of graphics information and is editable in Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator files can be easily converted to .pdf. Adobe Acrobat is the best tool for editing .pdf documents, which are designed for both printing and document transfer. Many printers utilise .pdf as a standard for printing. The work you do in an Illustrator file is non-destructive, so conversion to the .pdf format is usually a last step.

The best way to edit and create vector files is in the Illustrator environment 

When to use Raster files.

 It’s possible to use a jpg, png or other raster format for certain full colour products/ digitally printed Merch, if unsure please check with the Kit Crew manager. Illustrations and photos must be provided in 300 dpi resolution. Vector format is Always the best bet if available.

I don’t have vector format – what now?

We can help! Simply send us your logo in high resolution in whichever format you have available, and our designers will be able to produce a vectorised version. Most of the time we can do this for free, however please note there may be a small charge for this service for complex logos and conceptual artwork.

Pantone / PMS

PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. PMS is a universal color matching system used primarily for promo product ptrinting. Each color is represented by a numbered code. Unlike CMYK, PMS colors are pre-mixed with a specific formula of inks prior to printing. Similar to picking out your favorite paint at Bunnings before painting. Having these specific formulas creates the most consistent color possible across different applications or print locations. If you will be printing anything with a very specific color palette this is the best color profile to use.

CMYK

CMYK should be used when creating designs for print applications. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black) make up the color palette for CMYK. This is often referred to as a four-color process as it uses four different colors of inks to create all of the color variations. Your printer at home will use this color profile. Each specific color is created by mixing a blend of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. The reason black is referred to as “key” is because it is the color used on the key plate, which supplies the contrast and detail on a final image. Within this process, white is created from the paper on which the design is printed. Because CMYK colors are mixed during the printing process, colors can vary slightly on various printers or throughout a printing run. Although this is not usually noticeable, it is something to keep in mind when printing designs with very specific colors, i.e. logos or branding elements.  

RGB

RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue. RGB color profiles are used exclusively for digital design. They represent the same colors used on your computer, smartphone or TV screen. Each color is created by projecting against a screen using light. Essentially light filters through these colors to make different hues or tones. 100% light density creates white. On the contrary, 0% density creates black (which is the color of your screen).  Using a light density from 1 – 99% with different variations of these three colors will create any of the other colors you see on your screen. There is typically some variation in RGB colors from screen to screen as monitors are each calibrated a bit differently. For printing, all RGB colors will need to be converted to CMYK.

Colour Matching

We cannot guarantee that the colour you see on your computer screen will be the colour you get when you print. Our print processes are calibrated so we can get colour consistency, but what you see on your computer screen is as individual as you are.

Pantone colours can be approximated using CMYK but their accuracy will vary from colour to colour. Whilst we can to colour match for you, we don’t accept any returns should the colour not be correct.  Please refer to this PMS colour chart