Artwork Specifications

Standard Artwork File Guidelines

ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS

Here is a list of some of our most frequently asked questions regarding artwork, guidelines, and file submissions. If you have any questions, you can email our graphic design dept. at:info@aspenimg.com

What file types do you accept?

PDF, JPG, TIF, EPS, for PC or MAC. PDF is highly recommended.

What size should my text be if I want to view my banner or yard sign from a distance?

This depends on what the final output size will be, and its viewing distance.
Please reference our Scale & Resolution Example Chart and Letter Visibility Chart below:

LETTER VISIBILITY CHART

LETTER HEIGHT MAX IMPACT DISTANCE MAX READABLE DISTANCE
3 inch 30 Feet 100 Feet
4 inch 40 Feet 150 Feet
6 inch 60 Feet 200 Feet
8 inch 80 Feet 350 Feet
9 inch 90 Feet 400 Feet
10 inch 100 Feet 450 Feet
12 inch 120 Feet 525 Feet
15 inch 150 Feet 630 Feet
This is based on dark text on a plain white background in clear weather conditionsThere is an approximate 10% variance when using various color combinations

LETTER VISIBILITY CHART

LETTER HEIGHT MAX IMPACT DISTANCE MAX READABLE DISTANCE
18 inch 1800 Feet 750 Feet
24 inch 240 Feet 1000 Feet
30 inch 300 Feet 1250 Feet
36 inch 360 Feet 1500 Feet
42 inch 420 Feet 1750 Feet
48 inch 48 Feet 2000 Feet
54 inch 540 Feet 2250 Feet
60 inch 600 Feet 2500 Feet
This is based on dark text on a plain white background in clear weather conditionsThere is an approximate 10% variance when using various color combinations

When should I scale down my artwork?

It is not always necessary to scale your artwork down but here are a few good things to know.

Vector Art – Will your file be over 200″? If yes you will want to scale it down by half. While Illustrator has a maximum document size nearly 228″. Acrobat and others will only read up to 200″ resulting in lost artwork. So while the artwork looks ok in Illustrator, it will not print correctly.

Raster Art – Will your file be over 30,000 pixels along either axis? If yes you will need to reduce the resolution of the file to reduce the overall file size to 30,000 or less. This will maintain the correct file size and aspect ratio. Don’t be worried about losing quality. A 30,000 pixel document at 150dpi is nearly 16′ and would not be viewed close up anyway.

Should I include any fonts with my files?

No, please ensure all fonts are outlined prior to file upload. If using Photoshop, please provide the flattened file only.

Should I include crop marks on my artwork so you know where to cut?

Absolutely not. Please do not include crop marks, color bars, registration marks or any other indicators that you do not want printed on the final piece.

Can I add a border to my banner or yard sign?

Yes, but it’s not recommended. Borders are an issue because all substrates will vary from batch to batch making exact cuts very difficult. We recommend that you do not design your file with a border. If you do, we will not reprint an order with borders of varying widths. If you absolutely must have a border, make it at least 2 inches in thickness, however we still do not recommend borders.

What is overprint and how can it ruin my file?

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files

What is rich black and how do I get it?

Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.
100% Black On-Screen:

17onscreen

100% Black After Print:

17afterprint

We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black

How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print.

Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other then K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

To eliminate all values other then K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly.

What settings should I use to create my PDF in Adobe Illustrator?

Different versions of Illustrator have different presets in the “Save PDF” dialog. The PDF presets in Illustrator CS will not save the PDF to the correct document size if any artwork extends past the edge of the document size. It will include all objects, including those that are not visible, producing a PDF with excess white space. This will produce a PDF that is the incorrect size. If not caught prior to submission it will not print as intended.

For Illustrator CS2 and above it is recommended to use the “High Quality Print” preset.

Every file is different and it is not feasible to include all possible issues in this FAQ. It is always best to double check your PDF for size and excess white space before uploading.

I am making a double-sided directional sign with arrows. What do I need to consider to make sure the sign comes out correctly?

When using arrows on a double sided sign, special care will need to be taken with the direction of the arrows. If you want the arrows on both sides of the sign to point the same direction when the sign is printed the arrows need to be setup in opposite directions on the production files. It’s complicated, we know. See the example illustration below.

What is the radius of the rounded corner magnets?

Our rounded corner magnets have a 1″ radius. If you would like assistance setting up your rounded corner magnets, please email us at info@aspenimg.com

Got a different question?

Email us at info@aspenimg.com