You Need Good Art To Print Promo Items

When ever I quote a project I always put “based on camera ready artwork” on the quote.  More often then not people do not know what camera ready artwork is.  When I get an order and am usually told to visit their website and grab their logo…ugh.

The promotional products industry is very similar to the offset printing industry; both need high resolution artwork to print in good quality.  “Camera ready” is an old term used when a camera was used to produce the film or negative needed to print on any item.  The term is still used, but these days just about everything is printed digitally or printed from digital or vector artwork and in most cases film or negatives are no longer used.  The term camera ready still means that the artwork is prepared to the correct print size and is ready to go directly to print without any alterations.

For example, if you are printing on a custom coffee mug and the imprint area is 2.75” W x 2.75? H, the artwork should be created in a graphics program like Adobe Illustrator and the artwork should be sized to the exact print size.  If the art has any text, it should be converted to outlines, curves, paths, depending on the graphic software you are using.  Converting the text to outlines turns the text into a graphic so it will look the same and output on any computer even if you don’t have the same fonts installed.  Some common graphic programs would be Adobe Illustrator (my graphic program of choice), Adobe Photoshop, and CorelDraw to name a few.

When I am told to grab a customer’s logo from their website, I have to give them the bad news that web art is not in a form that will print in good quality.  Web graphics are either .gif or .jpeg’s which look great on your monitor at 72 dpi (dots per inch) – but to print on a promo item, we need a minimum of 300 dpi (600 is preferred).

Bizarre Promotions, Inc. is a full service promotional products distributor which includes producing camera ready artwork for a nominal fee.

Tim Somers
Bizarre Promotions, Inc.

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