FAQ: Do you have design templates? What kind of files do you need for artwork?

Gear

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Do you have design templates available for download?

No, not currently, for a couple of reasons. One is that they wouldn't be much more than just some concentric circles. The other reason is that the size varies from chip type to chip type, and there are a LOT of chip types out there that can be labelled.


What kind of files do you need for artwork?

Generally speaking, artwork designed and produced in a vector format (AI, EPS, SVG, etc.) will give better results than a raster format (PSD, TIFF, JPEG, GIF etc.)
To be clear, either type is acceptable, but vector is preferred.

To send me files, attach them to a PCF conversation as a ZIP file, or send via email. (PM me for the email address.)

Recommendations for vector files:
* filetypes: Adobe Illustrator native (AI), Inkscape (SVG), EPS, PDF
* Include the fonts you've used, and/or convert all text to outlines/curves. (This depends a bit on the format, e.g. Inkscape does a terrible job of converting text to paths properly.)
* Set the color space to CMYK for the document. (Preferably before you begin!)
* Avoid RGB black. This is what happens when RGB 0-0-0 is converted to CMYK ... you don't get 0-0-0-100 as you might want, but rather something like 75-68-67-90 which looks great on screen, but prints terribly. (If possible, use 25-25-0-100 for black, rather than 0-0-0-100. This is a "rich" black that will look better than 0-0-0-100 but not as muddy and over-inked as RGB black.)


Recommendations for raster files:
* filetypes: Adobe Photoshop native (PSD), or PNG, TIFF, etc. (Lossless formats are recommended over lossy, i.e. PSD, TIF, and PNG are all better than JPEG.)
* Higher resolution is better, 300-400 dpi minimum depending on the content. 1200-1600 dpi is better, especially if your design has thin lines or smallish text.
* Include the fonts you've used. It may be worth the time to re-create the design in Illustrator, and using actual vector text will almost always look better in the end.
* Set the color space to RGB for the document, unless the background is black or mostly black. (Many raster image programs don't handle CMYK 8-bit properly, and you can get weird results.)

It's usually a good idea to send a "proof" image of what you expect the design to look like, especially if you're designing in non-Adobe software. Export to JPG or PNG (or just take a screenshot) so that we can be sure we're on the same page. A low-res proof is fine, since we'll only be looking at it to confirm the design elements are all appearing correctly.



Any other tips / guidelines / suggestions?

* If the design has elements (graphics, text, backgrounds) that run right up to the edge, then include bleed of at least 0.050". In other words, make the graphics or color areas 0.050" larger than the final cut size of the label, all the way around.

* Similarly, keep a safe zone of about the same distance (0.050") inside the edge of the label for any element that doesn't go right up to the edge.

* Avoid fonts or text smaller than about 3-4 points. It's just not legible.

* Avoid thin outlines (less than, say, 0.5 points.) At that size and line thickness, an outline acts more as a color shift than an actual border.

* Always do the "Arm's Length Test." That is, print out your design life-size (100%) and look at it from arm's length. A lot of very fine detail, very small text, or other finicky stuff will look fantastic on your monitor zoomed up at 1600% ... but in real life, it won't look like anything. (Or worse, it will look like smudges or dirt.)
 

WoodburyPoker

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Great detail Gear!
Question: can we provide you with artwork, and you do all the cool sh!t just mentioned for an additional cost?
Asking for a friend (it's me).
 
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