Design/Artwork Help

Guidelines for Promotional Product and Imprinted Apparel art files

Promotional items and imprinted apparel are decorated with your imprint using many different processes each having its own unique art requirements. Properly prepared artwork is critical to a successful outcome of your order. To assure this, please contact us with any questions that you have.

Artwork for promotional products must be designed with size in mind.

The first thing that needs to be considered is the imprint area available on the particular item you are ordering. This is almost always listed with the product information and should be considered in the item selection process. Many times an item may be selected only to discover that there is not enough room to do a good job presenting your message. This is a common issue when ordering laser engraved pens for example. A typical image area for a metal pen is only 3/8” tall by 1” long. This size is adequate for a simple logo, company name and URL address but certainly not much more. An additional option may be a pen that can be pad printed or silk screened.

Vector vs. Raster art files

Vector art is constructed using lines and can be resized without losing quality. Typical file formats are: AI, some PDF’s CDR, or EPS. Saving a raster file in one of these formats does not make it a vector file. Most promotional product imprint methods require that your art is in vector format. Vector art is required for items that are pad printed, silk screened, and laser engraved. If you don't have vector art available for your graphic it's usually an inexpensive job for most logos to have an artist trace it and create a vector. If you do not have vector art for your logo, we can provide this service for a very reasonable price. Let us know if you need an estimate.

Raster art is used when printing in four color process. Digital imprinting in full color is now available on many promotional items at very reasonable cost. Usual raster file formats are: JPG, GIF, TIF, and some EPS’s. Raster images are photographs or dot patterns. These files get grainy and lose quality when they are enlarged. When submitting art using a raster file consider the dots per square inch or DPI. The DPI changes every time you resize your art. Usually manufacturers require a 300 DPI resolution when sized to the actual print size. A common problem might be that your file is 300 dpi at 3” tall but you need to imprint the image at 6” tall. When the image is sized up it will become grainy or pixilated and can not be used.


Simple is best when ordering Promotional Products because the image area available is usually fairly limited. For a more complex message select your item appropriately. Many items are available with full color digital imprinting and offer a larger imprint area.

Please contact us with any questions that you have if you are preparing your own artwork. We have our resources to create your artwork files to the necessary specifications at a very reasonable price.

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