Your first stop for trouble shooting common art file issues.
Sometimes it seems like graphic artists and the programs they use – like Adobe Photoshop – are mysterious creatures that “poof” – like magic – turn ideas and brainstorms into gorgeous logos and designs.
If you are working with EcoEnclose to create custom printed, branded packaging for your products, but you aren’t a graphic designer and don’t fully understand what a vector file is or the difference between PDF and JPEG, then you’re at the right place!
This article walks you through this process – in plain English – and provides some troubleshooting tips for common hiccups that we have seen our customers work through.
If you found yourself reading this post, but are actually still trying to figure out what shipping packaging you need and whether or not you even want it custom printed – then click here to learn more about our printed products and services (and meet us back at this post once you’re ready!).
How do I need to set up my art file before it is ready to upload with my order?
Your art file should be:
Once your art file is properly formatted, you can upload it, position it on your chosen product, and instantly view a digital proof on the product template. For boxes, please allow a minimum of 3/4″ margins on all sides from your art to the edge of the box panels.
Some common troubleshooting tips
Help! My art file is too large.
If your art file is oversized, you’re going to get an unfortunate error when attempting your upload. Most vector files created in Illustrator are less than 2MB.
Why is yours so large? The most common mistake we see is pasting of a raster image (.tif, .gif, .jpeg, or .png) into your vector art file. A classic example is the addition of a social media icon. Use only vector art (.ai, .eps) whenever possible.
When vector art is unavailable, try the work-around demonstrated in this screencast. You’ll see in the screencast that we were able to reduce a file from 4.55 MB to 1 MB with just a few clicks in my Illustrator CS6.
If you cannot scale it down, do not stress! Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org . We can review the artwork for you and help you get your order placed.
Shoot, I don’t have a vector program to create the art.
Adobe Illustrator is one example of a program that creates vector art. You can receive a month’s free trial, and there are flexible payment options after the trail expires. If that is overwhelming for you, then you may think about hiring the help of a graphic designer.
If you have an art file that is complete, but is not a vector file, you can utilize www.vectormagic.com, or we may be able to offer design services starting at $39.00. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information on this.
What is this nonsense about outlining fonts?
If you would like a specific font on your art, you will have to outline it to preserve the font, or style of font, as we do not have all fonts in our design software. This is very simple to do:
Other challenges? If so, please email your art file to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to let you know if there are any issues with the art and offer suggestions.
And some other FAQs…
Can I utilize an edge to edge or multi-color print?
We do have print margins and one color limit on all of our printed products via the site. However, we can offer edge to edge and/or multi-color printing in some instances:
Corrugated Boxes – We may be able to print an edge to edge design on the entire box for you, but only one color. In this instance, we will need to provide you with a dieline (or blueprint) of your specific box for you to add your art to. Please email email@example.com with your box style and dimensions for dieline requests. We do request that you have ordered a sample box before requesting dielines, to make sure the box will work for you. You may do so here.
Mailers or Shopping Bags – We have a 25,000+ piece minimum. Specific quantities depend on product and size. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I print a reverse-out design?
In many cases, we can print a high ink coverage design such as reverse-outs. (Reverse-out means the background is printed rather than the text/design.) Please send your request with your art file attached to email@example.com . We would be happy to review it for you and offer our recommendation for the best printing outcome.
Why can’t I use an image file?
We use an offset printing method and soy or water based inks. That means that we have to create a physical printing plate to transfer your art file to the product. It is essential in creating the plates to be able to zoom in and out of the art file, and to view smooth lines. Image files are pixelated, whereas vector files are not. You can find a good example of this here.
Can I include a barcode in my art file?
We can print bar codes, but it needs to be a certain size, and vector format. We cannot guarantee that flexo printed UPC codes will scan. However, in most instances they have worked fine for our customers assuming they are a certain size. We recommend: