Artwork and Branding

Artwork Guidelines

We can take print-ready files (no charge), work with your rough files, or design from scratch. If you are unsure whether your files are suitable, feel free to send them to us to check over at no charge.

We charge a low rate of £27.00 + VAT (or fraction thereof) for all studio time - far lower than average industry rates!

Exact artwork requirements depend on the product. Most items are branded in spot colour or full colour and there are different reuirements for each:

Spot colour print

Most promotional items that are printed in separate 'spot' colours require the original 'vector' logo (normally: .eps / .ai / .cdr / .pdf) - with no bitmaps embedded within. As opposed to a bitmap file (e.g. .tiff / .jpg / .psd / .png / .bmp / .gif).

Spot colour methods include: screen printing, tamo/pad printing, flexographic printing, foil blocking, spot colour litho printing, engraving, etching

Tints (shading) - it is normally only possible to get an effective 'spot' colour tint when printing on paper. For most promotional items made out of plastic, latex, polythene, glass etc we need solid text & 'lineart' graphics and all your outlines should be at least 0.5-1.0mm line thickness.
'Vector' graphics - These are graphics made up of fills & outlines which can be coloured and scaled up in size without loss of quality.

Where 2 or more 'spot' colours are used the file needs to be in a 'colour separatable' format using only colours from a pantone colour palette. Software that allows for this includes Corel Draw & Adobe Illustrator.
Spot colours are printed down separately so try to build in some tolerance for movement. 'Registration' (i.e. lining colours up with each other) is not always exact especially on difficult/small surfaces e.g. balloons, pens etc.
Your logo may look as though it is in 2 colours but if it is in one of the bitmap formats above, it is actually full colour and will need work. If it goes pixellated (blocky) when enlarged it is not in the correct vector format.

Converting images to vector format is skilled work and requires specialist software. We would be happy to do it for you at our normal hourly rate.

Full colour print

For items printed in full colour, we normally require a pdf file at the correct printing size.
All images in CMYK (print format) NOT RGB (web format) and saved at 300dpi. (150dpi is usually adequate for large banners etc).
All fonts converted to outlines.
Leave  'quiet zone' size varies with product - i.e. avoid putting text & foreground graphics too near the edge of the print area/page or it might get chopped off.
A 'bleed' of 1-5mm depending on product. (A 'bleed' is where the background image is extended beyond the print area to allow for alignment/trimming of the product.


Branding Methods

Screen Print
A screen print is the application of a single colour at a time through a custom made 'template' or 'stencil' onto a flat or curved surface. A second or more pass would need to be made to apply additional colours from the design. Screen print costs vary depending upon whether or not an automated machine process is possible, semi automated process is employed or traditional manual technique used. Screen printing is great for most three dimensional objects made from plastics, wood, metal, textiles, glass and ceramics.

Tampo or Pad Print
The most effective way of applying up to 4 colour process onto flat, curved or recessed areas. Ink is applied from an etched plate via a rubberised pad. This in turn applies ink under correct pressure lifted from the plate. Tampo or pad printing is great for just about every desk top item. Anything made from firm, hard or semi soft materials can be printed whether they are flat or curved, recessed or indented.

Acid Etching
Similar to screen printing but instead of using coloured ink an abrasive acid chemical is applied though the template instead. This chemical erodes and affects the products surface leaving a contrasting area. Acid etching is great for glass, metal, wood and ceramics providing an 'embossed' look.

Applied with a powerful laser or via a diamond tipped tool, engraving will literally burn or scratch into your chosen product leaving a mark that will outlive any other print or branding technology in normal general use. Laser engraving is great for chrome or stainless steel, glass, crystal and wooden objects.

Litho Process Printing
Litho process printing can be used to give your design greater depth through the use of tints, tones and gradients. A litho process can use as many spot colours as you like.
Litho process is great for paper and cardboard items, poly, textiles, larger flatter surfaces made from PVC and plastics.

4 Colour Process Printing
Cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink is used to produce a final finish as good as a photograph. 4 Colour process printing is great for paper, cardboard, textiles and other flat surfaces including PVC and plastics technologies.

Transfer Printing
Transfers are printed up to 4 colour process onto a flat, vinyl material. It is then applied to your chosen item via chemical adhesion and heat application. Transfer printing is great for ceramics, glass, textiles, PVC and plastics. UK made stress item bags.

Digital Print
Allows files to be printed direct from the computer onto material removing the need for plates or film. Digital printing is great for paper, plastics and textiles providing short runs and a quick turn around.

Hot Foil Blocking
Application of coloured foil onto leather or PVC, in particular diaries and desk sets.
Hot foil blocking is great for leather diary products.

A way of stitching your design into garments, bags, vinyl and other thin materials. Clarity will never be as crisp as print onto for example plastics, but outlasts, and outperforms print onto garments and just seems the right thing to do onto clothing.
Embroidery is great for clothing, textiles, thin PVC and other flat, thin or soft surfaces.

Custom set loom to create a garment or bag from scratch to your specific design. A polo shirt with two different coloured arms, club tie and ladies scarf set, towel or custom made neck ladel are but a few examples. Great for textiles and woven neck labels.

Application of label to finished product. 4 Colour process and litho process' employed to print labels to specific size on materials such as paper, vinyl and plastics. Great for application of 4 Colour process design to product that would not ordinarily be able to have print process applied to it.