Our Artwork Requirements

Artwork Creation/Recreation

The graphic artists at Hightech Signs can recreate logos or create new concepts from scratch. Speak with one of our sales representatives to find out how.

Artwork Requirements

Vector Files

True vector files can be scaled infinitely without a loss in quality. This does not include images that are placed into a vector file. Those images will need to follow the guidelines covered in bitmap files below.

Bitmap Files

When building bitmap (raster) artwork, the higher the resolution the better. Images should be built at full scale (72 ppi [pixels per inch] at full scale should be considered a minimum for most projects. If you are working, on a scale, then the ppi should also be as follows:

Full size @ 150 ppi (desired resolution)
1/2 Scale @ 300 ppi
1/4 Scale @ 600 ppi
This insures that when your art is scaled to full size, the image quality is protected from the original scaled art.

Keep the viewing distance in mind. Images that will be seen close up should be a higher resolution 72-150 ppi at full scale, while images that are seen from 20-50 feet away such as a billboard, can be as low as 20 ppi.

NOTE: WEB IMAGES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE since web sites often use very low resolution images at very small dimensions.
Vehicle Wraps

If you are providing the graphics for your vehicle wrap, then here is a quick guide on what is needed for printing:

Final Artwork should be 150 ppi at full size, CMYK TIFF format with LZW compression (if you are working from a photo editing software). Preferably, the artwork should be laid out on a vehicle template with 4-inch extra margins on each side of the vehicle. In addition, it will be helpful if you could also provide a layered file (such as Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDRAW) so that we can edit the artwork if changes are needed.

Support applications

We recommend you supply artwork created in the following applications. If the program you are using is not listed, please contact us for more details. Items with asterisks are preferred applications.

Adobe Photoshop CS or below (bitmap)*

.psd – layered files
Adobe Illustrator CS or below (vector)*

.ai files
CorelDRAW 12 or below (vector)

.cdr, .cmx files
Alternatively, you can supply artwork in the following generic file types:

EPS – Encapsulated Postscript File. Many applications offer the facility to save artwork in this format. When saving files in this format, please convert all fonts to cures/outlines and make sure links are embedded.
PDF – Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format is also a versatile format that is usable in most situations. When saving files in this format, please convert all fonts to curves/outlines.
JPEG, TIFF – Photo editing programs, like Photoshop, allow you to save your artwork in any of these file formats. Please make sure they are high resolution.

Ideally, fonts should be turned into “curves” or “outlines”, eliminating then need to provide fonts. If this can not be done, then please check with us to ensure we have the fonts in our database or supply the fonts with your artwork.

Color Specifications

Use Pantone PMS colors where possible (Pantone Coated is preferred). Be sure to specify all PMS colors and they will be used as a reference target. Since not all PMS colors are reproducible in CMYK (limited to 80% of the Pantone spectrum), all color specs are matched to the closest CMYK color. Images received WITHOUT color specs will be produced using the CMYK values contained in the digital file. This may not produce the desired effect, because different presses and printers produce different colors, using the same formula.

It is essential that you make us aware of any critical colors BEFORE we go to print, and not afterwards! If you would like us to check the accuracy of colors before printing, then it is essential that you make this clear when you place the order. If you are at all concerned about how a particular color will reproduce, then please request a HARD COPY PROOF before we go to press (see proofing services below).

We do not print or match Metallic or Flourescent colors. Use 100% blocks to insure you get a pure black color, code your CMYK values to C-0, M-0, Y-0, K-100


It is very helpful that you also supply a proof along with your artwork.

Hard Color Proof – The ideal proof for us to work from. Please make sure to include print sizes, and to mark any critical colors.

Hard Black & White Proof – Only be used to check content and positioning. Any critical colors can still be marked separately.

JPEG Proof – If artwork is supplied electronically, then this is a good way to provide a proof. It can be used to check layout and colors, although any critical colors must be highlighted.

PDF Proof – The ideal way to provide an electronic proof. Again, any critical colors must be highlighted.

The above proofs help us in laying out your artwork properly and making sure that the resolutions/colors, etc., are as you specified. However, if colors are critical we highly recommend that you request a hard copy proof (printed on our actual wide-format printer) and verify the colors and images under broad daylight (colors in broad daylight are much different that how they appear in an indoor office environment; therefore, for vehicle graphics, hard copy proofs should always be verified in a bright outdoor environment). Always view the proof in the appropriate lighting environment.

Hard copy proofs are available to customers for a nominal fee of $20 throughout the US. Proofs are shipped by FedEx/UPS. These proofs are a scaled down version or a section of the artwork at full size, enabling you to check colors, image resolution, and any finishing options (laminates, etc.).

In the case that a hard copy proof is not requested, Hightech Signs will not be liable in the event of any omissions or errors in respect of the artwork you supplied.

File Delivery

Small files can be emailed to hightech@signsaustin.com while larger files can be uploaded to our server (upload here). If the file is larger than 200MB, it should be supplied on a CD/DVD or sent through an alternate FTP service such as www.yousendit.com. Sending a proof of each of the files to be printed lets us know what you are expecting and helps us see if any fonts/graphics are missing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use images downloaded from web sites?

It is very unlikely. Images you see on your screen when viewing web sites are normally only 72DPI at their screen size. This makes them too small to use in any form of printing without very poor results.

Can we supply RGB files?

Yes. Our printers use a CMYK ink set, but also include a light cyan and light magenta which extend beyond the standard CMYK gamut.

When you print our artwork, will it look the same as it does on our screen?

No. Unless your monitor has been professionally calibrated, then colors are unlikely to be the same once printed. You should always try to run a proof on a calibrated printer to check color and image balance. If colors are critical we recommend a hard copy proof (see “proofs” above).

I only have a low resolution image of our logo, what should I do?

You can ask the designer for a higher resolution version or speak with our sales staff about getting the logo recreated.

How can I visually check the resolution on my computer monitor?

Design or scale up the image to the desired print dimensions and view the image at 100% on your computer monitor. This can provide you with some idea what the product will look like from an “arms length.” If the image is grainy or distorted, it is very likely the image will print the same way.

What if my file is too large to upload?

Provide it on a disk or use an alternate FTP site such as yousendit.com.