Are you a graphic designer sending your final art files for printing to Evo Exhibits? We’re so glad to work with you and we want to make your project and your design life as easy as possible by helping you with a simple check list of things to do as you are preparing your art files to be sent to Evo Exhibits’ FTP upload site https://www.hightail.com/dropbox?dropbox=EvoExhibitsCreativeDepartment
Step 1 – Graphic Design Key and Templates
Evo Exhibits will send you a Graphic Design Key with directions that show where each panel that you will be designing is located. We will also send you Templates as .ai CS5 files and PDFs, which in most cases, are built at 100% full scale, unless they are marked otherwise. For best results, it is a good idea to build your artwork directly on the .ai template files on the Artwork Layer. These template files include all the most up-to-date measurements taken directly from the Exhibit CAD files and include the bleed area needed for successful printing.
Step 2 – Think Large JPEGS and Vector Art
You begin designing your excellent graphics for your Trade Show Exhibit using a combination of high resolution jpegs, psd files, and vector objects. When you design graphics for Trade Show Exhibits, think big! What I mean specifically is, think large high quality jpeg files at 100 dpi. The biggest mistake that designers make in designing graphics, is underestimating just how large these files will be printed when working with the images they choose. Most final graphics will stand as high as walls, sometimes much taller, and that’s a lot of area for pixels to fill. The file sizes that we work with at such a large scale are in MBs, sometimes in the double digits, for jpegs.
How do you know if your jpegs are large enough for print? Sometimes this can be tricky due to the fact that everyone’s settings on their computer are different, but there is a quick first check method and a more for sure method.
Place your jpegs on the Evo Exhibits template and look at the lower left corner of the Illustrator program, you will see a percentage box. Set this percentage at 100% and scroll around your artwork. If your artwork is clear, your art quality is good to print, SUCCESS. If you see pixels that are obvious, you most likely need to get a higher quality version of your jpeg…however, before setting out for new images, also try the For Sure Method:
Go to the linked file new in the upper left hand corner and click the name of the image, scroll down to ‘Edit Original’ and open your file in Photoshop. In Photoshop, click to make sure your image is the same size you have it in you Illustrator file and set your percentage box to 100% and scroll around your artwork again. If things look clear, your artwork is okay (one reason this might be happening is that your Illustrator settings or your computer setting may be compressing your images to view them more quickly, thus your quality is appearing to be worse than it actually is for printing). Sadly, if your artwork still looks pixelated or of bad quality, you will need to get higher quality images.
Vector Objects are a very different animal; they can be scaled from the size of a dime to the size of a football stadium and never change in quality. Company Logos are always preferred to be provided in vector or .eps files because the quality and the PMS colors in your logo can be clear and accurate for printing.
Step 3 – Outline Fonts
Your design is finished, your graphics look terrific! What next? Your type. Do a quick spell check in Illustrator and check your fonts. There are millions of typefaces and you might have some fonts and typefaces in your artwork that Evo Exhibits and Print Production does not have, but we want your graphics and fonts to be exactly as you intend them to print. Easy Solution – Always remember to outline your fonts before saving your final art files.
Step 4 – Saving PDFs
For each .ai file you create, make sure to save a PDF of that file as well, it can be low resolution, if the files are extremely large. We will open both files and compare the two, this helps us catch any incorrect fonts or missing images from the ai file.
Step 5 – Linked Files
You’re almost ready to send your files. One of the last steps is saving all the linked files you used in your artwork in a separate images folder. When dealing with large printing, it is preferred that you place linked files into your art, and do not simply embed the files. There are a few reasons for using linked files and not embedded files; it is easier to check quality and make any last minutes changes when the original art is included and the .ai file size is much smaller when the art file is built with linked files, making all the pre-checking and print production stages faster and more error free.
Step 6 – Compressing/Zipping your art and Uploading
Your art is built on the templates and it is done, the quality of your images look great, your fonts are outlined and your linked files are in a separate images folder, Great! The last thing you will do is collect all your art files and your images folder and compress your final art into one large zip file. Head right over to Evo Exhibits website and follow the link to the Evo Exhibits FTP site, or click this link to go directly there https://www.hightail.com/u/EvoExhibitsCreativeDepartment. Put in your information; Remember to include you Company Name, your Job Number, any PMS Colors that you used in your files, and a short description of what you are uploading.
Andrea O’Briant – Graphic Designer for Evo Exhibits