How to Send Correct Artwork Specification.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

graphic design image

If you have decided to use your own artwork for your signage, a company logo for example, it is important that we receive this in the correct format to ensure that we can provide you with the best quality image on your sign. We have put together this ‘how to’ guide to assist you with this process as we understand that not everyone is familiar with the terms used; to simplify this, anything highlighted in bold throughout this guide will be explained further in the glossary section of this article.

At ProjectSign we will usually request a PDF, EPS or AI file for your text and graphics, all of these files will have been created using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Acrobat. Please also ensure that all text has been converted to Curves / Outlines / Paths and colours should have a CMYK or Pantone reference.

For your images and photographs – (not suitable for cut vinyl graphics or CNC routering), we will require any of the following image types, PSD, TIFF, EPS or JPEG (only when saved at maximum quality). The resolution of the image should be at least 75ppi at full size or equivalent 300ppi at quarter size.

If you are sending us a file that is a mix of text and images then vector files such as PDF, EPD or AI should be used with the images embedded. If you are sending full artwork i.e. not just your company logo, then please make sure you have made space for a 10mm bleed as well as sending us a hard copy.

To determine whether your image is a suitable resolution would depend on the dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). For example, a low pixel density suitable for web images needs to be 72dpi (dots per inch), which is the maximum for computer monitors. Images that require to be printed need a resolution of 300dpi and this allows your image to have greater detail (see example below… and yes we like ginger cats!).



Vector Images such as AI (Adobe Illustrator) and EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) are types of files that can remain editable, for example if you wanted to edit your text or an image. Files saved as JPG, PNG and GIF are unable to be edited when you reopen the file. Raster Images use many coloured pixels to create a complete image. JPEGs, PNGs and GIFs are common raster images. Nearly all of the images you will see online will be raster images.

Types of files;

  • AI – An AI file was created by Adobe and can only be created and edited using Adobe Illustrator. It is best used for creating company logo’s and illustrations. *Vector File
  • EPS – stands for Encapsulated PostScript. It is a vector file which can easily be resized and edited.
  • JPG (or JPEG) – is a file that is usually used for photographs on the internet, it is best used as a square or rectangular image on your website.
  • PNG – is another file that is often used for images, the main difference between a JPG and PNG is that a PNG can have a transparent background and is usually larger in size and quality. This type of file would therefore be best used for your company logo as it can be placed over a coloured background on a website.
  • GIF – A GIF is another image type made up of 256 colours from the RBG Colourspace, therefore it would be best used for an image with just a few bold colours like; web buttons and graphs – not a photograph.
  • PSD (or Photoshop Document) – is a layered document that has been made using Photoshop and allows the user to work with the images’ individual layers even when the document has been saved.
  • TIF (or TIFF) – is a file predominantly used in printing as it does not lose quality of the image. This isn’t ideal for web pages as it is such a large file and would be time consuming to load.
  • PDF – can be a vector or a raster type image depending on how it was initially created.



  • CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).
  • Pantone Reference (or PMS) – stands for Pantone Matching System, and it is a system designed by the Pantone company to ensure that colours are printed consistently.
  • RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue and the colour intensity can range from 0 to 100 percent, the colours can be combined in various proportions to make any colour in the visible spectrum, for example R236 G232 B23 makes a shade of Yellow.

Bleed is a term used in printing where a document has images or graphics that go right to the edge of the page, leaving no white margin. When a document has a bleed it must be printed slightly larger so it can be trimmed.

Resolution is a word used to describe the sharpness and quality of an image. For example, to determine whether your image is a suitable resolution would depend on the dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). For example, a low pixel density suitable for web images needs to be 72dpi (dots per inch), which is the maximum for computer monitors. Images that require to be printed need a resolution of 300dpi and this allows your image to have greater detail.

We hope this guide has been useful to you and your project and please be sure to contact one of our helpful team should you have any queries or need assistance with this area of your project.


Frames: In some instances the seen size will be different to the overall dimensions, if the finished print is contained within a frame i.e. an illuminated box sign or similar, please contact us BEFORE submitting your artwork, as we cannot accept responsibility for additional costs incurs if you have failed to do so.

Colours: If Pantone references or a colour proof are not provided, colour matches cannot be guaranteed and remember that not all colours are achievable.

Other formats: As explained above in the Glossary section of this ‘How to’ guide, we can only accept artwork in certain formats and anything sent in other formats may not be readable by our software, in particular Apple Mac files. Images also sent at a low resolution may result in an unsatisfactory print, so please refrain from using images taken from the internet as they are not usually suitable for printing.

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ProjectSign offer a complete signage service whereby we design, manufacture and install signage solutions for all applications. We produce everything from shop frontage displays to giant architectural pieces. At ProjectSign, we manage all types of projects including large scale signage rollouts for advertising purposes such as raising brand awareness, to bespoke solutions for clients with a limited budget.

With over 60 years’ experience creating bespoke signage solutions for every application imaginable, we have evolved from our humble sign-maker roots to a comprehensive signage agency that caters for international clients across the globe.

Our Accreditations

British Sign and Graphics Association
Contractors Health and Safety Assessment
Construction Line
Contractor Plus
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
International Powered Access Federation
Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers association
Safe Contractor
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health