Custom Artwork Submission
If you have artwork in a computer format, that is the best way—contact us, for artwork email instructions. We operate Corel-Draw (V.12) on a PC-based system which allows us to import many of formats. Our preferences: PDF vector files are best, TIF bitmap files are good as well, JPG files may work but often aren’t very clean (sharp) and lack resolution. We prefer artwork resolution to be at least 300 dpi at the actual size of engraving. We do not need actual size, we can resize. However, we cannot take a low-resolution, thumbnail-sized image and make it work at 4" wide. If all you have is a paper copy, send it to us. A fax may be okay but it will add distortion and other “noise.”
For Laser Engraving:
Technically, laser engraving is not a process of burning wood, however the results are similar enough that or these purposes we will refer to it as such. Laser engraving is most attractive on wood when black and white artwork is used. While it is true that even photos can be engraved into wood, in our view the results are less impressive and generally not of commercial quality. Below we discuss our suggested guidelines for materials. We can engrave any image but make no guarantees about the results.
Color vs. Black and White
When we say black and white, for best results, we mean black and white, not to be confused with a b&w photo that is mostly shades of gray. The laser either burns an area or it doesn’t. A lighter gray area will laser with less intensity and less depth, but doesn’t result in a substantially different shade of burn. Thus various shades may not set off against each other as much as you would like to see. There is not good software to convert highly shaded designs to b&w and we understand that not everyone has a nice b&w version of their art. We regularly work with colored and grayscale art and the results will depend on the application. There are a variety of manipulation tools to enhance the contrast so the results are usually okay. If you have artwork, and unless you are a graphic designer, please submit the best you have and let us do the rest. Having you convert a color image to grayscale, via software or copier, will not help. You may lose resolution or other valuable data in the process, plus we can do that with one click. Don’t forget as well that black areas are engraved in and white areas are raised.
We print using a variety of processes, from spot color to full color digital; this makes us highly flexible. However, each method has technical constraints, size limitations, and cost implications. Our art file requirements are the same. We can discuss the issues as warranted.