When printing custom stickers, labels, or any other promotional medium businesses don’t want to tarnish their image with shoddy logos and art files. There are general guidelines for quality print files when printing stickers and labels. But often, the original vector or high resolution files have, over time, been misplaced or disconnected from new employees or due to changes within the company.
As an example of the essential need for high resolution vector files, let’s say you want to print a large vehicle graphic or a banner for a special event. Vector art is resolution independent, meaning it can be enlarged without reducing image quality.
Often, low resolution .jpgs, .gifs, .tiffs, etc., such as graphics off your website, are forwarded to printers. Sometimes those files can work for four color process printing, but often they can result in blurry, less legible print materials. When art files are not optimal for printing purposes there are three options:
1) Print as is and perhaps (likely) end up with blurry, sub par image on printed promotional materials.
2) Art files can be rebuilt as vector art (usually at a cost). This is sometimes relatively simple, sometimes very difficult.
3) Original or better art files can be tracked down. This is usually relatively simple as better (original) files must exist, and should be easily accessible within a company for various print projects.
As every business should have the best files possible for their logo and identity related materials, it certainly makes sense to pursue option 3. It is usually very small businesses that don’t have easy access to print files. So, here are some quick ideas for tracking down quality art files when there is not an in-house marketing or design department to turn to:
Inter-Office Search – Check with marketing department or management. If you are a company-of-one (or few) search your computer and back up files for the logo or image. Proper files would likely be .pdf, .eps, .ai, .psd or perhaps some other file that could be checked for adequacy by a printer.
Contact Original Designer – Who designed your logo or the graphic in question? They should have a copy held for possible changes or updates. If you don’t know who did original design or there has been position or ownership changes at your company, is there a way to make contact with any of those people that might have a link to the source?
Contact Local Printers – Who printed your business cards, letterhead, t-shirts, old brochures, or other print material. It is likely that they needed high resolution art at the time and may still have a copy on file.
Still can’t find it? Check with current printer or designer about tracing or rebuilding the design in vector format. Perhaps it’s time for some tweaks or updates anyway and a rebuild can be done relatively easily. At Websticker we often update logos in the course of designing the best custom sticker possible. Photos and more complex full color graphics can be more difficult to recreate and may require some compromises, changes and/or design charges.