Thursday, August 14, 2014

Got Art? Got Vector Art?

Step one in the process of screenprinting is starting with vector art.

Vector art is created using vector illustration software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, and Corel Draw, among others. These programs use mathematic equations and geometric primitives (points, lines, and shapes) to create art that is clean, camera ready, and can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity.

Raster Graphics, such as photographs, and graphics files created in Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and other Raster editing programs, can be used for some screenprinting applications, such as printing one-color pen and ink drawings. But in most cases, especially with art such as logos, I will need Vector art to achieve the proper print.

Vector art is usually created in Adobe Illustrator, and is commonly saved as a particular file type: .ai, .eps or .pdf
But, it is important to remember that just because a file is saved in one of these formats, does not mean that it is truly vector art. Only art originally created in a vector editing program, such as Adobe Illustrator, is truly vector art.

So, how do you know if your art file is a vector art file? The best way to find out for sure is to ask a graphic designer to check the file for you. This is a service that I am happy to provide, free of charge. If you have a file that needs to be checked, email it to me and I will be happy to check it for you, free of charge.

Also, you can identify vector art by a process of elimination. There are some file formats that can only be Raster art, and therefore cannot be Vector art. The most common examples are .jpeg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .psd, .tif. These files cannot be vector art.

Keep in mind that if a professional designer created your art for you, chances are they may have your artwork saved as vector art, even if they have not sent that file to you. Some designers do not provide their clients with vector art, as they assume that the client will not be able to open the file. So, if you had a professional logo
designed for you, but all you have is a JPEG, or something similar, contact your artist, and ask them for vector art.

Or, with the newest Illustrator software, there is a good chance that I can recreate your logo and change it to vector art. Once again, I am happy to check it out for you and make that happen if I can. Hope this helps those of you that want to start the screenprinting process.