Artwork Submission Guidelines

posted Nov 15, 2012, 1:28 PM by Abdallah Absi
Artwork Submission Guidelines
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June 2012 - Recycled Papers from Absi Co

Artwork Submission Guidelines

Artwork must be sent to our e-mail address ( as digital files.

About Graphics File Format

Digital artwork can be presented in two different forms:

  • Vector Artwork: Images that are stored geometrically and can be easily scaled to any size without loss of quality. Generally produced with graphics applications such as Adobe Illustrator.

  • Raster Artwork: Images that have their information stored as pixels or dots and do not scale well without a loss of quality (jagged, stair stepped edges etc.). Generally produced by digital cameras, scanners and painting applications such as Corel Photo Paint and Adobe Photoshop.

  • Acceptable File Formats

Here is the list of file formats that we can use in order of preference (Vector Formats):

  • .ai (Adobe Illustrator) (The format that we prefer)

  • .eps (Encapsulated Postscript)

  • .cdr (Corel Draw)

  • Avoid sending Low Resolution Images

Low resolution images such as those downloaded from a web site are less than ideal. Web sites use a low resolution (72 dpi) that are not suitable for engraving. When sending bitmap files it's important to acquire a file that is not only a high resolution file of 300 dpi or greater, but also the appropriate size in regards to height and width.

We prefer that you submit your artwork as vector artwork saved in ".ai" format. (if not available, you can send your graphics file and it will be checked for adequacy).


About Artwork Required For Etching or Engraving

A sketch or a drawing can be etched or engraved with fabulous results by utilizing a black & white line drawing.

  • Black and white: A black and white drawing of your design must be produced. Artwork should be submitted without gray scales, halftones or color. i.e. in black and white similar to inked drawings. When etched black areas of your artwork are read as recessed and white areas as raised (in fact the original surface).

  • Fonts: If your artwork contains specific fonts it should be converted to curves (Corel) or outlines (Adobe) before being submitted.

  • Minimum etched letter size: Letters can be as small as 5 Pt (1/16" or 0.16 mm). Small lettering with fine serifs is not recommended for raised graphics.


  • Painted Colors: The recessed areas (black areas in your drawing) of all etched plaques may be painted with any color.

  • Multiple Colors: Multiple colors may be specified for use on etched plaques, however, a raised area in the plaque (white line or area in your drawing) must separate each color (that is, two colors cannot touch each other).

  • If your order require coloring; a separate file must be sent with colors.  A raised area in the plaque (white line or area in your drawing) must separate each color (that is, two colors cannot touch each other)


Special Considerations for laser engraving and cutting

  • Your artwork must be a vector artwork.

  • It must be composed from paths only. Nothing else.

  • All effects or styles must be removed or expanded.

  • All stroke weights must be equal to zero.

  • All text elements must be converted to outlines.

  • Considerations for laser engraving:

    • Closed paths: Areas to be engraved in a vector artwork file must be formed by closed paths; i.e. lines joined together to form one path. The enclosed area of such a path can be laser engraved. If your path is not closed the apparent enclosed area will be ignored from engraving.

    • Overlapping closed paths: No overlapping is permitted. Overlapped paths must be merged to form one single closed path.

    • Subtracting areas: Any enclosed area formed by a closed path that is completely inside a larger enclosing area will be subtracted from the larger area; i.e. will not be engraved. Areas inside subtracted areas will be engraved.

  • Considerations for laser cutting:

Any path or line can be assigned to be a cutting path. Cutting paths can be composed from any number of lines or paths. A cutting path does not have to be closed.

  • Special care: If two paths are exactly similar and one above the other, they will make the enclosed area ignored from engraving, in such a case you need to delete one of them. These can be occasionally produced from an auto-trace process.


Etched Portraits

The etching process reproduces artwork with fine detail as well as halftone photographs through acid-etching into metal sheet.

One method utilizes a halftone dot pattern, made from a 50-line screen. Halftone portraits resemble newspaper photographs with their visible dot patterns. The etched, recessed dots are black infilled to contrast with the satin-finished metal background.

The best photographs for halftone etched portraits have high contrast tones with bright white areas, dense black areas, and minimal grey tones.

Photos that are monotone or have muted colors will produce poor halftone etchings.

The other type of etched metal portrait reproduces a black and white line drawing. Because a halftone screen is not used with hand-drawn art, the artist's fine lines are captured in great detail in the metal plate and can be etched deeper.

Digital artwork service

If you don't have a digital file of your artwork or your If it doesn't conform to the above listed specifications, we can produce a digital file of your artwork that conforms to our requirements. This service will be charged to your invoice.

To view an updated printable version of this article click here.