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  • Writer's pictureJack

The ART of supplying ART

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Don't you just love it when a job is produced without delays?

Learn how we would like your art files supplied to us so your job will flow through our

production facility with ease!

We are so thankful that our Dealers supply us with art files for their orders. Here are the answers to some common art supplied questions that our Sales Reps are asked on a daily basis. Educate yourself with these answers and you will be golden!


Frequently asked Questions:

1. Why is it so important to supply art correctly?

- Supplying art correctly saves time and money! When we have to stop an order to ask a question about the art supplied, it may create production delays and incur extra charges.

2. What are acceptable art formats?

- Some acceptable art formats include:







3. Can I send a Word or Excel file for art?

- Providing art in any microsoft file (ie. word, excel, powerpoint) will create image and colour quality issues. Microsoft will export images as RGB with a DPI of usually 72 or 96. This is considered lower quality and is not great for printing.

4. What is the difference between raster and vector art?

Raster (Bitmap)

• Made of pixels; tiny dots or squares of colour

• Represents and edits photo and photo-like elements better than vector programs with the use of continuous tones. The use of different colour pixels allows for a smooth blend of colours


• Is bound by the number of pixels in the image. It cannot be scaled up without losing quality

• Large (dimension) & detailed images equal large file sizes

• Some service providers like engravers, stencil-cut signs, etc. must have vector art

• It is more difficult to print raster images using a limited amount of spot colours

• Depending on the complexity of the image, conversion to vector may be time consuming or impossible


• Made of mathematical calculations that form objects and lines

• Can be scaled to any size without losing quality

• Resolution-independent: Can be printed at any resolution

• Number of colours can be easily increased or reduced to adjust printing budget

• A large dimension vector graphic can maintain a small file size

• Vector art is required by many services providers

• Can be easily converted to raster


• It is not the best format for photographs or photo-like elements with blends of colour

5. Should I outline the fonts before sending the art to you?

- If you are using a unique font or cannot embed a font into a PDF it is highly recommended that you outline your fonts.

6. Should my art be supplied in CMYK (process colour) or Spot Colour?

- Deciding on a colour space depends a lot on the output device. For instance, if you have a job that is for an offset press (ie. forms, envelopes or cheques) we require the art to be built in PMS colours, so the job can be properly separated for plating. If you have a job going to a digital device, the sky is the limit! Digital devices can print process colours as well as take specific PMS numbers for colour sensitive jobs (ie. logos or corporate colours).

7. What is bleed? Do I need to supply that on my artwork or can Factor just add it?

- The bleed is the part on the sides of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colours often extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document. Depending on the art itself, we can sometimes add bleed. However, if the art is a raster image (like a photograph) we cannot add bleed. Please include bleed and crop marks with your art.

8. How do I know what kind of barcode it is and will Factor set my barcode?

- There is no good way of visually looking at a 1 dimensional barcode and knowing exactly what type it is. The best thing to do is to send us a sample and we can use a barcode verifier to learn all the information about it. Factor can set different types of barcodes depending on the symbology. We have done variable Code-128, Code 39, Interleaved 2of5. We can also do static barcodes like UPC barcodes for products as long as we are provided with the product number. We have even done variable QR codes. In order for us to do these, you must provide an excel sheet with the variable data to go inside them.

9. What is the minimum size I can print a barcode on forms versus labels?

- Depending on the barcode symbology there is a range of sizes that will work for printing. A UPC code ideally needs to be 1.25" wide from the first bar to the last bar. A Code-128 barcode will be driven by the data it contains. The width of a barcode is always more important than the height with the exception of 2D barcodes which are proportionate to the 2 dimensions of the code (ie. data matrix, QR codes). Another factor in printing barcodes is the resolution output of the device it is to be printed on. We have 2 different resolutions on the label printers, and a different resolution for the press and digital printer. The lower the resolution of the output device, the larger the barcode may need to be to scan properly. We can help you with this.

10. How do I supply variable data for printing?

- Data needed for variable printing can be supplied in a .csv or excel file format. Simple numbering can be done here without a supplied file.

11. How do I show white ink on my label artwork?

- DO NOT make artwork and colour it as an empty object (ie. C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=0). Use an actual colour like a solid cyan or magenta. Ideally, the white will be built as a separate PMS colour called "White_Ink". We have an instructional document to help you build this spot colour in Adobe Illustrator as a custom swatch colour. You can then save this custom swatch colour and use it for future label art files that require white ink. Contact you rep for these instructions.

12. Do you offer graphic design?

Yes! We charge $65/hour - minimum 30 minute charge.


For more detailed information on how we would like art supplied, please click here.

We appreciate your initiative to learn. At the end of the day, you will benefit from this ultimate team effort with a seamless process!

..."That's a FACT JACK!"



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