Artwork Tips


To be sure your artwork is good enough to be used when decorating promotional products,  you will need your logo in  “Vector” artwork.

 What is Vector artwork?

Vector artwork gives sharp graphics with good clear outlines – when you zoom in close to look at a Vector artwork file the lines are clean and well-defined, with no blurry edges.  Vector art is extremely flexible and straightforward to adjust – for example it is easy to change the size of the image, making it larger or smaller to suit your product, whilst maintaining consistency and with no compromise on quality.

See below on the left, which shows what a Vector graphic looks like when you zoom in close.


The image on the right shows a Bitmap image.  This type of graphic file is made up of a number of small squares (pixels).  You will see these if you zoom in close to photographs, and they are often used for images and graphics found on web pages as  low resolution versions – you might also see these on your corporate email footers.  Resolution on Artwork files like this are too low for quality printing on paper or on a promotional product – the result will be blurred at best, or at worst impossible to print.  If you want to view this for yourself, pick a screenshot or a web image, and move in to see it closer up; you can see the pixels (or squares), particularly at the edges of any graphic or on text.


Why can’t I use a bitmap?

We really need vector art because for logo printing we need sharp lines – this is because logo art is often printed with a silkscreen or pad-print process.  This printing process as a bit like using a stencil or a stamp, which his has to be physically cut for each order – to cut these stamps or screens we need good quality smooth edges for all the elements in the artwork, whatever the final size of the product.

For most practical printing or product decoration requirements, if a bitmap can be accepted (for example if your product can be produced using CMYK or digital printing, then the resolution must be at a resolution of  300 pixels per inch or more – note that this often implies larger file sizes, which are more cumbersome to handle via email.


How can I check if my artwork is OK?

You can check if a file you plan to send to your promo product supplier is workable by opening the file in the relevant programme and zooming close in on your image to see if it remains sharp at the edges.  If you don’t have that programme on your computer it’s often possible to “preview” it.

If the edges are jagged, then you probably need to get a very much higher resolution file (if it’s a photograph).  Or if it’s text and logo, have it “Converted to Vectors” by your designer.


 Where can I get a Vector Artwork version of my logo?

Any logo designer ought to be able to send you an Encapsulated Postscript (.eps), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), or a print-ready high resolution editable PDF file – all of these options are usually workable for printing and imprinting applications.

But often it’s easiest and most cost-effective for you to ask your own in-house designer to supply these files when you need promo products.  They usually have them tucked away somewhere, as this type of file is very probably what they used to create your logo in the first place – and they use these as their own “working” files.  They might not have sent you a copy of that file before, but it’s still worth asking – they might have assumed you wouldn’t need one or you wouldn’t be able to open it anyway (and it’s true enough that most of us non-designers don’t need these files on a day-to-day basis).

If you still can’t find the right artwork,  then please do talk to us – our full-service design team can redraw artwork to render it into the correct format for your order  – or prepare totally new designs if you are looking for a complete fresh start.


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Acknowledgement – the inspiration for much of the content of this blog post came from Heidi Thorne’s excellent reference book – SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business, available through

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