From photos to artwork, pictures to graphic elements such as a logo or clipart, an equally wide range of design factors influences the beauty of your creation.
At PlaqueMaker, you are your own designer! You make all sorts of creative choices when it comes to creating a personalized custom plaque or gift. This doesn’t mean you’re totally on your own, though. To help you customize your designs, we’ve put together a few do’s and don’ts:
- Do choose a logo or graphic for a laser engraving that has no gradients or 3D rendering.
- Do use a straight-from-a-digital-camera .jpg for pictures, which are large enough to size the picture into the design without losing quality.
- Do scan an image such as a photo or newspaper in full color. Most scanning programs allow you to select a resolution, so make sure the setting is at least 300 dpi.
- Do email logos and other graphic images as high resolution .jpgs or vector art: .eps, .pdf or .ai files, which are optimal.
- Do realize that removing unwanted details from a photo that already exist, or adding details that are absent, are things we cannot do, to produce a good result.
- Don’t use scans of graphics that are already printed on patches, pins, paper or shirts.
- Don’t choose a picture for full color printing that is fuzzy, blurry or pixilated. Provide a clean, in-focus image in as large a format as possible; at least 300 dpi. This way, if we need to enlarge it for the layout, it will hold its quality.
- Don’t choose a photo for an engraved item that contains high contrast areas with shadows and highlights on the main subject of the photo.
What to Look for on Your Digital Proof
For every PlaqueMaker design job, you’ll receive a free digital proof by email the next business day. It gives you a quick look at what the final product will look like. Proofs are generally not to size, meaning if you order a one-inch by one-inch tag, we will enlarge the proof image, so it is easier to check. Or, if you order a 48-inch x 24-inch sign, we will decrease the size of the proof to see the sign in its entirety on a computer screen.
When checking your proof, focus mainly on the layout of the wording, copy or message and the art, picture or logo. Always double check spelling and grammar, because we do not proofread wording submitted on order forms. Keep in mind that all computers and monitors are calibrated differently. The color of a proof will likely look different when viewing it on different devices.
PlaqueMaker.com is a family-owned and operated business located in Indiana. Our custom engraved plaques and more are proudly designed in the USA, using materials sourced from all over the world – that’s 4 million plaques and counting since 1999! Our professionally-trained graphic designers, craftsmen and customer service representatives manage every aspect of your creative project personally, from design to manufacture to delivery. Because we’re an online-only operation with a single, locally-owned facility, we can offer a secure order process, lower prices and the fastest possible completion. What’s more – we stand behind our products with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.