DESIGNER RESOURCES AND TIPS
Helpful tips and advice from the professionals at Big Fish.
- Your logo in eps., tiff., or jpeg format. PDFs are acceptable but don’t always provide the quality necessary.
- Your approved text to be used. Once we place text and changes are made, we bill for the extra work required to make additional changes.
- Contact information such as address, phone number(s), locations, maps, ext numbers and so on.
- Images to be used as background, logos, effects.
Magazine Ads Requirement:
In addition to the above information we will need the following:
- Contact information for the magazine including phone number & website address.
- The size of the ad, and if it is vertical or horizontal format.
- Once we discuss the overall look, images and text and agree on the fee, you will be provided a PDF proof of your ad.
- We allow up to 2 overall changes for the agreed price before billing for additional art time.
- Note: If sending low quality images less than 300dpi we reserve the right to refuse to print or you may be required to release us of any liability for low quality print related to those images.
Unacceptable File Formats:
- MS Publisher
- Images copied and pasted from the internet. These images are low 72dpi and will not work for printing.
- Only text may be sent in MS Word as Word does not retain any formatting or fonts.
There are millions of fonts out there. Various effects can be applied to a font to show 3D effects, engraving, etc. You can review our logo gallery to get an understanding of the different effects that can be used. Some fonts have only upper case or only lower case letters. Some have only one style while others have multiple versions. If you have a font but don’t have the file or know the name, let us know. We have an in-house font guru who can help.
When selecting images keep in mind the terms and conditions of use. Rights managed images can sell for thousands of dollars and in some cases still have restrictions of use. Big Fish tries to find Royalty Free images that can cost as little as a few dollars with no restrictions. Image quality for print is 300dpi at actual size so purchasing an image that is too small will result in low quality if you then enlarge that image. We recommend that you find the images you want, record their file ID and email those to us before purchasing stock photos.
Clients often enlarge an image only to find it becomes blurry, jagged or pixelated. We have even had clients copy thumbnail images off a website and ask us to use them to make a banner! These are all classic cases of image distortion. Photos and images are made up of dots. The dots look fine until you enlarge the image which basically spreads the dots apart thus giving you less “dots per inch”. This makes the lines look thinner and the curves become blocky and grainy. What was once a 300dpi (dots per inch) image, is now 150 dpi, or in some cases much lower. These distortions make achieving a professional printed product very difficult. Big Fish will not print your project if it does not meet our standards, unless you offer special written consent.
An image that is larger than what you need isn’t a bad thing because we can always resize it. However, once you’ve made an image smaller and saved it, you can’t go back to the larger size so resave the file under a different name. Making a quality image smaller will not reduce your quality because you’re squeezing the dots together thus avoiding image distortion. If you plan to use a stock image to do a variety of printing materials, you are better off to purchase the bigger image so you have more versatility with your image size.
Using Web Images:
All images off webpages are 72 dpi. You cannot copy them and use them for printed material even if they are copied off your website. The resulting printed image will be so blocky the image could be unrecognizable. It is best to download a high res photo from a stock photography site or use your own photos.
Using Your Own Photos:
Digital cameras have quality settings on them. Most people use the lowest setting so that you can fit more photos on your memory card. But sometimes when you go to use that photo in printed material, the photo is low quality. If you plan to take photos for printed material, take the time to make sure your camera is set to take photos on the highest quality setting.