As a commercial interior designer you always have brilliant ideas for spaces, you usually know what you want to see, but have you ever wondered what it takes to make your ideas reality? How do those huge photographic wall murals go from your screen to the walls of a building? How do you turn that dull space into something inspiring? In this series of articles we cover these processes, from initial idea through to the finished space. In this post we look at the artwork procedure. Some of the terms in this post may not be familiar so we have included a glossary below.

 

At Wall Glamour we have many years experience creating and working with artwork, (in fact our founders career started in this field) and high quality artwork is at the core of everything we do. You might not know the print industry definition of the word ‘artwork’. In print it is short for ‘print ready artwork’. This generally means having a design file that, when sent to a printer, is going to produce a print that is fit for purpose. In traditional litho printing this may mean a brochure is laid up correctly with the correct pages facing each other, or on a full-colour business card it might mean having crop-marks and enough bleed to ensure the cards look as good as possible once trimmed to the finished size.

 

In wide format digital printing, which is Wall Glamour’s area of expertise, we have to produce a mural with enough bleed to account for walls that might be bigger than specified, and have an overlap for printing multiple drops. There are a considerable amount of things to do to produce final artwork, much of which is difficult for a design team to do without prior experience. We often can work with a designer or team to make the process simpler be either giving them a full specification sheet (example below) or by providing them with a minimum specification sheet (also below). This is a list of the basic requirements required to make their artwork be the best it can be once it is on the wall.

 

This is how we  typically work with a design team who provides the basic type of artwork for a project:

Firstly the artwork is sent to us using Dropbox, Box, WeTransfer or another large file transfer service. Once received, we create a folder using the job number and create two folders within it, one for Customer Artwork (the original file), and another called Print Artwork for the modified files. There should always be a specsheet and set of visuals with the project artwork (possibly sent earlier in the process) so this will also be added to the folder. A member of our production team will then work through the artwork and prepare it.

 

The two main applications we use for print ready artwork are Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (we always have the latest versions). If some of the artwork are photographic images we will usually get these sized correctly within Photoshop and have them ready to print quickly. We deal with huge print files all day long so our files are typically around 1gb. However, if we printed a mural for a 15m corridor it would be about 6 or 7GB, which is pretty huge! We save these size prints at 1:1 or 100% and usually at the highest dpi we can. Once the artwork for a mural is complete, it is sent to our RIP software which allows us to split the mural into a few drops. We add an overlap for installation and then we hit the print button – a mural with three drops will typically take 1.5hrs to print.

 

We differentiate murals from stickers by this method; anything that is the full height of the wall and does not require any elements cutting out is a mural and anything that requires a cut-out shape we class as a sticker. Where stickers are required, the artwork needs to be supplied as per our specifications which usually means a vector EPS or AI file. After printing, we take the artwork and create a cutter guide for our vinyl machine to cut the design out. The printed design is loaded into our Vinyl Cutter and then the file is sent to cut. The machine scans the design then cuts out the appropriate lines. During our prep process we remove the parts not required by hand (more on this process in our Print Prep post). Usually the stickers will be text, illustrations and swooshes rather than photographic images. If they do include photographic elements these will need to be supplied with a cutting path.

We’re more than happy to guide and help designers with no background in the artworking of these kind of files. We usually offer part-artworking as a courtesy but we can offer a full artwork service, working directly with a designer to deliver what they envision but may not have the technical skills to deliver.

 

Working with window manifestations artwork or full glass prints we use the same processes as above, but may require the artwork to be flipped if fitted to the reverse side of the glass. Cut-out window graphics would be supplied to the sticker specifications, and full glass prints to the mural specifications.

 

Glossary.

 

Artwork Print ready artwork

Bleed Extra area of print that will be trimmed off

Crop-Marks Black lines at the corner of a print designating the area to be trimmed off

CMYK Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black are the colours used by printers

RGB Red Green Blue are the colours used by computer screens

Full Colour Means a print that is made up of Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black (CMYK)

Wide Format Printing Usually a digital printer that can print from 1300mm

Litho Printing A process of printing using plates on a drum

Drops Murals are printed up to 1300mm wide, a wall 2600mm wide would be two drops.

RIP Software Raster Image Processing. RIP Software converts files into printable files.

DPI Dots Per Inch is an old printing term, the higher the DPI the better
the quality of the print.

Adobe Photoshop Bitmap imaging software. Perfect for photographs or bitmap illustrations.

Bitmap Bitmaps are pixel-based, like images from a camera, limited scaling.

When you zoom in, or blow the image up it will pixelate and you will see
the blocks that make up the image.

Adobe Illustrator Vector imaging software. Perfect for text, logos and illustrations.

Vector Vectors are path-based; these have unlimited scaling.

.EPS Encapsulated Postscript – Is a flexible file format for vector or bitmap images.
Can be quite large files.

.AI Adobe Illustrator file format, very compact file type for vectors and bitmaps.

.JPG Joint Photographic Experts Group. Bitmap file type with good compression.

Manifestations Window graphics in etch effect or frosted vinyl.

 

Artwork – Full Specification

 

For speedy and problem free processing of artwork we ask that artwork is supplied in the following format. Please include a spec sheet with final sizes of murals and stickers. Supplying a visual and elevations helps us avoid producing items at incorrect sizes. We are more than happy to assist you if you do not fully understand the specifications below.

 

Please name your files and folders with the Job Name prefix so we can easily track your files.

 

Job-Name-Artwork(Folder)

Job-Name-Room1-Banner.jpg(artwork)

Job-Name-Room1-Logo.eps(artwork)

 

Murals

  • If photos or bitmaps please supply as JPG or TIF format
  • If vector based or combination of bitmaps and vectors EPS or AI format
  • 100% size at 200DPI
  • All files RGB colour format
  • Bleed; 50mm extra width and 100mm extra height

 

Stickers

  • EPS format
  • 100% size
  • RGB colour format
  • Supply cut-path (on separate layer as a special colour named CutContour)
  • 5mm bleed or offset cut-path by 3mm if white halo required.
  • Transparency flattened
  • Include images if used in artwork
  • All fonts to paths

 

Artwork – Minimum Specification

 

If you are unable to format your artwork ready for print, please supply all your designs as described below. Please include a spec sheet with final sizes of murals and stickers and final visuals and elevations so we can avoid producing items at incorrect sizes. We are more than happy to assist you if you do not fully understand the specifications below.

 

Please name your files and folders with the Job Name prefix so we can easily track your files.

 

Job-Name-Artwork(Folder)

Job-Name-Room1-Banner.jpg(artwork)

Job-Name-Room1-Logo.eps(artwork)

 

Murals

  • If photos or bitmaps please supply as JPG or TIF format
  • If vector based or combination of bitmaps and vectors EPS or AI format

Stickers

  • EPS or AI format
  • 100% size
  • Include images if used in artwork
  • All fonts must be included or turned to paths

 

About Wall Glamour.

Wall Glamour transform spaces using wall murals and graphics. We turn blank walls into visual treats which have a significant positive effect on the users of those spaces. Our products have featured on several TV shows, and we have installed bespoke projects throughout the UK. These include the BBC World Service lobby and Glasgow’s prestigious new £850m Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital. Wall Glamour wall art is used in businesses, start-ups, gyms, schools, cafés and healthcare environments.

www.wallglamour.co.uk

 

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