Most commonly used art terms at K&B Promotions

AI. File– An AI file is a drawing created with Adobe Illustrator, a vector graphics editing program. It is composed of paths connected by points, rather than bitmap image data. AI files are commonly used at screen print shops and its how we ask our customers to send us their artwork.

Create to outlines– A lot of times when we receive artwork, we notice that outlines weren’t created to the text. This simply means that if I open someone’s artwork and my computer doesn’t have the font that they used, it will use a different font. This will change the look of the whole design. This is why you’ll find that fonts within most vector logos (containing text) will have been converted to outlines, or paths. This effectively means that the text is no longer text – it has become a graphic, and the text cannot be altered. When using Adobe Illustrator,  how to and when to convert text to outlines for press-ready vector artwork is essential knowledge. One very important thing is that once you create outlines to the text, it can’t be edited like text anymore. To create outlines to text, Select Type > Create Outlines, from the menu. The text will become outlined and can’t be edited as text anymore.

Expanding– Expanding is a term used with vector art created in Adobe Illustrator. Expanding enables you to divide a single object into multiple objects that make up its appearance. For example, if you expand a circle with a solid-color fill and a stroke, the fill and the stroke each become a discrete object. This allows you to change the shape of the circle without the stroke changing size as well. When you add a stroke to a circle and you don’t expand, the size of the stroke will change based on the size you make the circle. Before we do any separations, we always make sure to expand a design.

Font– A font is a specific typeface of a certain size and style. There are millions of different fonts and a font can really make or break a design.

GIF– GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format”. GIFs are image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time. Both GIF and JPEG images are widely used on the Web and are supported by all Web browsers and other Web software. Here at K&B Promotions, we typically don’t use GIF, but it’s good to know what they are. A good example of GIFs would be screenshots and technical drawings. They are compressed best as GIFs; however, GIFs only hold up to 256 colors, unlike JPEGs.

Image Trace – Image tracing is a quick and easy way to convert an image into vector art. Using Adobe Illustrator, select the image you would like to convert to vector art and select “Image Trace”. This will provide you with art in vector form quickly. However, sometime you will need to clean up the image after it’s been traced and toggle with the settings to get everything the way you want it.

JPEG– JPEG Stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group.” JPEG is a popular image file format and is commonly used by digital cameras to store photos.  JPEG images are not limited to a certain amount of color like GIF images are. JPEG’s support 16,777,216 colors and also supports varying levels of compression making it ideal for web graphics. If the image is compressed too much, the graphics become noticeably “blocky” and some of the detail is lost. Like GIFs, JPEGs are cross-platform, meaning the same file will look the same on both a Mac and PC.

Separations– A design must be broken down into individual color components in order to screen print. This process is called separating. Each color in a design has to be printed in all black ink onto a transparent piece of film. With the film, the production team uses it to burn their screens. For more information on that check out our Screen printing process Blog. Vector- For more information about Vector art, check out this blog.

Strokes– Strokes are just another name for an outline. Strokes are important in screen printing mainly when creating separations. When creating separations, we add or take away strokes to a design in order to print correctly onto garments.

Vector– For more information about Vector art, check out this blog.