I’ve always believed that I can make anything if I set my mind to it. However, some things require a recipe. Making a cake is not so simple and neither is printing yard signs and banners.

The commercial printing of yard signs and banners is actually rather fascinating. At a previous company I created a variety of different marketing materials. I helped with the size and shape of marketing materials and also proofed them for any possible errors. Nevertheless, I have never seen the actual process of a blank canvass go to a finished printed product.

Graphic designers are capable of creating beautiful commercial artwork. But transferring the artwork from an electronic file to corrugated plastic or a vinyl banner has more challenges than I realized. The worlds of creation and commercial printing can be as different as Venus and Pluto.

The first thing I did in my new position as Customer Service Representative was learn how signs are created from start to finish. I learned today that the method in which artwork is saved and sent to us makes a big difference. To help you save money, Super Cheap Signs requires all artwork saved as eps, ai and cdr. These are file types. If you would like to know more, SCS has a Help page called File Types. Even with the correct file type there is still more to it than just how you save a file. The design also has to be vectorized (also known as outlined).

Wise Geek defines vector graphics as The method using geometrical formulas is known as vector or vectorized graphics. The reason vectorized graphics are good thing is because the image can be enlarged or reduced easily without losing any artwork quality.

If a file isn’t vectorized (outlined), our designers have to recreate the file or request from the customer that the artwork be resent as a vectorized file. Resending the file as vectorized is always the easiest choice. On the other hand, some artwork has been commercially purchased or saved from older programs that do not have the ability to be updated. When this happens, our designers will try to recreate the artwork in our studios.

If you want a better explanation of what a vectorized graphic looks like, check out the WebGrrl article Convert any image to a vector image.