Artwork Submission Details and Requirements
Skateboard graphics these days are produced and applied using the “Heat Transfer” method. Only a very, very small number of boards are still printed directly onto boards these days. We stopped direct printing in about 2005.
Heat transfers can produce far higher print quality, better colour registration, finer details, and have the capacity to print ‘full board’ full colour (cmyk) photo realistic graphics.
Heat transfers are hand silk screen printed onto a carrier plastic sheet on a flat glass table in the reverse colour sequence. The transfer sheets are then lined up over the board as it is passed through a big, very soft, heated silicone roller that conforms to the board’s curves and basically melts the graphics onto the board’s base. The plastic backing sheet is then peeled off and the edges are trimmed around using a sharp blade.
Print ready files are usually made up in two popular graphic programs ADOBE Illustrator or ADOBE Photoshop, and sent in either of the two programs native file formats, AI or PSD, or as a layered PDF, or high quality Jpg.
We accept artwork via e-mail or for larger files, above 10MB, via file transfer web sites such as DROPBOX. Artwork should be sent at correct 100% size, which is 33.5” X 9.0” set the document colour profile to CMYK, and 220 dpi for Photoshop files
Computer screens will not show colours correctly or as they will look after printing in ink. The colours on a computer screen are RGB back illuminated, and though you can buy colour corrected monitors for around $3K plus, you still will not get the same colour as it will end up after being printed in ink and viewed as reflected light. So choosing colours for your graphic based on looking at your computer screen is not advised.
We strongly advise using a colour swatch book to choose your colours from. We use the world wide accepted “Pantone Colour Matching System” the swatch book to use is the “Pantone Solid Coated” book, and then select the matching swatch in either Illustrator or Photoshop using that colour book swatch list.
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR FILES
Illustrator is a “VECTOR” based program and the preferred way to produce skateboard graphics. Vector graphics generally produce low file sizes and are scalable; they also produce very clean, sharp lines. Graphics made up in Illustrator are best suited for a low number of “SPOT” colours and where big blocks of colours are used. Spot colours will give you the closest colour reproduction to the colours chosen. Using SPOT colours you can also assign colours that are outside the printing "Gamut" that CMYK can achieve as well as what your computer monitor can show. Other specialty colours such as silver and gold as well as bright fluro’s, clear gloss finish on say matt and glow in the dark inks, as well as what is called Metallic or mirror "Foils" in silver, gold and bronze. CMYK will never achieve any of these.
- Use swatch colours from the “Pantone Solid Coated” colour book.
- Convert all text to “Outlines”
- Use strokes of at least 2pts
- Make sure to include all linked files.
- For best colour reproduction use the actual “spot” colour rather than the ½ tone. But to save excessive colour set-up charges, ½ tones will work ok, but understand you will get a dotted texture rather than the pure colour. For instance ½ toning black to get a grey, rather than using black and grey. Keep the ½ tone range within 30% and 70%.
- Keep important text and logos within the narrowest board width, and away from the truck holes. We have shape templates available to download so you can check positioning lay out.
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP FILES
Photoshop is a PIXEL based “RASTER” program. Pixel based graphics generally produce very high file sizes, saved in native PSD format and may be best saved as high quality jpg or PDF formats. Pixel based programs are used to produce graphics with many, many colours or images from photographs etc. They are printed as FULL colour process printing, using 4 ink colours CMYK, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the transfers then have a white backing print. The colours are printed as tiny semitransparent dots overlaying each other to produce the effect of ”millions” of colours, but the dot effect does not make for clean and pure colours on larger areas of block colour. There may also be a slight colour shift with hand screen printing.Photoshop Tips:
- Set colour profile to CMYK.
- Set DPI to 220.
- For large blocks of colour it is best to set as a “Spot” colour for a pure colour print.
NEED HELP ?
We have in-house graphic artists who can help if you need some assistance in generating print ready artwork at very resonable rates.
For further information please contact us.