Artwork Guidelines

Understanding Artwork for Branded Merchandise

Promotional products can use any number of decoration methods. Whether you have your artwork ready to go or need our art director's expertise to create something eye-catching from scratch, we can help. For best print results, we require artwork in vector formats, e.g. AI, EPS, or PDF with all fonts outlined. Outlining text prevents text fonts from being substituted when the file is open. Artwork should be submitted in a single color (preferably black & white) for one color prints. Submit colored artwork for multicolor prints. Please note that artwork will be printed as sent, so kindly send a clean copy for best results. We will contact you if your artwork is unusable. We can also modify, vectorize, or clean up your artwork/logo if needed.


Vector vs. Raster Graphics

Most art comes to us digitally these days. It's important that we receive your artwork in the right kind of file format. Vector graphics are the promotional products industry standard. Vector file formats include .eps, .ai, .pdf, and .svg. They allow us to resize the image as much as we like without any pixelation.


On the other hand, pixels might be visible in raster graphics. Raster graphics are more common on the web and home computers. Raster file formats include .jpg, .bmp, .gif, .png, and .psd. Resizing a raster graphic can make the image grainy or blocky. We can use raster graphics for some decoration methods, but the file must be high-resolution (at least 300 DPI) to minimize pixelation. Our art director can convert raster graphics to vector graphics for a service charge.

Imprint Colors and PMS Matching

Color is a crucial part of any brand. At Gorilla Marketing, we understand how important it is to get your colors right. Generally, you have two options for your imprint: Choosing from stock ink colors or using the PMS color chart to get an exact match.

pms-colorsGorilla Marketing's factories have a wide variety of stock ink colors to choose from. Often, very close matches can be achieved with stock ink. When art involves unusual colors, or when your brand requires an exact color, we use the Pantone Matching System to mix a shade to your specifications. There may be a small service charge associated with PMS color matching. Note that PMS colors are different from CMYK or RGB colors. CMYK is a way of describing the color as a mixture of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; RGB expresses the color as a mixture of red, green, and blue. If you give us a CMYK or RGB color, we can choose the closest PMS color possible, but it may not be exact. Incidentally, we think graphic artists really like acronyms and abbreviations.

Spot Color vs. Full-Color

A key distinction is between spot color and full-color art. In spot color art, each color is distinct.

There may be red parts of the art and orange parts of the art, but the red and the orange will not blend together to form red-orange, orange-red, and all those other in-between shades you remember from your childhood supersized crayon box. In other words, with spot color art, you usually cannot have gradients.

Full-color art, on the other hand, has gradients aplenty. A photograph is a full-color image rather than a spot image. Think of all the thousands of shades you can see when you look closely at a photo. A photo of a little red wagon will blend smoothly from the dark red of the shadows to the light red of the highlights.

Most promotional products are printed with spot colors. The mug or pen or t-shirt goes onto a sort of assembly line: First, the machine applies the red ink to the red areas, then it applies the orange ink to the orange areas, then it applies the black ink to the black areas, and so on. Some promotional products - but not all - are available with full-color printing. They work more like a desktop printer, mixing cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks to achieve fine color blends and gradients. This printing method is called four-color process printing, so you might hear that term instead of "full color."

Submitting Artwork to Gorilla Marketing

Artwork should be submitted directly to your Account Executive. If you have questions please use the contact form below.