Artwork templates are an illusive but important part of our industry. They serve a few key purposes:
- They ensure that key parts of the design (logos, text etc) are kept in the ‘safe’ areas – ie away from stitch lines on a flag or welding lines a banner, or, in the case of pull up banners, away from the cartridge.
- They help the designer to create a layout which fits within the sizes and proportions of the finished product
- They give the end user an idea of what they are going to receive when everything is printed, despatched and delivered to their door
Templates in a production process
When followed properly, templates also serve an important role in the production process. Correct templates speed up the process of artwork preflight checks and help artworkers layout the job quicker, minimising the risk of elements disappearing from a design. They also give the production team the confidence that what the operators are printing will adhere to a consistent standard when the material is cut and passed onto the finishing department.
Why aren’t they always used?
So if they are such a useful tool then why are templates so often overlooked? There are quite a few reasons why templates aren’t used; it can be as simple as the end user doesn’t have the facility to use the correct templates from the beginning. Often they don’t have a designer and end up having to pay expensive design fees, with little room for changes in the budget. Or it can be they have a design department but due to the deadline they just don’t have time to setup the design properly, so an old design is repurposed.
Whatever the reason, the consequences of not using a template can be:
- Delays in production lead times where the supplied artwork just isn’t viable to print
- Expensive redesigns which could have easily been avoided
- The risk of missing elements on a design if the printer has to manually re-set the supplied layout
It is always worth speaking the manufacturer before starting any design work. There is a huge variety of hardware out there and different companies have their own guidelines, so its not a good idea to use a template / layout from a previous supplier or to guess your new suppliers’ specification. By putting in the research before you start it will save time for either the in-house designer, or save money spent on amendments.
Our website has all of our artwork templates on the product pages and in the instance where it’s a variable size product we recommend you read our artwork guideline PDF which explains how to create print ready artwork in a few easy steps. Beyond this, if you need artwork advice then contact a member of our sales team and they can either look at your existing artwork to see if it’s viable to use, or recommend what needs to be altered to make it print ready.