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Artwork Requirements

Please review the following information before submitting artwork. To ensure the best image quality on your customized products, it is important that you provide artwork in a certain form. Read on for more information about different types of image files, as well as a summary of the various kinds of product decoration that Staples Promotional Products offers.

Artwork and Decoration

What are the imprint (decoration) options?


Ink is pressed through a fine mesh screen and onto the surface of a product. Limit of 3 colors on artwork.


This decoration method leaves a depression of the image on the material's surface.


A raised or relief pattern is created on the material.


Rapid-paced computer-controlled sewing machines stitch designs into fabric.

Foil Stamp

Using controlled heat, pressure, and precision timing, colored or metallic foil resins are applied to decorate surfaces of varied shapes and materials.

Laser Engraving

Lasers leave an engraving or mark on an item. A computer system drives the movements of the laser head.

Heat Transfer

This dry decorating method uses controlled heat, dwell and pressure thermally bonds the graphic onto the material's surface.

Pad Print

A flexible silicone rubber transfer pad picks up a film of ink from a photo-etched printing plate and transfers it to a three-dimensional part surface.


Digitizing is the process of programming an embroidery machine to stitch an image exactly.

Spot Color Printing

Spot color printing is done by combining selected spot colors to create other colors. This process requires color separations prepared by graphic artists who are experts in this type of method.

What type of file formats can I submit for use?

To provide you with the quickest and most efficient service, we prefer to receive artwork in a usable vector format. In fact, we won't charge you an artwork fee if you provide one of the following usable vector formats:
Adobe Illustrator (8.0-CS4) files in an AI or EPS format with all fonts converted to outlines. We can also accept vector PDFs.

Note: Changing the file name to an .eps extension does not change the file type.

Don't have a vector file? Don't worry. We can convert other file types into a usable vector format, including:

  • Adobe Photoshop files in .eps or .tif format at 300dpi resolution and at actual print size or larger than intended final imprint. Be sure to also send us any font files, saved as .ttf, or list the fonts if you do not have them.
  • High resolution (at least 300 dpi) .jpg, .tiff or .png files

Please note the 5MB file size maximum for uploading graphics.

Are there any file types you prefer that I don't submit?

The following file types will require more attention and may slow the process of your order:

  • Low resolution .jpg, .gif or Bitmap images. This includes images dragged off of a website, which are made to load quickly and have a lower image quality. For more information on bitmap images please read “What is the difference between vector and raster files?”
  • QuarkXpress, Pagemaker, CorelDraw, Publisher or Freehand files or any artwork imported into a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.
  • Photos. They cannot be clearly reproduced and are therefore not considered to be imprintable artwork.

Still not sure if you have the right kind of artwork file? Contact us. We can help you.

What is the difference between vector and raster files?

Raster images are better known as bitmap images. Bitmap images are composed of a grid of individual pixels, each of which can be a different color or shade.

The following file types are always raster-based:
.jpg .gif .png .tif .bmp

Vector images use x and y coordinates to create shapes with points and lines, making it possible to zoom way in or scale way up without sacrificing image quality.

The following file types are often, but not always, vector-based:
.ai .cdr .eps .pdf .ps .wmf

Sometimes these file types are raster or a combination of vector and raster.

Note: Changing the file name to an .eps extension does not change the file type.