Artwork Help

View our requirements

  • Setting up your files

    To guarantee that your file is correct, ensure that your artwork is set up to the dimensions that you have selected. Vivtrack 2's preflight engine checks the proportions of your artwork to the finished size specified in your quotation and will let you know if there are any errors with the dimensions or image quality. Any bleed provided should be outside of the trim box.
    Some web products have a link to a template, which can be download and use to set up your files. Download the template, use it to set up your file and then upload your templated file to the shopping cart to ensure your artwork is correct every time.
  • Sending us your files

    The following is a list of accepted media or methods of submitting your artwork files:
    • Upload your files to the shopping cart and they will be preflighted automatically
    • For general uploads Vivtrack FTP
    • WeTransfer
    • Hightail 
    • Dropbox 
    • Supply your FTP details
    • DVD or CD (Mac/PC)
    • USB stick
    • Email to prepress@vivad.com.au for files up to 20MB
  • Viewing distances, resolution and file size

    When considering the minimum acceptable resolution to supply your photographic images for graphic reproduction, you first need to consider the intended viewing distance of the image once installed. As a rule of thumb, the minimum viewing distance, which allows the whole image to be viewed in its entirety, can be calculated by multiplying the length of the diagonal of the image by 1.5.

    For example, if I am designing a 6m x 3m billboard as in the photo below, with a little bit of help from Pythagoras, the minimum practical viewing distance would be:
    1.5 x sqrt(3x3 + 6x6) = 1.5 x 6.67 = 10 metres

    The following table shows the maximum resolution in PPI (pixels per inch), that a person with 20/20 eyesight in ordinary viewing conditions, can see. In other words, any resolution higher that the resolution quoted will be indistinguishable at that viewing distance.
    Viewing Distance
    TIFF File Size
    0.15 583 2.107
    0.3 292 529
    0.6 146 132
    1.2 72 33
    2.4 37 8.5
    3 30 5.58
    6 15 1.40
    10 9 0.50
    20 5 0.16
    30 3 0.06

    For our 6m x 3m billboard skin example, if it is being viewed at 10 metres, you can see from the table above that we are not going to get any better than a file which is 9 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) at the actual output size. So the size of the file we require will be (the width X the height of the banner X the TIFF file size based on 9 PPI)  6 x 3 x 0.5 = 9MB, probably smaller than you thought right?

    The other thing to point out is that even though the photographic image might be pixelated at shorter viewing distances, generally the text and any vector graphics should be supplied as paths, so you will enjoy the highest resolution that the printer has to offer for these vector elements.

    It is important to consider the context or situation that the final output is going to be seen. In our billboard example, a 10 metre viewing distance might be appropriate, however, what about if you want to do a giant wall mural in an internal environment? Rather than considering the context of someone standing back and observing the whole print, you want to consider an observer who is up close. The industry standard resolution for internet graphics is 72PPI, from our table above we can see that the viewing distance for this resolution is 1.2 metres, yet you and I know that usually we are sitting closer than half that distance away from our screens. If we were to use 72PPI for our 6m x 3m billboard, then the TIFF file size would be in the order of 600MB file, which is overkill. In reality, the limitation is not going to be the file size as much as limitations of the capturing device. Even your 10 megapixel digital SLR is only going to give you around 12MB in RAW format, so unless you are using a number of images, are step and repeating, are adding noise and other filters in an attempt to make a silk purse out of a sows ear, then supplying us with 600MB files is only going to slow everyone down and cost you money in couriering disks. In general, keep your file sizes down to under 300MB and then everyone will be happy.
  • A note on JPEGs

    JPEG images are fine and a good way of compressing large images into files which are a fraction of the size of a TIFF file. The downside is that with this compression there is a loss of image information, so the higher the compression the greater the loss. But you are going to get more bang for your byte out of a JPEG than out of a TIFF. So if you insist on sending us a 500MB Tiff, send it as a JPEG with low compression and no-one will ever know.
  • Tracking your job

    As your job progresses through the system, you will be able to see its progress in your job’s ticket page by click on the tickets button then on the drop down button to the right of the screen.
    Workflow Progress
    When your job is ready to be dispatched, you will receive a despatch notification which will have the contact details of the courier and the consignment note number. You will be able to track the parcel directly with the courier. You can log on to Vivtrack at any time to see where your job is at. Simply log into your account and navigate to your ‘My Orders’ page to find the relevant ticket.
  • Colour References and Pantone Matching System PMS

    When you want us to match a particular colour, for example the paint colour of your car's petrol cap, then it is better to supply the actual physical sample rather than pull out a Pantone book and tell us to match the closest Pantone colour. If we do print to the closest Pantone, we print out our four colour equivalent to that Pantone, which will be different from the Pantone you specified and different again from your true reference. This is called successive approximation and every time you make an approximation you introduce an error, then these errors accumulate, which takes you further away from your reference colour.  In this scenario we have two approximations, if you supply the definitive reference we only have one.
    If there is one or more PMS colours that you want us to match, then make sure you clearly specify the PMS colours, and as well as setting them up in the file, make sure we have got them all listed on the approval document when you receive your 'Artwork Ready' notification from Vivtrack - more on this later.
    Usually if there is a corporate logo or a solid colour dominating the design, then the chances are that there will be a PMS colour associated with it. Many corporate style guides give a four colour breakdown of the corporate PMS colour, which designers will merely put into CMYK values and hope for the best. If the colour is set up as a spot PMS, two things happen. Firstly the RIP treats the colour as a Pantone spot colour and gives it special attention resulting in a closer match. Secondly the printer operator responsible for making your job look great has a Pantone book on his desk, against which he will stringently check all the PMS colours that are listed on the approval document that you have approved. This is all done on a scaled down version of the job called a ‘press proof’ and if we are not entirely happy with the colour, we will tweak it before we run the actual job.
  • Accepted file formats

    Vivad accept the following file formats:
    • Adobe Illustrator EPS- CS2 and above (outline all fonts)
    • PDF - generated only from an Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop file (use profile of "Press Quality")
    • Adobe InDesign INDD- CS2 and above (supply links and fonts / outline fonts)
    • Adobe Photoshop PSD, TIFF, JPEG - CS2 and above (flatten images / supply fonts)
  • Preflighting online

    Vivtrack 2's preflight engine allows you to upload your file and have it checked for any problems prior to approving it for print. 
    Vivtrack 2 checks that the file is set up to the correct proportions (if the file is more that 5% out of proportion it will fail preflight). Vivtrack 2 will also check to see if there are any low resolution elements in the file and will inform you of a suitable approximate viewing distance for each element when scaled to the finished size.
    You can view a report of the preflight once it is done, which will give you a map of your file. Any issues that need attention will be highlighted and you will have the option to update your artwork or continue as is.
  • Difference between DPI and PPI

    Often there is confusion in regards to Dots Per Inch (DPI) and Pixels Per Inch (PPI).

    Generally, printer resolutions are quoted in DPI and reflect that printers print dots of 4 colours CMYK.
    In your graphics software, your file is set up in PPI. A pixel can be one of 16.7 million colours.

    The printer renders the colour of any one pixel by laying down a combination of CMYK which approximates the colour of that pixel.
  • Placing your order online from a quote email

    When you are ready to place your order, you can easily do this online by clicking on the "place order" link within your quotation email. This allows you to enter all the details of the job, upload your artwork, specify the delivery date and address and any other special instructions you may have.
  • Scaling

    Most applications such as Indesign and Illustrator are not going to allow you to set the document up at 100% when you are working with large sizes, so you are going to have to scale your document. Generally 10% of the final size is the norm, but feel free to use others. In our 6m x 3m example we can set the document up at 60cm x 30cm, at a resolution of 90 PPI.