How to Prepare & Send Materials

How to prepare and send project materials

Photographs and other images

I can accept digital images, photo prints, and flat artwork up to 8 1/2 x 11 inches for use in design projects. Please follow these guidelines for preparing and sending images.

Digital Photographs

In order for your images to reproduce or display with professional quality, the original images must meet a few minimum requirements:

Images should be high enough resolution. This means at least 300 pixels per inch for a 5″ x 5″ image, the size of a CD cover. An image destined for use in a larger size, such as a poster, should also be at least 300 ppi, in the dimensions at which it is to be used.

Your digital camera should be set to record images at the highest resolution and quality and least amount of compression. This will produce larger image files, but will help to ensure superior image quality.

If you are supplying stock photography, use these guidelines when you purchase the stock to make sure you are getting the size/resolution you need.

Other Digital Images

Non-photographic images such as illustrations or logos should follow the same quality and resolution guidelines as digital photos: the higher the resolution, the better the results.

Illustrations and logos are commonly saved two types of digital image formats: vector and bitmap. Vector format, commonly produced by programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, are resolution-independent, meaning that they can display sharply at any size. This is because vector files are not composed of pixels, but mathematical formulas. Some common extensions for these types of files are .eps or .il

Bitmap is the file format used to save photo images; it is pixel-based and resolution-dependent. Adobe Photoshop, and other photo image editors, are intended mainly for bitmap images. Bitmap files are often digitally compressed to save on file size. Files that are subjected to the least amount of compression generally yield the best-quality results. Common file extensions include .jpg, .tiff, and .png.

If you are not sure the resolution or file format of your image, go ahead and send it; I can determine its quality once it is received.

Low-resolution Images

Low-resolution images, such as those prepared for use on the web, are not of sufficient quality for use in professional design projects. They may appear blurry, contain unpleasant visual artifacts, or be unsuitable for use in their intended size on a package or other printed piece. Although it may be possible to use such an image in a small size, or apply a graphic effect to compensate for its low resolution, it is best to avoid these images, and start with the best-quality image you can find.

A word about web images

In addition to possible resolution problems, images downloaded from the web may be copyrighted, and their usage may be restricted. If this is the case, you should obtain the copyright owner’s written permission before using the image, and include any required credit for the image in your project’s text.

Non-digital images

These may take the form of photographic prints, drawings, paintings, hand-lettering—any physical image or art on a flat surface. These images may be scanned on a flatbed scanner. I can produce professional-quality scans in my studio; my scanner takes flat art to a maximum size of 8 1/2 x 11 inches. If you plan to do your own scanning, refer to the above guidelines for bitmap image resolution, size and file formats. Scanned images should be saved in the rgb color space.

If you are sending original flat art, please pack it carefully and use a form of delivery that allows you to insure and track the package. Please note that, although I will take good care of your artwork, I will not be held responsible for its loss or damage, either while it is in my shop, or in transit. If your original flat art is valuable to you, consider sending a scan rather than the original art.

Sending text

The text that is to appear on your design may be sent as a Microsoft Word document (.doc), or as a Rich Text Format file (.rtf). It may also be sent in the body of an email message.

Your text file should include all text you want to appear on your design. It should be proofread, spell-checked, and proofread again. Text that is not received in final form, requiring correction or editing, may incur additional charges.

You may also send your text in typed manuscript; I will then typeset the text for placement in the design. Be aware, though, that this may delay production on the project (you will need to proofread and approve the typeset text) and incur additional charges.

The text you send should indicate clearly where it is to appear on your design (such as: front cover, back cover, disc, etc.).

Project materials may be sent via:

Email to me: for large files or compressed file folders (free, up to 50 Mb as of this writing)

Upload to

Mail to: Scott Wills & Associates, 1849 W. Eddy Street, Chicago, IL 60657

Be sure to include completed design information guides with your materials