Artwork Requirements for Bronze Plaques
This page describes the requirements for creating proper
artwork for the manufacture of cast plaques. If the proper
format is not available, our designers can create the artwork.
We can work with artwork in almost any format. Following
these requirements will minimize or eliminate additional costs
and problems. Please refer to the images at the bottom of
this page to see acceptable forms of artwork for casting.
The smallest size text that will cast cleanly on a cast bronze
plaque or a cast aluminum plaque is 1/4". This means,
for normal text done in upper case and lower case, the lower
case letters are 1/4" and the upper case letters are about
3/8". To allow for font ascenders and descenders, the space
above and below the line is about the same height. This
is shown on the following 3 lines where the center line
requires around one inch from the bottom of the first
line to the top of the third line;
This is sample text
times we are asked to provide a quotation for a cast
plaque (cast bronze plaque or cast aluminum plaque)
when a customer specifies
the text size as well as the plaque width or height
without considering the rule of thumb that "in average
words, character width is about the same as character
height" - that is to say, 10 one inch characters will
need about 10 inches of line width.
The sample plaque to the left, is 12 inches by 12 inches and has
5 lines of one inch letters. The
top line is the only line that consists of "normal" uncompressed
text. As you can see, only 11 one inch characters can fit
across a 12 inch wide plaque. In order to fit more letters
on each line, we need to "compress"
"Compressing" makes the letters
narrower, but at the same time, when overdone, makes
the words harder to read and the letters gain the look
of a person in the "tall / thin" carnival mirror.
Each successive line of text uses increasing amounts of "compression". The
second line (using 10% compression) allows us to add
one additional letter (a total of 12 letters) without
significantly altering the appearance of the
text. By the time we use 25% compression on
the third line, the characters are already starting
to show the ill
effects of over compression.
The 4th and 54h lines, in our opinion, yield an unacceptable appearance.
Images (portraits) for a bas relief should be as large as
practical but no smaller than 4 by 6. Since a sculptor will
be using this photograph in creating the clay model, please
point out any physical attributes that are significant in
your eyes but may be overlooked. We cannot be responsible
for your artwork so please do not send any artwork that can
not be replaced as it may get lost or damaged in shipping.
FLAT RELIEF ARTWORK
We can cast most any image you provide in flat relief. If
you provide your own artwork (regardless of how clean it looks),
there is a graphic artist charge unless you provide it in ACCEPTABLE VECTOR format (see below).
ETCHINGS & HALFTONES (photographic processes)
Images should be as large as practical but no smaller than
4 by 6. Halftones at 45lpi are acceptable for etchings
halftones at 180lpi are acceptable for metalphoto process.
The etching and halftone process will NOT improve the
of the image provided. Unless you have asked us to modify or
touch up the photograph (and you have accepted and paid
for such modifications), we will use the photograph as
provided to us by you (i.e. we will not remove shadows,
How to scan an image for our photographic process
We need an image at 300dpi at full size. This means that if the image on the plaque will be 4 inches by 4 inches, the image you send us must be 4 inches by 4 inches at 300dpi (size or resolution may be higher). If you are scanning a photo and the portion of the photo you want us to reproduce (such as the head and shoulders) are only 2 inches by 2 inches on the actual photo, you need to scan it at 600dpi. You just have to divide the size of the image on the plaque (in this case 4 inches), by the size of this image on the photo (in this case 2 inches) and you get 2. You then multiply it times 300dpi which gives you 600dpi. So set you scanner to 600dpi, use the area scan tool to outline an area a little larger than the image to be placed on the plaque and scan. Save the image as a tiff, tif or jpg (tiff or tif preferred) and email it to us.
VECTOR ARTWORK - Must be black and white and
must not include color, grayscale or halftones. Artwork MUST
be saved in either .AI or .EPS format and must be pure VECTOR artwork. It must not contain any placed bitmap images (jpg,
gif, tif, or other).
Stroke width must be a minimum of 4pt and spaces between
lines must be a minimum of 4pt. Flat relief logo castings
have 2 heights, raised and background. Black is the raised
casting and white is the background. Lines must join properly
with no overlapping.
Typically, you can not find vector images on the Internet.
Artwork you downloaded from the Internet in either .jpg, .gif,
or .bmp formats are NOT VECTOR. We can only use these
images for an estimate of the conversion charges. Autotracing
of bitmap artwork and converting it to vector format usually
does not work as the result is 'staircased'. If you decide
to do your own conversion, you must eliminate all staircaseing
and reduce the vectors to the minimum number of points.
To save time, please read this - We have found that
most non-graphics people who ask the question 'what is vector
format', can not provide acceptable vector format. We have
not been able to come up with a satisfactory non-technical
explanation of vector artwork. Vector artwork is composed
of lines and points connecting the lines while bitmaps are
composed of dots (pixels). If your company has a graphics
department, they most likely have vector art capability.
The Bronze Plaque will determine at its sole discretion if
an image is usable for casting. If it is not, we will advise
you and you will have the option of either correcting the
image or having our graphic artist provide that service. Artwork
conversion costs are typically $120 and up depending upon
ARTWORK EXAMPLES - The images below represent how
artwork must be modified in order to obtain a quality casting.
Although the images on the left were technically 'camera ready',
they were not in a form that would yield an acceptable casting
and significant modifications were needed.
This shows what happens
when proper design tolerances are not adhered to during
the design process for cast plaques.
Customers sometimes ask us to make a plaque smaller
by casting letters that are smaller or placing the
letters closer together. They do this in order to
save a few dollars.
Since we will not create an inferior casting,
we refuse and they go to the competition who
will frequently accommodate them in order to
make a sale.
We have done many a redo that, in the end,
cost the customer, far more than doing it right
the first time.
These images show you what happens when letters
are too small or insufficient space is left
We always try to accommodate our customers but
we have the experience to know what will cast properly
and what will not - you get the benefit of this experience
when purchasing plaques from us.
Click on the images and you will see that the letters
in the lower image are NOT out of focus. The background
IS in perfect focus and because of the way the letters
were finished, the result is that the letters appear
'smeared' together. This is the result of leaving
insufficient space between letters.