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Preparing Digital Files < Custom VividHeads < VividHeads < Products

The following Information is used by professionals in the Design and Printing industry. We really don't mean to intimidate you with all this technical lingo but, following these guidelines are essential for producing a quality digital files.


Vinyl-Transfer Logos
What is a Vinyl-Transfer Logo?

How to create a digital file for Band Name logos (vinyl-transfer logos)?


VividHead & VividSkin Digital Files
What software should I use to design my VividHead?
What size of layout should I use to create my digital file?
Can you print an excellent quality VividHead with a 72dpi file?
How should I scan my images to achieve photo quality?
Will my VividHead look exactly like it does on my computer monitor?
How do I send my digital files to you through the Internet? DO NOT E-MAIL FILES
Where can I get FREE compression software?
How should I send my digital files through the mail?

What happens after you receive my digital files?

Tips, Tricks and Resources
Do you have any Design Templates?
Do I have any spelling errors or mistakes in my document?

Why to Not submit photos and images taken from internet web sites?
Do you know of any resources for scanning, digital imaging, and software?
Do you know of any resources of stock photos and images I can use?
I want a Custom VividHead but I don't want to design it; what should I do?
Do you have a Catalog of cool looking images?
Do you have any scanning, design or file saving tips?



Glossary (Enyclopedia)
CMYK
COMPRESSION
BÉZIER CURVE
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
Giclée Prints

INTERPOLATION
JPG /JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
PPI and DPI

RASTER FILES and GRAPHICS
RGB
TIFF (Tag image file format)

VECTOR FILES and GRAPHICS



Vinyl-Transfer Logos

What is a Vinyl-Transfer Logo?
Vinyl-Transfer Logos are easy to apply, just like a sticker. Once applied they will appear to look painted on the drumhead. NO backgrounds or clear materials are used. Logos are made of 2mil premium grade vinyl (3M brand). Logos will apply to uneven surfaces and areas. Black, White, yellow, red, etc colors will apply to coated, simulated calf skin and smooth drum heads. Chrome, Brushed Chrome, Metallic colors are made of metal and will ONLY apply to smooth bass drumheads.


How to create a digital file for Band Name logos (vinyl-transfer logos)?
We ONLY accept files from these popular Mac or PC design programs:

    VECTOR design programs
    Illustrator, FreeHand, Corel Draw
  • Vector files MUST be created as a Ready-To-Cut digital file from one of these programs above.
  • Your file MUST be drawn with the vector tools available in these programs or you can typeout your band's name and then convert the font to outlines or curves. You CANNOT import scans or images into these files because your file MUST be in all Vector format.
  • You will know if you have a Vector file if you can view the wire frame when the art is viewed in the artwork mode.
  • Vector graphics are resolution independent and can be output to the highest quality at any scale without any loss of quality when printed or diecut.
  • PhotoShop does have a Pen Tool to draw Bézier curves and paths. You will have to export the final artwork as a .ai file. More Info
  • We do offer logo redraw services through our Graphics Department, We take you scan or hard copy then redraw the logo into a vector format. Read our Rights, Usage, Cancellation info.


VividHead Digital Files

What software should I use to design my VividHead?
We ONLY accept files from these popular Mac or PC design programs:

    VECTOR design programs
    Illustrator, FreeHand, Corel Draw

  • Vector digital files always print in the highest fidelity no matter what size it is created. But it is best to design your layout at 100% actual size.
  • Create your file in the CMYK color mode for best color results.
  • Save your file as AI, EPS.
  • Use Pantone colors or their CMYK percentages for the most accurate color matching.
  • Placed scans and raster images need to be TIFF, EPS files and saved in the CMYK color mode.
  • Do NOT embed placed images!
  • You MUST convert all fonts to curves or paths to eliminate the need to send fonts.

    RASTER
    design programs
    PhotoShop, PhotoDeluxe, Corel Photo, Corel Photo-Paint, Paint Shop Pro, Painter
  • Scans and raster images need to 72ppi when printed at 100% actual size. We can accept files up to 250ppi at 100% actual size.
  • Save your file as TIFF, EPS, JPG, JPEG in the CMYK color mode.
  • TIFF, EPS image formats preserve colors and sharpness of your images the best.
  • JPG / JPEG format will compress your file. Be shure to save your JPG at maximum quality.
  • We do accept files in the RGB color mode. Note: Our special print software will convert all RGB files to the CMYK mode needed for printing.
  • Use Pantone colors or their CMYK percentages for the most accurate color matching.
  • We can produce acceptable images with files as small as 7MB. We have produced drumheads with even smaller digital files but the quality can be fuzzy or blurry. It is always best to send the largest digital file possible. We will send you a proof and let you know if it will work before making your VividHead.


What size of layout should I use to create my digital file?

  • We can scale any size image or layout to fit onto a VividHead.
  • Create layouts at 100% actual size if possible:
    20 inch head - create your layout at 21x21"
    22 inch head - create your layout at 23x23"
    24 inch head - create your layout at 25x25"
    You can send half size layouts.

  • We ask you to design your layout 1" larger than your drumhead size because we print the design into the hoop of the drumhead. Your audiance does not see this area, so don't put critica items like band names or text on the edge of your design. (We do this because it produces a more professional looking VividHead.) If you already have your design finished and did not do this step don't worry and don't go back and fix it because we can make it work.
  • Use this chart below to create an excellent quality VividHead: Any placed images should be scanned at the specified ppi according to the chart.


Can you print an excellent quality VividHead with a 72dpi file?
  • VividHeads™ are printed with our high fidelity six-color Giclée printer. Each drumhead is printed in millions of colors; producing vivid photos and sharp graphics. You will achive photographic results with a 72ppi to 150ppi. In fact you are just wasting your time and hard drive space; when make digital files larger than 250ppi.

    – Excellent Quality - 72ppi at 23x23"
    – Professional Quality - 150ppi at 23x23" - We perfer this quality if possible
    – Museum Quality - 250ppi at 23x23"

    Museum Quality Files
  • You don't need to send Museum quality digital files (250ppi at 100% actual size), unless you want too. We have produced hundreds of VividHeads with much smaller digital files and they all looked great! Remember you are producing a bass drumhead which will be viewed from at least 5 feet away. Yes the larger the file the better the quality but is hard to tell a difference after 150ppi unless you are looking up close at drumhead (12 inches)

How should I scan my image to achieve photo quality?

  • Photos / images should be scanned in and/or scaled to the actual size they will be on the VividHead; at the resolution specified for the final image size. Yes, that may seem confusing but this principal is very important.  For example, you can't scan in a 4"x4" @ 300 ppi and have it go to 22"x22" @ 100 ppi, the resolutions just don't match up. You would need to scan your 4"x4" @ 550+ ppi for it to resize to a 22"x22" @ 100 ppi. If you don't, you run the risk of your image looking fuzzy and/or having jagged edges.  Keep in mind it is not necessary to be exact, just close!  It is better to over scan than under scan!!
  • For excellent to professional quality VividHeads; scans and raster images should be 72ppi to 150ppi at 100% actual size.

Will my VividHead look exactly like it does on my computer monitor?

  • There are going to be some small differences between images on a computer monitor and your final VividHead. Moniters, Scanners and Digital Cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "RGB"). These are the colors that the computer uses to display images on your screen. But most printing process uses Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called "CMYK"). Be aware that it is possible to make colors in RGB that you can't make with CMYK. They are said to be "out of the CMYK color gamut". What happens is that the translator just gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original and that's as good as it can be. It's something that everyone in the print industry puts up with. (Very bright colors/fluorescens are impossible to achieve)
  • When designing with a vector illustration program (Illustrator, FreeHand, Corel Draw) always use CMYK definitions instead of RGB colors for fonts and other design elements.


How do I send my digital files to you through the Internet? DO NOT E-MAIL FILES

  • Fill out this Custom Vividhead - Job Ticket and upload your digital files to our FTP server.
    -Our Job Ticket system allows us to keep track of the digital files you send to us. You can also send larger files
    sizes too.
  • You MUST compress your files before sending. Put all your files in a folder and compress them using a .ZIP, or .SIT compression. DO NOT create self extracting files. Our FTP server will not accept self extracting files.
  • You may also send a single JPG file for print. JPG files are already compressed.
  • We can accept compressed files as large as 10MB.
  • We DO NOT accept e-mailed files - use our Job Ticket System!

Where can I get FREE compression software?

  • Windows systems: use PKZip, Winzip or a windows equivalent to make your single archive.
  • Macintosh systems: use StuffIt or StuffIt Lite, to produce a SIT file, to make your single archive.
  • You can also download compression software from tucows.com OR download.com


How should I send my digital files through the mail?

  • Print out our Custom VividHead -ORDER FORM - Mail this form in with your digital files on a CD or Zip disk.

  • Only send copies of your digital files. DO NOT send origionals.
  • Jobs that are mailed to us need to include a printed proof (home printer, etc)


What happens after you receive my digital files?

  • Our Print Department will need an average of 36 to 72hrs before we can review your files, depending on our work load (Monday - Friday).
  • We will check your files for any apparent problems. If there are any problem issues we will try and fix them, with your permission. If we cannot fix a problem, we will contact you about resending your files.
  • We do NOT charge you to look at your files or to make quick fixes to a file.
  • We will send you a proof by e-mail for your final approval.


Tips, Tricks and Resources


Do you have any Design Templates?
Design using one of our Templates. It's easy. Download and reopen in your favorite design program:
Use this template if you design with Raster Programs: PhotoShop, PhotoDeluxe, Corel Photo, Corel Photo-Paint, Paint Shop Pro, Painter.
Download 427kb
  Use this template if you design with Vector Programs: Illustrator, FreeHand, Corel Draw.
Download 210kb

 

Do I have any spelling errors or mistakes in my document?

  • It's very easy to make mistakes in your document when you're looking at it only on the screen. Print it out and look at it. Check for inconsistencies and design problems. Don't forget to check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. Run the spell checker. It's a good idea to have someone else look at it too. They may see something you've been looking at and have totally missed.
  • We DO NOT check your work for spelling errors. If we do notice something that looks incorrect we will contact you.


Why to Not submit photos and images taken from internet web sites?
Photos and images taken from internet websites are always low resolution quality (under 500k) and will not produce a quality VividHead. We cannot work with GIF or PNG files. These files are so low in resolution that their is no way to make them work.

  • We have produced VividHeads with low res photos and images, they worked but look very blurry up close. If your only image is small, send it to us and we will see if we can make it work.
  • Internet images maybe copyrighted or trademarked: Our Policies

Do you know of any resources on scanning, digital imaging, and software?
We cannot teach you how to scan or how to use the software. Check out these sites for more information. If you have questions about saving a digital file please contact us and we will help you.

  • vtco.com online software training. Learn PhotoShop, Illustrator, Freehand, etc by watching quicktime movies. Learn at your own speed. Only $25.00 per month. CD's are available too.
  • Scantips.com - A few scanning tips - Scanner Help - Scanning Basics 101
  • Adobe Systems -Developers of the popular design software PhotoShop and Illustrator.
  • Macromedia Developers of the popular design software FreeHand
  • Corel Corporation -Developers of the popular design software CorelDRAW, Corel PHOTO-PAINT.

Do you know of any resources which provide stock photos and images I can use?

• Before you upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content that may infringe upon any copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent or other intellectual or proprietary right of any party; make sure you have the legal right to use the content you are sending us; by transmitting you agree to our Policies

- Stock Photos
If you purchase images from a stock photo company, make sure you have purchased the correct usage license. These companies are getting strict on copyright enforcement. Keep in mind that your are advertising your band and that many of these sites DO NOT allow you to use Trade Names, Trademarks, Logos or Service marks on top of their images (a service mark could be your band's name). Also many of them DO NOT allow you to use the images with "Print-on-Demand products" - the products we make are print on demand. Royalty free images are NOT free to use anyway you wish. This term is confusing so you must read all of the fine print.

- Get Educated
Read up on Copyright and Trademark law before you start designing your artwork or using images and photo with your works.

- DO NOT copy images or photos from websites
For example, do not take images from Google.com , Yahoo.com or Bing.com . Most of these images are Copyrighted and the quality is normally too small for making large size drumheads or banners


I want a Custom VividHead but I don't want to design it; what should I do?

  • Our Graphics Department offers these services:
    - Scanning
    - Digital Photo Retouching
    - Logo Cleanup
    - Logo & Graphic Combinations


  • You may want to work with your own local Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Digital artist or Creative Person whom knows how to use the design programs we suggest above. Have them follow our guidelines in order to produce a quality VividHead.

Do you have a Catalog of images?
Yes, we have a wide variety of cool designs, graphics and images to choose from: VividHead Catalog.


Do you have any scanning, design or file saving tips?

  • How to scan your CD Cover to fit onto a 22" Vividhead:
    Lets say you want your CD cover 4.74"x4.75" on a 22" size head, with a quality of at least 120ppi at actual size. You will need to scan your CD at 556ppi. When we enlarge your file to fit a 22" head, it will scale to 120ppi at actual size. (
    Printed CD's will have a moiré pattern. See the tip below to eliminate this pattern.)

  • How to scan your photo to fit onto a 22" head (100ppi at actual size)
    3"x3" -
    Scan at: 733ppi
    4"x4" - Scan at: 555ppi
    5"x5" - Scan at: 440ppi
    6"x6" - Scan at: 367ppi
    7"x7" - Scan at: 315ppi
    8"x8" - Scan at: 275ppi

  • Never interpolate your files (Don't add digital information to a scan)
    If you have a 50 ppi scanned image but need a 150ppi scan, don't add digital information to your file with PhotoShop because it will look blurry. Go back and rescan your image to achieve the size needed.

  • How to eliminate moiré patterns (Anything printed with an offset press will have a moiré pattern)
    Open your image in PhotoShop; under SELECT choose"All", under FILTER choose "Blur - Gaussion Blur", choose a Radius of .1 to 9 and this will help get rid of the moiré pattern.

  • How to create a properly saved JPG /JPEG file:
    Saving a JPG over and over will diminish the quality. For best result, first create a master version of your file as a TIFF or EPS. Save your final as a copy in the JPG format . Our high quality printing equipment can produce great looking, photo quality images from JPG files. Be sure to save your JPG at the maximum quality.


Glossary

  • CMYK:
    Cyan, magenta, yellow, black. The subtractive primary colors plus black, also known as process colors, used in color printing.

  • COMPRESSION:
    File formats used to create smaller files sizes of stored images. There are two kinds of compression: "Lossless" and "Lossy. (Example of compressed file fomats: .zip .sit .jpg and .jpeg
    )

  • BÉZIER CURVE
    A Bézier curve is a curved line or path defined by mathematical equations. Most graphics software includes a pen tool for drawing paths with Bézier curves.

  • EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) :
    A subset of the PostScript page description language that allows any single-page artwork, be it line art or image data, to be saved and placed into any other EPS-compatible document.

  • Giclée Prints
    Giclée (zhee-clay) a type of digital fine-art print most often associated with reproductions. A giclée is an exact copy of an original work of art that was created by conventional means (painting, drawing, photograph, etc.) and then reproduced digitally. Giclée prints are printed on high resolution printers with 1200dpi, 1440dpi or even higher dpi quality.

  • INTERPOLATION:
    Used to achieve higher than optical resolutions. Do not interpolate scans or files because they will look
    blurry. Go back and rescan if possible.

  • JPG / JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) :
    Compression format that makes very compact files and is a great way to send files over the Internet because of it's small file size which allows for speedy transmissions. However, this option uses lossy technology to compress files, so you will want to create a master version of your file first with a .tif or .eps format and only save a final copy in the jpg format.
    Be shure to save your file at maximum quality. Our high quality printing equipment can produce great looking, photo quality images from JPG files.

  • PPI and DPI:
    PPI - Pixels per inch. The frequency of the number of samples used to display an image on a computer monitor. An image scanned at 100ppi has a lower resolution than an image scanned at 300ppi. Images scanned at 100ppi will print at 100dpi (dpi = dots per inch). Make sure when creating a VividHead image that your raster graphics equal at least 72ppi when printed at 100% actual size.
    DPI - Dots per inch. Printers and output devices print dots. Technically there is nothing wrong with referring to pixels as dots because they both produce the same results but note, their is a difference.

  • RASTER GRAPHICS and FILES:
    A Raster graphic is built from individual cells called pixels, which are set to a grid like a mosaic. Digital photographs and scans are bitmap raster images. A rasterized image cannot be enlarged without a loss of quality. It is OK to enlarge a raster image as long as your final image is large enough for printing on our system (images need to be 72ppi - 150ppi) at actual print size. EXAMPLE: a 300ppi image enlarged to 200% will yield a 150ppi image.

  • RGB:
    Red, green, blue. The additive primary colors used in computer monitors and image recorders (Scanners / Digital Cameras)

  • TIFF (Tag image file format) :
    A popular format used for storing images. TIFF supports a wide range of color modes and bit depths (Save your file in the RGB color mode and let our software do the CMYK conversion).

  • VECTOR GRAPHICS and FILES:
    Vector graphics are made up of many individual objects. Each of these objects can be defined by mathematical equations and has individual properties assigned to it such as color, fill, and outline. Vector graphics are resolution independent because they can be output to the highest quality at any scale without any loss of quality when printed or diecut. Vector graphics are of superior quality; no steps or fuzziness in diagonals. Vector graphics are created in programs such as: Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, and Corel Draw. PhotoShop does have a Pen Tool to draw Bézier curves and paths.
    - NOTE: You can import raster images into vector files. Make sure when creating a VividHead image that your raster graphic will equal at least 72ppi when printed at 100% actual size. Band Name Logos can only be made from vector files. You can only use the drawing tools in vector design programs to create your logo or you can type out your name and convert the font to Bézier curves or paths.



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