You do not have to be a graphic artist in order to commission duratrans printing, but if you try to order a duratrans printing project without at least a minimal understanding of graphic formats, you may not be happy with the finished product. There are so many differences between what you see on screen and what happens during printing that without the proper formats, you could end up with a duratrans hat is distorted or pixilated. While your duratrans printer should be able to give you a hand with your design, learning the methods yourself can help save you time and money.
Vector vs. Bitmap
When you do graphic design, you will generally use one of two types of formats: bitmap or vector. Most of the images that are used online are done in bitmap, which works well for that purpose. However, it is preferred to use vector formatting if you plan on printing your image at some point. Some programs will allow you to make this change automatically.
To understand the difference, it helps to know how the two formats work. Bitmaps are made using individual pixels laid out on a grid. The pixel holds all of the information of the colors of the image in a fixed resolution. This type of picture does not resize well. You save a bitmap as a JPG, JPEG, GIF, or TIFF file.
Vectors are done using mathematical calculations to determine the resolution, making them easy to resize. You will generally save this file as an EPS, CGM, PICT, or WMF file. This is the type of file that you will want to use for printing.
If you are just starting out designing your business logo, then create your logo in vector format. This will make it easy to do all of your duratrans printing, as well as any other printing needs that you might have.
Another graphic concern for duratrans printing is the color model that you will use. Many commercial printers only use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to do printing, whereas many online programs use RGB (red, green and blue). In order to have your duratrans print look the most like your computerized design, you will want to use CMYK during the design process. Your graphic program should allow you to switch this when you start your document.
Of course, this does mean mentioning that not all graphics programs are created equally. If you plan on doing most of your own design work, then you will need a program that meets your needs. For instance, Adobe Photoshop is very difficult to do vector formats with, though it is ideal for doing bitmaps. You may want to consider a program such a CorelDRAW which is better designed for printing formats and is able to do vectors and CMYK color modes. If you have any doubts as to whether or not your graphics program will work for you, take it up to your printer. Some printers may be able to translate your design to the proper format, though they may charge a fee for their services, while others may require that files be sent in ready to go.