Artwork Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines

Proper submission of graphics helps ensure timely production of your order. We can't accomplish much without first having production-ready graphics. Please don't hesitate to contact your sales representative for clarification of the these guidelines.

Imprint Areas

Individual product pages show the printable dimensions of our products. Please keep in mind that these areas are not precise. They are meant to give you an approximate indication of how much space you have to work with. It is highly recommended that you stay within these boundaries, though sometimes we can work outside of them. Discuss this possibility with your sales representative if desired. If you do not specify size and/or imprint area on your purchase order, our artists will determine the appropriate size and placement based on your artwork and decorating method specified.

Submitting Vector Art

Two main types of graphic files exist on computers today: vector art and raster art. Nearly all orders require vector art for production.


Raster Art


Raster art is composed by displaying many different color squares on a larger rectangular grid to create an image (think of the digital letters of a stock exchange ticker). 'Zooming in' on raster art reveals these squares immediately. Most popular image formats are raster art files. File types include: .gif, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .psd, .psb, and others.

Vector Art

(EPS, Adobe Illustrator, CAD files)

Vector art is composed using mathematical formulas to draw curves and lines, making it fit for precision printing. 'Zooming in' on vector art will reveal no loss of curve/edge quality. because the graphic is not based on a finite number of squares on a grid.

File types include: .eps, .ai, .pdf, .cad, .swf, and others.

Important Note:

All of the raster art file types listed are always 100% raster art, but vector art file-types can be comprised of a mix of raster and vector art. Consult your design department or your Custom USB sales representative if you are not sure if your file is setup in vector format. If it is not, your may want to consider asking your design department to create a vector art file, though we are happy to do the vectorizing for you. Graphics submitted as raster art are subject to a vectorizing fee.

Identifying Your Pantone Colors

Before proceeding, you should know that process printing, laser engraving, and hot-stamping do not require a Pantone color to be identified. You can stop now if you are branding products with any of those options.

Color Consistency

Because of manufacturing differences and digital color profiles, colors can be tricky when viewed on computer monitors. For example, dark blue on one monitor might look like purple on another. Mockups alone -- whether created by you in our Logo Lab or by your CustomUSB sales representative -- cannot be trusted for accurate color representation.

To help with consistency in print mediums, most large organizations have specific colors identified for use in their logos. Many use the Pantone Color Matching System (PMS), a proprietary standard also used by most commercial printers.

Pantone Solid-Coated Colors Required For Color Imprinting

We use Pantone Solid-Coated inks for printing all color and multi-color orders. If you already have these identified then you're all set; just communicate them to your sales representative when submitting graphics. If you don't already have specific colors but wish to choose them yourself, most professional graphic programs have the Pantone color palettes built-in, so you (or your design department) can select them there.

For best results, it is highly recommend that you use a Pantone Color Guide (ask your design department if they have a Pantone Color Guide handy) to choose the correct color. If you wish, we will choose Pantone Solid-Coated colors that match your given colors as closely as possible.

Important Note:

All printed colors must be set to 100% opacity and fill. Different tones/fills of the same color are printed as separate colors and charged accordingly.

Black And White Do Not Require Pantone Colors (Gray Still Does)

Black and white are the only colors which do not require Pantone matching. However, all shades of gray do require matching.

Confused, not sure what you may be interested in, or would you prefer to discuss your order with us over the phone?

You can also reach us toll-free at 416-800-3499 and one of our sales representatives will answer your questions and help place your order.