Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: not2easy

Message Too Old, No Replies

I need a little photoshop help

line-art eps format?



2:32 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello, all, I am hoping I can get a little graphics art help.

Our company is having a new sign made for the front of our building. Since I am the graphic arts guy as well as the programmer, they turned to me to make the graphic for the printing people to make the sign.

Now, the printing people want the graphic in ‘Line Art EPS’ format. At first I thought ‘fine’ so I took a JPG of our company logo, opened it in photoshop, and then saved it as an EPS, burned it to a disk, and gave it to the sign company.

The sign company called me back and said the disk I sent them was no good. It needed to be line-art EPS, and she said I needed the ‘background cut out’ (?)

Now, I know my way around photoshop, but everything I have done has been either for the web or for print materials. Making a graphic for someone else to cut a sign out of is new to me.

Can anyone help me out? Or, barring that, recommend a good tutorial website so I can get this graphic in the format they require?

(Being the ‘computer guy’ here I hate coming off looking like a dummy)

thanks for any help!


3:30 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think what they are looking for is a vector image. The best way to accomplish this is to design your logo in Adobe Illustrator. Vector images are great in that the resizing of them does not create distortion.

I too am not an Image expert, but I think this will get you headed in the right direction.


4:18 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I asked our print design team and they said it meant just black and white and perhaps cutout!

It seems an obscure term so phone them up and ask them. I don't think this would make you appear stupid at all.



4:33 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, they're after a vector .eps. Photoshop is a bitmap package. Illustrator will do it or you could use macromedia freehand, which is much easier to pickup if you're new to vector artwork. Illustrator is a bit of beast in my opinion, although my girfriend who is a computer graphics whiz reckons its the best. Just put aside a lot of time to learn it.


5:10 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmmm.. thank's for the info.. i just got a copy of illustrator, so i will try and crank out the proper graphic. No wonder I could not make it in photoshop!

Stay tuned for illustrator questions... lol


5:51 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

You can create vector art in Photoshop. Although it's not as sophisticated as Illustrator, the pen tools and paths, plus the "Shapes" palette are all vector based. The text engine also sets type as a vector shape until you rasterize the type layer (flattening the file or merging the type layer will automatically rasterize type).

You can also create an alpha channel selection and turn it into a vector path - or the other way around. For some tasks, this is all I need. But doing a file for a big sign probably takes more precision - I agree that Illustrator of Freehand is the better choice.


7:23 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


What they are looking for is a Vector image. It gives the appearance of being "cut out" because when you select it you can move it around on a BG and it looks like its on its own Photoshop layer.

What I recommend is that you stick with a program you know such as Photoshop. (Assuming you have Photoshop version 6.0+) This is when they began using vector text and vector shapes.

I then suggest your best bet is to use the JPEG of your company logo as a background and you use layers on top of it to recreate the text and any graphical elements. (Kind of like tracing). Make sure when you configure your settings, you are using inches as a unit of measurement and you are designing in at least 300dpi. [Personally I tend to work with most things at 600dpi just because you can always reduce it later but if you need a bigger version you always have it] Then, make sure you are working in CMYK color mode (Cyan Magenta Yellow blacK not RGB Red Green Blue). So yeah, use CMYK unless they are using PMS colors to print but I think they can make that change for you. (Although you can pick your own Pantone colors in Photoshop).

Note: Pantone is a color matching system. It lets print shops know how to precisely mix a color. All that's required from you is that you have to pick the color you like out of a swatch book.


8:09 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, Alex! It's always nice to see a new knowledgeable face around the graphics forum! :)


8:17 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Alex, Trouble is doing it that way is that the printer will still come back with we want it in line art.

If you have a copy of illustrator you could either import the picture into illustrator and using the pen draw round it or if you are more comfortable in photoshop use the pen tool you would usually use for creating clipping paths and draw round the shape/letters or whatever your logo is.

Then save the path and I am pretty sure you can go to export, paths to ilustrator. This should then when you open it in illustrator be your logo.


8:18 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sorry about the terrible grammar!


8:50 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

mivox - thanks for the welcome!

bateman - The only reason I suggested doing the logo that way is because they are familiar with Photoshop.

I think if he/she saves it to an EPS file it will be fine. They can print off of that. That print shop sound like one of those pain in the butt shops already. Personally, I have some friends that work in the printing industry and from what I understand a decent shop can print anything you give to them. (If its a properly sizes and formatted EPS, PSD, PDF, TIFF file etc.)


8:59 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Generally, the print shops around here want TIFF... but it depends on what they'll be doing with the image. If they need to resize it dramatically though, EPS line art has the most scalability.

That said, I've never had a problem scaling a 1200ppi tiff file either... but the file size starts getting a bit out of hand.

The biggest problems I've run into have always been with sign companies though. A lot of them use proprietary software that's specifically designed for their needs, and apparently is very limited in the file types it will "gracefully" accept.

At a local sign shop, there's only one employee who knows how to convert non-eps images into something they can use on their systems... if you work with anyone else in the company, they've got no idea what they're doing beyond putting a disk in the big machine, and pushing the right buttons.


9:05 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sign printing is a bit different from ink on paper, some of them will use bit cutter machines to make the signs where only a vector image will do as it needs to use co-ordinates instead of pixels.

But hey I used to work with many different printing companys and was amazed in how many of them refuse to help anyone beyond apple "p". I even had one the other day that refused to take ilustrator files (even placed in a quark file), only freehand, which not only do i not allow at work, i hate with a passion!


9:14 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have to admit that out of dealing with many print companies "exclusive sign printers" (ones that don't do anything else but print signs) are typically the worst simply because the people that run them as mivox noted use their own crappy software and have probably never opened up photoshop. I would suggest to anyone seeking a print shop that you interview a lot of them them. Then once you find one that works well with your style and export preferences you stick with it ...yet keep an open mind.

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month