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There are special artwork requirements when designing and casting memorial plaques.

The designers at The Memorial Plaque are specialists.

This page describes the requirements for creating proper artwork for the manufacture of cast plaques. If you do not have the required format, the designers at The Memorial Plaque can create the artwork for you.

;The Memorial Plaque  can work with artwork in almost any format that follows these requirements. Following these requirements will minimize or eliminate additional costs and problems. Please refer to the images at the bottom of this page to see examples.

TEXT

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;

TEXT CONSTRAINTS

Font test patternMany 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" the letters.

"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.

BAS RELIEF

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 and halftones at 180lpi are acceptable for metalphoto process. The etching and halftone process will NOT improve the quality 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, backgrounds, etc).

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.

We will determine at our 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 complexity.

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.