Preparing Artwork


Computers and graphic design programs are both highly sophisticated and incredibly easy to use. With clients using a diverse range of platfoms and software, Rosco will try to accept almost any electronic file. Of course, many designer still work in paper and photographic medium and we will happily take these "hard copy" artwork formats as well. Below is a set of guidelines to assist you in preparing your design - in whatever - format for a successful transfer to a custom gobo.

Electronic Designs

Postcript Formats
Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
For almost any style design except for photographic images, the preferred, ideal file format is a native Adobe Illustrator file. This kind of vector-based artwork creates the best gobo toolings.
EPS Files (eps)
A close second to Illustrator files are files saved in eps format. This format can be created from many of the popular graphics programs available. EPS files maintain excellent image qualities and allow for moderate resizing without degrading the image quality.
PDF Documents (.pdf)
While there are many advantages to pdf files, ease of use in gobo making is NOT one of them. We may be able to extract the images embedded in pdf files, bu tthey are almost always low resolution and produce poor quality gobos.
Rasterized Formats
Adobe Photoshop (.psd)
Native Photoshop files provide tremendous versatility by allowing all the elements of a design to be edited by Rosco's graphic designers. This file format maintains text editing (v.5 and higher) and preserves layers. In addition, Photoshop is the ideal format for photographic designs or Hi-Definition Photogobos.
TIFF Files (.tif), BMP (.bmp), PICT (.pict)
Digital cameras and many graphics programs provide means for saving images in TIFF, BMP or PICT format. These files are uncompressed and maintain a very high image quality. However, they are often extremely large, so much so that electronic transfers are difficult. Despite that, these file formats produce excellent gobos.
JPG (.jpg), GIF (.gif)
These file ttypes are commonly found in use on the world wide web. In general, they are less well suited as artwork for custom gobos.
GIF files are 72dpi, and contain a limited color table. This means that altering the file in any way - resizing, adjusting contrast, color correcting - is virtually impossibel to accomplish without significantly degrading the image. So unless the file provided needs no alteration at all (very uncommon), it is a poor format choice.
JPG files are a compressed file type which helps to keep even very complex images realtively small. But this compression makes it difficult to alter the image without introducing artifacts which degrade the image quality. If you will be submitting jpg files, make sure to submit a file that is 2x the size of the finished gobo.
CAD Files (.dxf, .dwg)
CAD files should not be submitted at all. Despite claims by the software companies to the contrary, these file types almost never successfully convert into a usable file format.

Image Size and Resolution Guidelines

First, if you are working in Adobe Illustrator, this section is irrelevant to you. Resizing in Illustrator is accomplished with no loss of detail or quality.

Otherwise, you must decide at what the resolution and size to create your design. Your choice of gobo type will influence this decision. In general, you should create your design at full size, that is 100% of the size of the finished gobo, or larger.

Custom Steel
150 dpi
Line art is not usually degraded by low resolution files. But small text may be difficult to render.
Silk Screen 150 dpi Line art is not usually degraded by low resolution files. But small text may be difficult to render.
Line Art (B/W) 150-300 dpi If the design has fine details or gradients, a higher resolution will produce a better quality gobo
Grey Scale / Photographic B/W 600 dpi Smooth tonal values require high resolution images
Line Art (Multi-Colored) 300 dpi If the design has fine details or gradients, a higher resolution will produce a better quality gobo
Hi-Def Photogobo 800 dpi To achieve smooth color blends and fine details requires a very high resolution file.
To calculate the pixel size of your design, multiply gobo size (in inches) by the recommeded resolution. The result is the recommeded size of your artwork. For example, if you are creating artwork for mutli-colored logo in B size gobo: 2.54 inches x 300 pixels/inch = 762 pixels. So the artwork you submit to Rosco should be no less than 762 x 762 pixels, though larger is perfectly fine.
Note that pixel size is independant of resolution and so is a preferred manner of describing file size.

Pixel Size = Size (inches) x Dots (pixels) Per Inch