Understanding Web Artwork

There are two kinds of computer graphics - raster (composed of pixels) and vector(composed of paths). Raster images are more commonly called bitmap images.

A bitmap image uses a grid of individual pixels where each pixel can be a different color or shade. 
Bitmaps are composed of pixels.

Vector graphics use mathematical relationships between points and the paths connecting them to describe an image. 
Vector graphics are composed of paths.

The image to the left below is representative of a bitmap and the image to the right is representative of a vector graphic. They are shown at four times actual size to exaggerate the fact that the edges of a bitmap become jagged as it is scaled up:

Bitmap Image Vector Graphic
test Test

Bitmap Image: Smooth Vector Image:
antialias.gif smooth.gif


What kind of Raster Art is Engravable?


There are a few important features for raster art to be engravable.  

Size: Very small pictures are normally not engravable. In this case, bigger is better. When an image is already very small, we cannot resize the image. Text normally becomes unreadable in a small image and will look even worse once engraved. High resolution raster artwork is a must.

Quality: It is very difficult to make low quality artwork engrave well. If you have a logo which was scanned in off an old photocopy, which was faxed to you, most likely it will not engrave well. The issue is every time it is faxed, scanned, printed, it will loose resolution. This will leave you with a logo that cannot be engraved clearly. With that said, scanned artwork can be engraved. Mailing us the artwork would be the best alternative if a digital copy doesn’t exist. Remember, size again is very important. Small images are very hard to engrave.

Clarity: Clean lines with limited shading/colors engrave best. Lots of shading, detailed graphic elements, and different colors become difficult to engrave


Not Engravable:

Pepsi Logo



Pepsi Logo2



What do I do if my I think my artwork is not engraver friendly?


Don’t panic because it’s not as big of a deal as you might think.  You have a few options.


The first suggestion we make is to contact the media department or the web designer for an organization you are working with.  They normally have high quality images which they can provide you fairly easily.


Our next suggestion is to do a Google search, specifically a Google Image Search.  We do this all of the time.  Example for the logo above, you can find it by doing a search for “Pepsi Logo”.  If you’re looking for the old Pepsi logo, simply search “Old Pepsi Logo”.


Wikipedia.  It surprised us at first but Wikipedia is an excellent resource for logos and high quality images.  Most Wikipedia images are actually SVG files.  SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic.  Basically this means it is a vector graphic that works on the internet.


If you are unable to find high quality artwork or if you think it won’t be able to be engraved, send it anyway.  We will forward it to our art department and see what is involved in making it engraver friendly.  We do charge for this service, but you will be contacted before we go ahead and do any work.  Once the work is done, it never has to be done again.


Estimated Costs for Artwork Conversion:

Simple Conversion (Pepsi Logo Above)


Scanned/Low Resolution Artwork


Artwork Recreation**


All charges are simply for the recreation of supplied artwork.

**Artwork Recreation may not look exactly like the original.  Time is billed to the half hour.  Typical production time is 1 hour. **