Branding and Artwork Guidelines

BRANDING GUIDELINES

Acceptable file formats:

• Vector artwork is preferred (.CDR / .EPS /.AI / .PDF / .FH)
• PC format artwork only
• If artwork is not received in the correct format layouts may take up to 72 hours to redraw.

Tips to help you prepare your artwork:

  • • All fonts must be converted to curves to avoid font substitutions.
    • Include font and size if typesetting is requested.
    • Artwork for multi-colour imprints should be sent as a colour separated file
    • Unacceptable formats: Word files, .gif, .jpeg (under 600dpi), Power Point
    • Please confirm artwork approval by signing on layout or emailing confirmation to proceed.
  • 3 changes are allowed to the layout before charges are incurred.Artwork Fees:
    • Artwork received in the correct format will not be charged for.
    • Artwork not received in correct format will attract a design and redrawing fee of R200 ex VAT.
    • This fee will accommodate 3 further changes to the layouts, thereafter, any additional changes will be
    charged for at R100.00 per change.
    • Branding cancelled after layouts have been generated will be charged for at R150.00 ex VAT/ Layout
    • Branding cancelled or artwork changes after approval will be charged at R150.00 ex VAT / Setup
    General Branding Terms and conditions:
    • Branding will only commence once full payment for stock and branding has been received and artwork
    has been approved
    • Delivery dates are quoted from the day after artwork approval and receipt of payment – whichever is later
    • Amendments made to proofs will result in delay to delivery date.. Changes to layouts can take up to 24
    hours to generate.

BRANDING FAQ’s

To help understand the branding process, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the minimum order quantity for branding?

There is no minimum order quantity but setup charges associated with each branding process still apply.
When the setup charge is amortised over smaller quantities, the cost per unit is higher ie. branding 50 units
versus 10 units always works out cheaper per unit.

Should you need a pre-production sample, we offer sample branding at reduced rates.

Why do you charge a 15% handling fee on unpaid orders that are cancelled or not collected?

Once an order is invoiced, a picking slip automatically prints in the warehouse and work starts on the order,
regardless of whether we have received payment or not. The order is pulled, checked, packed and shelved.
Stock is allocated to your order and thus unavailable for other clients to order. Once an order is cancelled, there is
a significant amount of work involved in returning these cancelled goods to their shelves in order to make them
available to other clients. Therefore we are only able to place orders with our suppliers once we have received a firm,
written order from our clients.

Why do you charge a 25% handling fee on orders that are returned and only 15% on orders that
are cancelled or not collected?

When an order is received by our customers, we no longer have control over the stock and therefore our suppliers
cannot confidently put the stock back for resale without carefully inspecting it first. This is a very time consuming
process and involves a lot of labour as the order needs to be unpacked, thoroughly checked and then put back into
stock. The return of goods, once received by our customers, is only permitted at our suppliers discretion.
For full information, please see our terms and conditions on our website.

How do the ETA’s on new stock work and why does it change?

Clients are able to place back orders for incoming stock just as they place orders for stock we have on hand. An ETA
is an estimated time of arrival. When we order new stock from our suppliers we cannot guarantee a date that the
stock will be available for sale. Possible reasons for this include manufacturing, shipping and stock clearing customs
delays which could postpone the entire shipment. We also have an internal quality control team that has to check the
shipment once it arrives. If the stock does not meet Quality Standard it will not be released for sale.

Can we brand other suppliers’ stock through you?

No, our suppliers only brand stock that they supply. The reason for this is because each supplier has checked that every item
they have in their range has been extensively tested in each branding department to determine the best branding method and size for the
item as well as the item’s tolerance for heat. We offer our clients a one-stop-shop where they can purchase products
and get the best possible branding done for that item, all under one roof.

When stock is reported as missing/damaged, why do you ask for so many details such as tape
on the box, if branded or not and the weights stated on the box?

When stock goes missing or is damaged, we take it very seriously as we and our suppliers strive to provide a world-class service
offering. We ask for the tape colour and weights to ascertain where the error originated – from our suppliers,
the warehouse or branding. If the stock is misprinted we need pictures so that we can investigate if the order can be fixed or if we need to
replace the stock. This way we can give you an answer and start with the replacement process swiftly.
We need all of this information so that we can constantly improve our service and look for ways to avoid such
mishaps in the future. For full information, please see our terms and conditions on our website.

Why is the first day of a branding lead-time only the day after I approve even if I approve first thing in
the morning?

Every supplier has a production planner based in each branding department. The planner’s responsibility is to schedule all
branding jobs for that particular department. They look at the queue of jobs and determine which order they need to
be run in for us to meet the given lead-times. As the day’s schedule has to be created in advance, we need to give
the planner time to work out the schedule. When a job is approved, it is added to the production queue but because
the jobs for that particular day have already been planned and ordered, it cannot be included in the same day’s
schedule as it will affect the jobs already in the production queue.

Why do you charge a full setup fee for repeat artwork?

Even though our suppliers may have the artwork on file, all of their machines need to be setup for individual orders.
The machine settings are different for each item and must be adjusted with each order. The greater part of the
setup fee is charged for the amount of time and the labour involved in setting up a machine. A setup takes
approximately 45-60 minutes in all branding departments, except for screen and pad printing where it can take
45-60 minutes for each colour being branded. In embroidery, because the artwork has already been digitised from
the first order, we do not charge a full set up fee. We only charge for the labour involved in setting up the machine.

Why do I have to approve a layout for a repeat job?

This may seem tedious but our layouts are not only for artwork purposes; they also ensure that the correct stock
codes and quantities are being branded. Any warnings also remain on the layout so that your client is aware of
potential problems which may arise by branding in the manner shown on the layout.

Why can bulk stock not be returned to the branches?

Our suppliers have arrangements with their couriers to deliver from their
Johannesburg head office to the branches but not vice versa. If theyaccept bulk stock at the branches and send it
back to head office, it falls outside of their service agreement and additional fees are incurred.

Which branding processes allow for personalisation?

We offer personalisation in:

• Embroidery
• Laser Engraving
• Digital processes (sublimation, heat press, domed and vinyl stickers, digital transfer)
The reason for this is every other department needs a screen, plate or die to be made. This means that we will have
to setup for each individual personalisation, which is not cost effective and very labour intensive.

How do personalisation charges work?

Normal branding prices plus an additional personalisation fee per item apply. The additional charge is necessary
because extra time needs to be taken when personalising items to ensure that all the items have the correct names
and that there are no duplicates. If you are doing personalisation in embroidery, each name needs to be digitised.
The fee covers the extra labour.

Why do you charge different setups when we are branding the same item with the same logo just in
different colours?

If a logo is the same colour but going on different colour items, then only one setup is charged.
When we change print colour we have to set up the machine again. For instance, when screen printing, once we print
the logo in the first colour, we have to take the screen off the machine, clean off all the ink and then set the machine
up again before we print the logo in another colour.

Why do we charge different setups when we are branding the same logo in the same branding
process but on different items?

There are a couple reasons for this. Each item has its own jig: a place holder for the item that is mounted onto the
machine. Every time we change the item, we have to change the jig and reset the machine so that the logo is printed
in the correct position.

Another reason is that not all the items have the same branding space so on some items we can brand a larger logo
than on others which means that the artwork will be different. For instance, if we are screen printing two items with
the same logo but the logo is a different size on each item, we need two different screens.

 

ARTWORK FAQ’s

ARTWORK FAQ’S

In order to speed up the branding process and help you understand our artwork requirements,
we’ve put together a list of FAQ’s that will help guide you through the process.

What is Vector Artwork?

This is artwork that we can manipulate and separate into individual elements for branding. This artwork is also
the highest quality and is in the original design format. Vector artwork is created using vector illustration software
programmes such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. These programmes use points, lines and shapes to create
artwork that can be scaled infinitely without any loss of quality. Vector artwork is editable and the artwork can be
changed according to your specifications.

Which formats would be considered Vector?

There are a few formats that will be acceptable, namely:

• Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
• Corel Draw (.cdr)
• Freehand (.fh)
• EPS
• PDF
Please note: vector and non-vector artwork, or a combination of the two, can be stored in any of the above formats.
In order to check if artwork is vector, zoom into the image. If you see pixellated edges,  it means
the artwork is non-vector (vector artwork will remain crisp and clear no matter how much you zoom into the image).
Alternatively, click on the artwork and if a blue block appears around it,  it means that the
artwork is non-vector and the elements cannot be separated.

Why is it that other suppliers accept non-vector?

Our suppliers have a very high quality standard when it comes to branding. Artwork has a lot to do with the quality of
branding. If the quality of the artwork is not acceptable, we will not use it as it will compromise the quality of the
branding. Certain branding methods can use very high quality jpeg images for branding. These methods include
embroidery, digital processes and CMYK screen printing. However we cannot amend jpeg artwork at all, e.g. change
the colour of a logo.

We do not use quick traced artwork as quick traces often result in uneven lines and this compromises the print
quality. We would rather recommend a redraw of the logo.

What is quick traced artwork?

There is a tool in Corel Draw that allows you to automatically convert a non-vector logo into vector. This tool does not
always work well, the reason is because it simply traces the edges of the artwork and where colours start and end.
The result is a vector image but it will be broken and the edges will not be smooth. For this reason our suppliers do not
use quick traced artwork because it compromises the quality of the branding.

What does “convert to curves” or “convert to paths” mean?

When artwork contains wording in a certain font and the font is not converted to curves or paths, it remains in a text
format. This means that when the artwork is imported into a design programme, the programme reads it as text that
can be edited. If we do not have the font that the wording was created in, the design programme will automatically
convert it to a font that we do have, compromising the original artwork. Converting to curves or paths results in the
design programme reading the font as a drawing instead of text and, as such, the programme does not require the font.

Alternatively you can send us the font file to install. We cannot redraw the artwork if it is not converted to curves
because as soon as we put the artwork into a design programme to start redrawing, it will substitute the font with a
different font.

What is redrawing artwork?

If you send us non-vector artwork for a process that requires vector artwork, our redraw artists will have to re-create
the artwork in vector. In order for the artist to do this s/he needs to import the non-vector into Corel Draw and trace
the artwork.

Not all images can be redrawn, if there is any shading or gradients in the artwork it is impossible to achieve. We are
also unable to redraw photographs.

Why do you charge to redraw artwork?

This is a time consuming process, which requires a lot of attention so that there are no errors in the redrawn artwork.
Please remember that the lead time for redrawing artwork is 24 hours as the demand is quite high.

What types of artwork are required for the different branding processes?

Vector artwork is required for the below processes:

• Screen Printing (spot colours)
• Pad Printing
• Laser Engraving
• Debossing
Non-vector artwork can be used for the below (please note that it must be high quality):

• Screen Printing (CMYK process only)
• Embroidery
• Sublimation
• Stickers
• Dome Stickers
• Heat Press
• Digital Transfer Printing
• Direct to Product Printing
Please remember: vector artwork can be used for all of our branding processes. When using non-vector artwork and
a change to the artwork is requested, it cannot be actioned and vector artwork will need to be supplied.

Why can we use non-vector for embroidery and not for screen printing?

Screen printing: the print preparation requires that the artwork be separated into its individual colours.
Each element or set of elements that is a different colour gets printed on a different screen, e.g. a 2-colour logo
requires 2 different screens.

Embroidery: artwork is digitised as a whole and the colours are specified when digitising. As the logo does not have
to be separated into various elements, we do not have to have vector artwork unless changes need to be
made to the artwork.

Why is it that often layouts are done differently to the mock-up that was supplied?

If you send through a mock-up it is very useful as it gives the layout artist an idea of what you want.
When the layout artist is doing the layout, they have to take the branding guideline into consideration. If the mock-up
shows branding that is outside of the parameters indicated on the guideline, the layout artist will create a layout that is
as close to what your client requires, but falls within our guidelines.

What is a branding guideline and is it available to me?

Guidelines have been created for every item that we can brand. Once a new item is introduced there are samples
that are sent to production and each department tests the item to see what the branding capabilities and limitations
of the item are.

Once they are done we gather the info and create a branding guideline indicating which positions can be branded,
how many colours can be printed, the maximum branding size and which branding methods will work on the item.

Branding guidelines are sent to all clients when quoting, and are otherwise available upon request.

Our guidelines are created to ensure that we have shorter lead-times and a reduced number of rejects in production.
If you would like to brand in a position outside our guidelines you are welcome to provide the code of the item, a copy of the logo
and the information regarding the size of the logo and where they would like to brand.
We will then liaise with our suppliers to find out if it is possible.

What is CMYK printing in screen printing?

This is a method employed in Screen Printing to print a full-colour image that has shading and gradients. This is
perfect for printing photographs and detailed images.

This process uses 4 colours, namely: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. It works similarly to digital printing in that it
uses a combination of the 4 colours mentioned to print almost every available colour. Like a digital printer, white and
metallic cannot be created from these 4 colours and if there is white in the artwork, that must be printed first.
The screens for this process are made such a way that they allow a certain percentage of each ink colour to flow
through individual screens.

When branding via CMYK on a white item we charge for a 4-colour print, however if we are branding CMYK on a
coloured item we will need to charge for a 5-colour print because we need to print white as a base owing to CMYK
inks being semi-transparent.

We advise that you check with your Account Manager so that we can determine if a CMYK print will work.

When I request to brand in a CMYK colour why can’t it be matched to a Pantone?

If you supply a CMYK colour breakdown, but requires that it match a Pantone colour this is not always possible
as there are a limited number of Pantone colours that exist, but innumerable CMYK colours. We try to match the
colours as closely as possible.

What programme does your layouts department use?

We have a variety of programmes in the layouts department:

• Adobe Illustrator
• Photoshop
• Corel Draw
The main programme that we use is Corel Draw.

How long does it take for a layout to be created?

The times will vary from layout to layout dependent on the complexity of the layout or the quality of the artwork that
has been provided.

Simple layouts with good quality artwork take a maximum of 10 minutes.

If the artwork has many elements and colours and you want us to brand in 1 colour it can take up to 20 minutes to
convert it to a 1-colour artwork.

If there is personalisation with a large number of names that are going on, e.g. clothing items, the layout can take up
to 2 hours to do.

Generally layouts follow a 2 hour lead-time because there are numerous layouts in the queuing system with varying
degrees of complexity. When a layout is required, the request gets added to the system at the end of the queue and
the layout artists work through each in turn.

Why is it that my logo does not always fit exactly into the size on the guideline?

When a layout is done we need to make sure that the logo is in proportion. If we are branding on a pen, for example,
and the guideline says that we can brand 60mm wide and 6mm high, we will need to fit the logo into the area shown
on the guideline.

Branding size is limited by the height of the logo.

What are the minimum height restrictions when branding text in the various branding departments?

In certain departments we can make the text smaller depending on the font and the texture of the item.

A basic guideline below:


Screen Printing 2mm high

Pad Printing 1mm high

Debossing/Foiling 4mm high

Embroidery 5mm high

Laser Engraving 1mm high

Sublimation 1mm high

Heat Press 1mm high

Stickers/Domed Stickers 1mm high

Digital Transfer Printing 1mm high

Direct to Product Printing 0.5mm high
In cases where the text is smaller than given in the above guidelines or the text may close up due to the font used or
the texture of the product it is being branded on, we advise leaving off the text.

 

Why do you have recommended and not recommended options when I have specified what I want?

When a layout is requested we have to ascertain what will work and take the branding guidelines and texture of
the item into consideration. We strive to achieve exactly what you want, but that is not always possible as
sometimes it will not work.

In cases where the branding requested will not work we provide you with 2 options:

1.
The option that you have requested which will be noted as the “Not Recommended” there will be
warnings stating why this is not recommended.
2.
An alternative, “Recommended” option which will not be exactly as you requested, but that takes all
factors, e.g. sizes, texture of item, branding process and your logo, into consideration and will work.
If you choose to go ahead with the “not recommended” option and are not happy with the outcome,
we are not liable to replace the order as the layout clearly stated why the branding should not be done and
an option that would have worked was supplied.

Why is the number of colours that can be branded limited?

If the item is lined, e.g. a cooler bag, it is difficult to screen print more than one colour. In screen printing we have to
apply a light glue spray to the board that the item is loaded on so as to prevent movement of the item during printing.
This ensures that the branding position is consistent and that, when branding more than one colour, the registration
of the logo is correct. In cases where an item has a lining, only the bottom layer of the lining adheres to the board
leaving the top layer loose; as a result we cannot ensure that all of the colours in the logo will register (line up)
correctly and consequently restrict the number of colours we brand on certain items.

The number of print colours may be also be restricted due to the type of material the item is made of. When we brand
a multi-colour logo the print must be dried after each individual colour is laid down. Some items cannot withstand
long periods of heat so we cannot dry each individual colour when branding and we have to restrict the number of
print colours.

With regards to branding what does “registration” mean?

This is a term that is used in printing that refers to
laying down all the colours of the artwork in the correct
places. If the registration is off the colours next to each
other will either overlap or be too far apart and spaces
will be evident.

Helpful branding tips

• Always check what warnings are on the layouts before you approve it as if it states information like
– texture of product will effect print/ small text may not be legible etc and the branding turns out to be as
per the layout with the warning we wont accept that job as a reject job.

Check the colours stated that we will brand and always try give us a Pantone colour, a colour branded may
be one shade out from what is mentioned as the colours are mixed.

If you have a marathon colour please supply this as there are a fraction of marathon colours compared to
Pantone colours so matching a thread colour to Pantone colour will never be exact and is often left up to
discretion of what we think will work best but you may have something else in mind.

Why can we not guarantee the exact positioning of embroidery/ print on a striped item?

Panels on garments are inconsistent and one item will not be exactly the same as the next. Because of this, if we
brand according to the stripe detail or the panel, the logos will not come out on the left chest branding position
resulting in incorrect positioning when the shirt is worn.

TYPES OF BRANDING EXPLAINED

What is embroidery?

A design stitched onto material through the use of a high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines. Artwork must first be “digitized,” which is the specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread.

The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Then it programs the sewing machine to sew a specific type of design, in a specific colour, with a specific type of stitch. This is the process known as digitizing. Embroidery is most commonly used on logo patches, apparel and caps or hats.

FORMATS SUPPORTED FOR EMBROIDERY:
PDF | JPG (hi-res) | AI | CDR
ALL to be for PC and NOT MAC

 

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Preparing of Artwork

Preparing the artwork in order for it to be used for embroidery:

  • Any high-res image format
  • Digitised using Wilcom software package

 

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Advantages

  • Adds a more prestigious look to the garment
  • Small quantities are often more cost-effective than Screen Printing
  • Embroidery will not fade or wash away
  • Certain items must be embroidered – some items cannot be screen printed (Eg. fleece, certain moisture management garments and synthetic garments)

Limitations

  • Size of the main embroidery
  • Size of written letters
  • Framing the embroidery (pockets on shirts)
    – (Embroidered above pocket)
    – (Remove pocket, embroider pocket, then resew pocket)
  • Long turn-around time for large orders
  • Fine detail will not brand correctly
  • Thread does not match pantones exactly

 

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Important things to know on the DON’T’s of embroidery

  • Block capital letters cannot be smaller than 5 mm
  • Depending on material
  • Drimac / 600D / Poly Cotton smallest – 4 mm
  • Any stretch material no smaller than 7 / 8 mm
  • Have a lookout for logos that are the same colour as the garment (it will not be visible unless requested)
  • Largest embroidery size 350 x 350 mm

Embroidery on bags

  • No embroidery with padding or insulation
  • Need enough space
  • No embroidery over zips (inside / outside) or framing

Alternative options

  • Screen printing
  • Badge that will be heat sealed to the bag but not permanent

Personalised Naming

  • Individual names per item will cause longer turn-around times

Sleeves

Please always be aware of embroidery on sleeves. The logo stays one size but if the shirts are different sizes, there may not be enough space to embroider the logo.

The Branding department can unpick the sleeves in order to fit the logo, but then the sleeve needs to be sent to alterations for sewing which may increase the cost and turn-around time.

3D Embroidery

  • We can do 3D embroidery on certain designs only.

 

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NB – Take note

Please take note of the quantities of the embroidery

For example:
50 shirts x 4 different logos will have a longer turn-around time than 200 shirts x 1 logo

 

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Backing

Backing is the white piece of material you will find on the back on an embroidery. Tearaway will be used on materials that are strong enough to hold the embroidery together. Backing will be used on soft stretchable material to stabilise embroidery. After 2 / 3 washes the backing will soften.

 

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Caps

  • We cannot embroider on Velcro strap
  • Front – 5.5 cm high is max that can be embroider
  • Back – 10 x 5 cm
  • Sides – 10 x 5.5 cm