I often get questions about artwork requirements for our plastic card printing services. Experienced graphic designers usually know this stuff, but some business owners and marketers like to dabble in design. Under those circumstances, customers frequently ask, “Which graphic design program should I use?”
Here’s my first tip: I suggest not using CorelDRAW. Some of you might be laughing now, but truly, we do get people who submit CorelDRAW files. My recommendation: choose a different graphics program, such as Illustrator, Photoshop or another type of professional software.
Second, you want your Raster files to be minimum of 300 dpi. Images off the web won’t work, and, no, we can’t just make them work. Our system interpolates images using a mathematical algorithm that samples surrounding pixels. If your image is under 300 dpi, it will be fuzzy. Period.
Third, check the version of the software you are using against the version your printer is using. It’s critical that you supply them with files in the correct version. Software, as you probably know, is never forward compatible, only backward compatible. Like most printers, we try to stay stable and avoid upgrading right away because of all the kinks and bugs that tend to be inherent in newer versions.