Artwork | Output Types: Vector

Artwork | Output Types: Vector


Vector offers a full vector output solution (*as long as all input files are Vector). By default the system delivers a multi-layer PDF file, but this can be changed upon request to deliver a .EPS file via the Company Artwork settings in CPP/OMS

Vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that define geometric primitives such as polygons, lines, curves, circles and rectangles. Because vector graphics are composed of true geometric primitives, they are best used to represent more structured images, like line art graphics with flat, uniform colors. Most created images (as opposed to natural images) meet these specifications, including logos, letterhead, and fonts. For more information please see Further Reading section at the bottom of the article.
When configuring a product on CPP, you can use the Print Test facility to generate example Vector files using the system default settings.
Important: The Vector Output Type may not be compatible with all of the features and options available on CPP. It is highly advised that you Print Test your product configuration using the Vector Output Type to ensure that the results are as desired. Features that are currently incompatible with Vector are:
1. Text Alignment
2. Arc Text
3. Masking / Transparency eg print, image or colour masks
4. Print Layouts (file merging)
5. Variable Stroke values / widths
6. Effects

Output File Structure

The output file is presented as a multi-layer PDF (or EPS if enabled) containing the following layer information;

  • Background Fill -  This is enabled by default and provides a solid white background layer. 
    • This layer can be disabled via the 'Disable Background Fill' toggle found in the Companies > Artwork settings in OMS.
  • Layer 1 is a special 'Spot Colour White' backing layer. Certain production methods require this information to meet specific fulfilment criteria. It is represented in the file as a solid Magenta colour (this makes the layer visible). This layer always matches the extents of the defined Image Area / Text Area on the product. 
    • This layer can be disabled via the 'Add Backing Layer' toggle found in the Companies > Artwork settings in OMS

  • Vector Artwork / Graphics Layers IF Vector designs are uploaded, or selected from a preset gallery (format compatibility permitting), they are retained as vector format and have separate layers in the generated file. We advise using PDF v1.4 or older.
  • RASTER LAYER - User uploaded photos / galleries - iF photo-upload is available on the product, the images are added to a single, flattened, layer within the generated Vector PDF. This layer is not auto-converted to vector format, it is embedded as a Raster layer within the delivered Vector PDF file.
  • Text Layers - Text always has its own layer and remains editable by default. There are several additional options available in the Companies > Artwork settings in OMS that can be toggled to change the how the text is generated to suit different production requirements;
    • Better Unicode Handling (Beta) - This option allows non-ASCII Unicode characters to be included within the PDF (Hebrew or Greek for example). When Unicode characters are used without this option, they may render as question marks.
    • Output PDF/A files (Beta) - This 'embeds' the font within the file based on PDF/A specification.
    • Output Text Outlines (Beta) - This option automatically converts text to Vector curves / path. As such the text becomes an actual shape, and is therefore no longer editable.
    • Improved Text Alignment (Experimental) - Vector text alignment is not compatible by default. Enabling this option allows products to feature left or right aligned text when using a vector solution. It should be noted that this is listed as an experimental feature and results cannot be guaranteed - therefore we advise thorough testing.
  • VECTOR CUTLINE LAYER - It is also possible to set an additional layer for pre-defined Vector Cut-lines via the Print Area > Artwork slot on the the product. For best results we advise PDF files version 1.4 or lower.
Additional Notes: 
  1. Vector format does not support transparency in the output file if raster images are being used. Any uploaded images will appear in the PDF with a white background by default.
  2. All text will be generated as a vector in the output file and is subject to font compatibility. If characters are missing from the generated artwork (eg blank spaces or replaced by rectangles) then this indicates that the font has missing characters and is not optimal for web use.
  3. Only PDF files up to and including version 1.4 are supported when using Vector files as an input (eg Artwork / Gallery etc).
  4. The colour mode from any vector files will be maintained in the output file, even if CMYK. If raster images are uploaded eg a photo image, then the pdf will also contain RGB colour information. Text elements are always processed in RGB during the artwork generation process, which may result in the generated Vector PDF file containing both CMYK and RGB information.
Should you have any queries on these options you can contact

Further reading

Wikipedia: Vector Graphics >
Comparison: Raster vs Vector >

    • Related Articles

    • Artwork | Output Types: Explained

      General Overview OMS supports several 'Output Types' for various fulfilment purposes. The Output Type refers to the format of the generated artwork file once an order is placed. There are 2 primary output solutions: Raster Vector PDF Output Types are ...
    • Vector | Adding a Vector Artwork Design to Virtual Products

      Overview The fastest and simplest way to add a vector design / artwork to your Virtual Product is via a restricted Image Area. This is slightly different to the general approach for adding Raster based artwork where the file is uploaded directly ...
    • Vector | Linking Vector Galleries to Virtual Products

      Overview The fastest and simplest way to add a range of selectable vector designs to your Virtual Product is via a restricted Image Area.  Important Note: This article is written on the presumption that the user has a general understanding of Blank ...
    • Artwork | Output Types: Raster

      Raster Raster is the default system Output Type and is compatible with the largest array of platform features. It produces a single layer 300ppi, *RGB, raster output file that is available in multiple formats.  A raster image is made up of a grid of ...
    • Artwork Generation | Troubleshooting Common Print Job Problems

      Overview This article is designed to help troubleshoot common problems related to print jobs or artwork generation Optimisation The amount of memory resource that a print job requires depends on numerous factors such as: - Number of Print areas - ...