I've been using Ps for quite a while now, but recently I had to expand my work to Illustrator as well. I am pretty much a newb when it comes to it though, and recently I had to send some logos to a printing company, in order for them to laser-print the logos on some pens. They replied back to me, saying that the logos needed to be "broken into curves" before they could go ahead and print them.
I have no idea what that means, and I've been on Google since early this morning, looking for an answer.
Can anyone help?
You always need at least a fundamental understanding of the process involved in the printing method for which you are designing. That's why logo design is not a simple matter of making something "look good" on your monitor and then sending it to the broad array of service providers in different industries who are supposed to render it using various media technologies. Different kinds of output require different kinds of input.
The grads are likely to be problematic. The printing method may be foil-based, transfer-based, or screen printing, which often require line art (artwork free of halftone dots), especially at small reduction sizes. That's one reason why it is commonly best to avoid contone artwork (grads, blends, raster-based tones) in proper logos.
And it's one possible reason why the imprinter insists on its being "broken into curves" (a very poorly stated requirement). He probably means having all the elements provided as closed paths so he can apply solid fills. (Text converted to paths; nothing in the clover leaf being dependent upon overlapping objects, for example if the white in the clover leaf is actually done by separate white-filled paths.)
Generally speaking, you don't want an output house having to modify your files. You should consider it your responsibility to deliver files suitable for the intended repro method. It is quite common that the technicians working at an output house may be experts in their particular media, but know next to nothing about preparation of the artwork files (as is suggested by the poorly-stated requirement).
That's why "as far as I know" doesn't cut it. An office copier is a "laser printer." But obviously, you can't run a writing pen through an office copier to have it imprinted.
There are, however, many writing pen models commonly used in imprinted specialty marketing which involve a paper insert behind a clear pen barrel. The imprint is just printed on paper, and can be printed with ordinary "laser printing" devices.
At the other end of the spectrum, it is also quite common in imprinted specialty marketing to employ what is technically a laser engraver which actually uses a laser beam to etch a design into a metal pen barrel, or to expose a light-fixed coating.
If there is one, provide a web link to the specific vendor and the specific pen model you are trying to design for.
Thank you for your help so far.
Thing is, it's sunday, and I can't really contact any of the printing company representatives, and thir webpage is currently offline (maintanance work or something). So unfortunately, the technical details I've provided so far are the best I can do.
I do believe it is the gradients in the clover leaves (and possibli the text) that are causing all the problems, but I'm not sure how to fix that. One way would be to completly lose them, as the logo will be rather small when printed on a pen. The white inside the clover is not a shape itself, just a blank space, so that should not be a problem.
I I were to keep the gradient, what would be the best way to do that? My frustration here comes from not knowing WHAT I should do, once I would know that, tutorials and the good old "trial and error" should help me get the job done.
I I were to keep the gradient, what would be the best way to do that?
If the repro method requires line art, the grads have to go, by definition of line art. That's just the way it is.
My frustration here comes from not knowing WHAT I should do...
The frustration of anyone trying to help you--on Sunday when the printing sales rep is unavailable, and his website is down--comes from simply not having the information required to advise you.
...once I would know that, tutorials and the good old "trial and error" should help me get the job done....
You don't want to even get me started on that. Completely amateurish, fumbling-about way to work. You have to know what you're doing. It's not rocket science, but would you want someone working on your house wiring who has a "good old trial-and-error and tutorials" attitude about his work?
I'm not designing Pepsi's new million-dollars campaign here... I'm just trying to get a very simple logo on some very simple pens for a friend. It's a favour for him that I'm going out of my knwoledge area and trying to understand the basics of Illustrator on a very short notice.
Yes, I do hate amateurish work as well. But he does not afford anything else, and he's printing on roughly 500 pens. This job is as SMALL as they come.
If this was all the advice you could give me based on the information I provided, then I thank you for all of your time, and I will just remove the gradients and hope it works.
If you have another suggestion, I'll give it a try and send the printing company both the simpified-no-gradient logo and my work.
Either way, thank you once more!