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top problems Skateboard Artwork

Don't Use Small Images You Find on the Internet!

#1 Low Resolution Artwork

#1 Low resolution artwork

The artwork looks great when it is only 5 inches tall on a computer screen. Zoom in closer to the size it will print at, like 8”x32” for a regular skateboard, and you can see pixelation and general blurriness. For the human eye, 300dpi at print size is usually more than enough detail. There are many times less than 300dpi looks good like a messy graphic with distress pattern might look good at 100dpi. The best way to tell if a graphic will look good is to just open the file on your computer and zoom in to the size it will print.

How To Fix Low Resolution Artwork

Much of the time you can’t fix low resolution. If you started creating your graphic at too small of a size or used low resolution design elements you are probably S.O.L. An exception and this happens often is that you have the artwork in a high resolution format but you exported at a lower resolution, just re-export as high res. Now if your original artwork is low resolution and you don’t want to rebuild from scratch….

Low Resolution Artwork Tricks

Low Resolution Artwork Tricks

Don’t think that you can just take a low resolution image back into Photoshop select ‘image size’ and adjust to 300dpi.
This will just make smaller dots that make up the same pixelation and will look the same.

Trick #1

Adobe Illustrator Image Trace.  This will take a raster graphic and turn it into a vector graphic by averaging out the sections of color into solid blocks of color(shapes) and also smooths the edges.  If your graphic has large areas solid color it might work.  If you have any type of shading, gradients, or picture type elements probably not.

Trick #2

Add filters/make adjustments in Photoshop. There are a million things you can do in Photoshop but none will make a low res into a high res. If your res is just a little low these might make the graphic acceptable or you might end up changing the whole feel of the graphic to something acceptable.

Trick #3

This is one of my favorites. We receive many graphics that are logo based. The logo looks really pixelated at the size of a skateboard deck but scaling down the logo to a small size looks just fine. We then make an all-over print with the logo. (Make the logo into a swatch in AI and apply to a fill).

#2 Incorrectly Sized Artwork

#2 Incorrectly Sized Artwork

The artwork was made without careful consideration of full bleed, live area, and safe area. These three things are very important! Use our template! How else are we supposed to know your print location?
Artwork is submitted without consideration of the print area of a skateboard deck.
Artwork is submitted without consideration of the print area of a skateboard deck.
Guess #1 - Just a white underlay would show where there is no graphic
Guess #1 - Just a white underlay would show where there is no graphic
Guess #2 - Fill the entire board space and cut off the majority of the graphic.
Guess #2 - Fill the entire board space and cut off the majority of the graphic.
Artwork was created at full bleed, but didn't check the live area of the 8" printed deck.
Artwork was created at full bleed, but didn't check the live area of the 8" printed deck.

#3 OUTLINES FLATTENED IN ARTWORK

#3 Outlines Flattened in Artwork

Did you flatten or rasterize the deck outlines or truck holes into your artwork? These things will actually print. You’ll get custom printed skateboards with truck holes and deck outlines visible on your decks(#3A).  Please submit your artwork in Photoshop or Illustrator with the reference lines in a layer we can turn off(#3B) or submit a jpeg/tiff at full bleed with no truck holes and deck outlines(#3C).

Point Skateboard Art Template
Deck Outlines and Truck Holes will actually print if flattened into the artwork.
Artwork With Template Outlines
Make sure your artwork is on its own layer below the deck and truck outlines.
Artwork Without Template Outlines
Flattened JPEG at full bleed without deck outlines or truck holes.

#4 Safe Area vs. Live area

#4 Safe Area vs. Live area

One of the most common problems that we see with skateboard art is not considering safe area vs live area when creating custom skateboard artwork. Skateboard art has a margin of up to 5mm of shifting. This shift can happen in any direction. Reference the illustrations to show what can happen when this shift occurs. Use our art templates to avoid having issues with your graphics.

LIVE Area

Bleed is the portion of your design that extends past the trim size. Bleed is cut off when the graphic is trimmed to the final size of the deck. Its sole purpose is to make sure your design or image reaches the very edge without leaving any white edges.

safe Area

This is an area inside the live area. The safe area is a smaller dimension than your final deck size and is important to pay attention to because this is where you should place your most important information within your design. Any content outside of this area is at risk of being cut off!

Full Bleed Graphic submitted on out standard deck printing template.
Live area at actual print size for a 8" graphic with no graphic shift.
Live area at actual print size for a 8" graphic with 5mm graphic shift right.
Live area at actual print size for a 8" graphic with 5mm graphic shift down.

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