Digital Art Guidelines

Digital Art Guidelines

BAMS authors please see BAMS guidelines.

To meet the quality standards for publication, authors must submit digital art that conforms to the appropriate resolution, color mode, and file format. Doing so will help to avoid delays in publication and maximize the quality of images in both the online and print journals.

Color Mode

All color-image files should be captured and saved in RGB mode, which will provide the most accurate color fidelity from original capture to published online display. Whenever possible, ensure that the image is tagged with the originating ICC profile.

Labeling and Font Usage

Please use the same font for all figures in your manuscript; use standard fonts such as Helvetica, Times, Symbol, Mathematical Pi, and European Pi. For vector applications such as Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint, all fonts must be embedded or converted to outlines.

Resolution and Raster Images

Raster images are typically generated from digital cameras or other image-capturing devices and edited using image-editing programs (e.g., Adobe Photoshop). Low-resolution raster images are one of the leading causes of art resubmission and schedule delays. It is important that submitted raster images meet the minimum resolution requirements. Raster images can be classified as monochrome, halftone, or combination halftone.

  • Monochrome (1-bit) images: Common examples are graphs and charts made of solid black and white with no gray values. The preferred resolution for this type of image is between 1,000 and 1,200 dpi at publication size.

  • Halftones: Common examples are color or grayscale figures containing images only with no text or thin lines. The suggested minimum resolution for this type of image is 300 dpi at publication size.

  • Combination halftones: Common examples are color or grayscale figures containing halftone and line-art elements. The preferred resolution for this type of image is between 600 and 900 dpi at publication size.

Acceptable file formats for raster images are TIFF, EPS, PDF, and JPEG.

Vector Graphics

Vector images typically are generated using drawing or illustration programs (e.g., Adobe Illustrator) and are composed of mathematically defined geometric shapes — lines, objects, and fills. Vector graphics are resolution independent and can be sized up or down without quality loss.

  • Vector line art: Common examples are graphs and charts created in illustration programs. Preferred when saved as an EPS file with all fonts converted to outlines and graph lines at least 0.25 points wide.

Combination Vector and Raster

Quite often authors will insert raster images into a vector drawing program (e.g., Adobe Illustrator) to add text and labels. Assuming the inserted raster image(s) meets the required resolutions, these combination files should be saved as an EPS with all fonts converted to outlines and graph lines at least 0.25 points wide. Preferred when saved as an EPS file.

Microsoft Office

PowerPoint slides, Excel graphs, or images embedded in Word are acceptable formats. When creating the original file in a Microsoft Office application, please follow these general rules to ensure that the initial file is properly prepared:

  1. Do not use patterned or textured fills in graphics. Instead, use solid fills or percentage screens that will be effectively converted to vector images during file conversion. (Note: A 20% difference in percent screens is most effective for differentiation.)

  2. Artwork placed within any Microsoft Office application should be of an acceptable minimum resolution for print production: 300 dpi for tones, 600 to 900 dpi for combinations, and 1,000 to 1,200 dpi for line art.

  3. When inserting pictures/images into files, be sure to select “insert” and not “insert link,” which will not properly embed the hi-res image into the Microsoft Office file.

  4. Embed fonts in PowerPoint files.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Embed Font Screen Shots:
Authors who do not comply with these guidelines will be asked to resubmit their figures in a print-quality format, which may delay publication.