This document is for reference purposes only - currently users of the platform do not have access to change the Output Type, this has to be done by Custom Gateway Staff. If you would like to request a specific Output Type, please liaise with your Project Manager, or raise a support ticket by emailing email@example.com
The CPP supports several different Output Types (AKA Print-iT Options). The Output Type refers to the format of the generated artwork file once an order is placed.
Output Types are set via the company details section on the CPP (Gateway Staff access only), which ties the Output Type with the GUID of the company so the files are accessible in the Order Management System - see Figure 1.
Important Note: All Output Types function slightly differently, and therefore will not be compatible with all CPP features relating to the configuration of the products.
Raster is the default Output Type on the CPP and is compatible with the largest array of the CPP features. It produces a series of single layer, RGB, raster output files.
A raster image made up of a grid of pixels, often referred to as a bitmap. For more information please see - http://techterms.com/definition/rastergraphic
The following file formats are supported:
PNG as a format supports lossless data compression so output image quality is optimal. PNG is the only Raster output type to support transparency in the output file (based on relevant product setup; including a transparent artwork file in the Print Area Artwork slot).
JPEG utilises a lossy form of compression so output quality can sometimes be affected; it may not be well suited for line drawings and other textual or iconic graphics, where the sharp contrasts between adjacent pixels can cause noticeable artefacts. Such images may be better saved in a lossless format such as PNG.
Standard PDF output utilises JPEG compression - essentially it is a PDF file with Raster data embedded within it.
*The TIFF output is different to the other Raster files in this list as it outputs the artwork as CMYK rather than RGB. This is done via an automatic colour mode conversion from RGB to CMYK.
Important Note: TIFF files are not generated by default. They can be enabled as part of the standard artwork generation process from within the Company settings on CPP. This has to be done by Custom Gateway Staff.
Raster Alternative (Node Canvas)
For the most part, Raster Alternative works in the same way as Raster. It was developed primarily for larger format prints, and to resolve issues with certain fonts generating incorrectly in output files. This includes irregular font shapes and font clipping. Should you encounter any issues like those mentioned, try utilising Raster Alternative in the print test facility to see if this serves as a solution for you (liaise with your project Manager at Custom Gateway to get this change implemented).
Going forward, Raster Alternative will become our new default Raster output type as it is compatible with more features and offers superior results.
Vector PDF **Updated**
Vector PDF now offers a full vector output solution, as long as all input files are vectors. This requires manual product setup, and the simplest way to achieve this is to create a gallery of vectors on CPP, and link them to the product so they can be selected in the App. PDF format will yield the best results.
Important Note: Vector PDF may not be compatible with all of the features and options available on CPP. It is highly advised to Print Test your product configuration using the Vector PDF Output Type to ensure the results are as desired.
This is supported in ACP3.
The output file is presented as a multi-layer PDF.
- Layer 1 is a spot colour 'White' vector 'backing' layer. This matches the extents of the defined Image Area / Text Area and is always rectangular. This is included to meet specific fulfilment criteria and is represented via a solid Magenta colour to make the layer 'visible' within the file. This can be disabled upon request.
- User uploaded images are added to a single flattened layer. User selected Vector designs have their own layers.
- Text has its own layer.
- It is also possible to set an additional layer for Vector Cut-lines via the Artwork Advanced slot on the Print Area of the product.
All text will be generated as a vector in the output (subject to font compatibility). The Fonts will be presented based on the characters available within the font file itself - if characters are missing then they will not be displayed. This differs slightly from the Raster Output Types, as they will substitute any missing characters with a standard version. The text will be editable in the PDF file, but can be converted to curves to give a path / outline which may be required in some scenarios for fulfilment purposes.
If Raster images are uploaded to the product in the App, then the generated file will still maintain the raster image - it does not get converted to vector. In this scenario the backing layer and the text will still be vector however.
The colour mode from any vector files will be maintained in the output file, even if CMYK. If raster images are used, then the pdf will contain RGB colour information. Text elements are always processed in RGB during the artwork generation process.
Important Note: Vector PDF does not support transparency in the output file if raster images are being used. Any uploaded PNG images will appear in the PDF with a white background.
Embroidery (EMB or DST)
The CPP features an Embroidery Output Type, that generates an editable EMB or DST file. These files contain accurate stitch information (EMB also contains Colour information). If the EMB or DST options are not sufficient, users can download Wilcom's Truesizer software for free HERE - this allows users to open the EMB file and save out in various other formats for embroidery purposes.
The maximum size embroidery file that can be delivered is 22500 square mm, which is equivalent to a Print Area of 150x150mm. The width or height can be larger as long as the corresponding value does not equate to an area larger that 22500 square mm in total. For example, these 3 print sizes cover the same area:
W150 x H150mm = 22500 square mm
W75 x H300mm = 22500 square mm
W300 x H75mm = 22500 square mm
The Embroidery preview within the App has to be enabled at Product level, via the appropriate Image or Text Area. Once enabled, this displays a realistic on-screen preview of embroidery based on uploaded imagery or input text.
Using this output type incurs additional costs based on each digitized output file at a rate of £1.99 each. For more information on embroidery files please contact Ian Bell in our Explainers department via 01625 355781.
More information on Embroidery is available here is our comprehensive guide:
Important Note: A specific product configuration is required to show the on screen preview of the Embroidery effect. This is supported in ACP3.
**Additional charges may apply when using this output type and are subject to change.