If you have questions about signs, sign printing, file formats and other pre-production questions, read our FAQ for answers.

What are your printer limitations?

We have 2 large format printers and a smaller printer for dye-cut decals. Our main printer is the HP Latex 360 with a maximum width of 52 inches and the length as long as the roll (up to 150 feet). The HP prints in CMYK color space with a pantone profile set up for the ink formula. We can achieve a very close match to all pantone colors but certain screens or shades are out of the inkjet color profile. Where critical match is necessary you may want to have us print off a sample of your artwork and check our match of your specifications. If you decide to add a laminate to your graphics the colour may darken a small percentage due to the saturation properties of the ink. We do however take this information into consideration when we reproduce your artwork. We feel that an informed client is a happy client. If you require any other information on color issues for our large format printer please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

Can I choose any color of vinyl film?

Your color choice for vinyl is very good. We stock vinyl from the major manufactures each carrying there own color table of up to 200 colors. These color tables vary slightly and some offer specialty films such as mirrored, sandblasted or marble effect. When you are trying to match your company logo you may wish to view our swatches. Pantone color matching may prove difficult, where no compromise of color can be found. A black version of your logo or an inkjet decal may be your only solution. We will be happy to send you some color swatches or give you samples to help you make the final decision. If you require any other information on color issues on vinyl color, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

Can I get a sign with any color background?

When it comes to finishing your project we have a vast selection of mounting materials. Most of these substrates are available in limited colors along with the basic primary tones. Please look over the product list below for its color options that are available.

  • Acrylic/Plexiglass: more than 20 colors to choose from
  • Aluminum: same color selection as vinyl
  • Banners: white, black, grey, beige, red, royal blue, orange, yellow, purple
  • Coroplast: white, black, light blue, dark blue, beige, red, yellow, orange, silver, dark green
  • MDO (wood): any paint or pantone color of your choice
  • Sandwich Boards: any paint or pantone color of your choice
  • Showcard: white
  • Sintra: white, black, light blue, dark blue, beige, red, yellow, light grey, dark grey, green
  • Styrene: white
  • Ultraboard: white

How do I give you my files for large format output?

When it’s time to transfer your files to us for output you can send them to us compressed over our FTP from this web site (see FTP page to more details ), via email, on a Zip Disc or CD-R (Recordable). We can process both MAC and PC platforms. We accept artwork created in all the major publishing programs in their native format, as an EPS or PDF document. We currently support Quark Express 4, PageMaker, InDesign, Illustrator 8, Freehand 8, CorelDraw 8 and Photoshop 5.5. You can also send us Postscript EPS files set to output with our own drivers that are available form this web site as a download. Our preference is that you create your large format artwork in a vector based draw program (Illustrator) and save it as an .EPS with the fonts converted to outlines or paths. Otherwise, you may supply your layouts with all proofs and support files necessary to produce them. Scaling of your artwork is acceptable as long as you inform us of the final output size. You may find that you are most comfortable working at full scale, however, to ensure that your image composition does line up correctly within its dimensions. To support files of a continuous tone nature (ie. photographs), the resolution should be at a minimum of 125 DPI at 100% final output size or at 300 DPI scaled at no smaller that 1/3 of its final output size. You can save a copy of these support files as JPEG’s to compress them for file transfer. We will except all raster/bitmap files in .TIF, .EPS or JPEG formats and in the CMYK Color space. Inkjet prints can be output on the following substrates in either UV or Non UV (Image Ink). Maximum output size is 51 inches by 150 feet.

How do I send you my files for vinyl?

Preparing your artwork for Vinyl cutting can be a little tricky. All artwork supplied will have to be in vector line-art file format. This can only be achieved from a major draw/illustration program such as Illustrator, Freehand or CorelDraw for example. After creating your file you may need to combine or weld certain objects that are of the same color. To achieve this you should view your artwork in the wire-frame mode (in illustrator view-artwork: the opposite of preview) to see which objects that need to be broken apart or welded together. The goal here is that when vinyl is cut, no shape of the same color can overlap each other. They must be one composite shape. (please see illustration below for clarification). If you are not familiar with this process and/or do not have a vector version of your artwork we can recreate the artwork for you. You can send your artwork to us through our FTP page (see FTP page to more details ), email, on a Zip Disc or CD-R (recordable). We accept both MAC and PC platforms. If we determine your artwork to be unsuitable for Vinyl output we will review it and give you an estimate for recreating the layout or give you instructions on how you may resubmit your revisions. If you require any other information or have further questions, please contact us at any time by phone or email.

Do you offer any design services?

Yes, we have a staff of qualified graphic designers to assist you in creating your artwork for you. You can supply them with a thumb nail sketch of your project with the body copy required. We will create it for you and email you a pdf or fax it to you for your approval. At Sandbox Signs + Graphics we have hundreds of fonts, images and great composition skills to make your Posters, signs and banners catch all the attention you need. You may want to set an appointment with our creative director to brainstorm your project. Design and creative direction is billed on top of your production. With this in mind you may want to create a budget and prepare all of the information prior to your appointment. If you require further information or would like a free consultation for your project, contact us any time by phone or by email.

What's the difference between a raster file and vector-based file?

Raster files are also called bitmaps or continuous tone images. These can be described as images that have been photographed and scanned into the digital formats such as TIF, JPEG, EPS or BMP. Raster files are files that basically have a photographic look to it. However, an EPS file that originally came out of draw program and was opened in PhotoShop or an image-editing program can be rasterized. Vector Graphics are native files created in a major draw programs (Adobe Illustrator, Freehand or CorelDraw). These files are what is required for vinyl graphic output ( see preparing art work for vinyl production). These files are generally of smaller file size due to the make up of the artwork being lines and shapes filled with color that can be edited with in a draw program. If you require further information or would like a free consultation for your project, please contact us any time by phone or by email.

What kind of files do you accept?

We accept the following files:

  • Illustrator (.ai)
  • Photoshop (.psd)
  • Acrobat (.pdf)
  • CorelDraw (.cdr)
  • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)
  • JPG, TIFF (high resolution)

Can you scan pictures or logos?

Yes, if you require photographs, slides, transparencies or logos (camera ready artwork/PMT) to be scanned we can take care of the all for you. These files will be supplied to you color corrected on a CD-ROM (upon request).

What is a PMT?

A PMT or Photo Mechanical Transfer is also referred to as Camera Ready Artwork. PMT’s generally come on an 8.5″x11″ glossy white paper with the logo in black. If there are several colors to the logo then the PMT will show the separate artwork for each color. PMT’s are printed at a high resolution in order to be scanned and converted to digital files for printing, embroidery and in our case signs and graphics.

What is the standard size for a banner?

It all depends on where you will be using the banner. Although there is no real standard sizes banners a common size for general use is 3’x8′ or 10′. This size allows companies to use at trade shows and special events yet small enough to roll up and easily store for future use. We can produce banners for you at any size that fits your needs. Sandbox Signs has created banners from 1’x1′ up to 3’x 100′ and 40’x40′

What if my deadlines are not met?

Providing your deadline has been communicated to our staff this will not be an issue. There are no surprised when you work with us regarding missing deadlines.  We treat your business like ours.

Where are you located and is there parking?

We are located at Unit #150-3731 North Fraser Way, Burnaby, BC.  There is customer parking right in front of our door.

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