We will not fill an order that we know will not print well. Our Art Department will contact you if your design will not work or you are welcome to contact us with any questions. A different printing method or design changes may be required to insure the highest quality print.
We use two different methods of printing for single color orders and multi-color orders, therefore the art requirements for each are different. Designs that are too intricate or do not meet single color specifications can usually be printed using the multi-color method. If your nickels are printed using the multi-color method, you will be charged for multi-color nickels even if they are single color.
Whether you’re ordering single color or multi-color nickels, always send art at least double the size so that there is enough detail when reduced to the imprint area. Never send your design/art with a wood background. This requires extra time be spent on your design and may add additional time or cost to your order.
Usually, all we need is the text information, the artwork (if applicable) and a general idea of how you want the information laid out and we will do all of the typesetting. We do not charge extra for typesetting.
The Art Department will not begin any work on a design until an order has been finalized with full payment.
If you are using a copyrighted/trademarked image or logo you must supply the image, we cannot find it for you. By sending the art we assume you have the right to use it and we are not responsible for obtaining permission to print the image. You assume all responsibility associated with using a copyrighted/trademarked image.
The imprint area on the 1.5” wooden nickel is 1.25”. The imprint area on the 2” wooden nickel is 1.75”. The entire design must fit within the imprint area, the design cannot be printed any larger.
Outer Circle & Centering
We do not recommend including an outer circle or round background as part of your design. This may cause the design to appear off center when printed. The reason for this, our wooden nickels vary in size +/- 5/1000 of inch and our centering tolerance is the same which makes it impossible for us to keep the image perfectly centered on every piece. This slight centering variation is usually not noticeable with most images. However, if the design includes an outer circle or round background the off centering is much more noticeable. For this reason we recommend that if your design includes an outer circle/round background it be removed. If it cannot, we will print the design as is but we can't guarantee it will be centered on every piece and will not reprint an order if the design is within the centering range.
Single color Printing
Nickel designs are created on a computer and all single color work is done in black and white. The ink color is selected during the actual printing process. This is why we refer to single color art as “black and white”. We do not print white on the wooden nickels. Any part of your design that appears in white will actually not print and therefore be the natural wood color.
Single color printing is done on an 1885 Chandler and Price letter press that has been modified to print several thousand pieces every hour. This high speed single color method of printing does not print large solid areas well. It will show the grain of the wood as well as any surface scratches and the wood pores. The amount of ink needed to completely cover large solid areas makes the ink act like paste. This causes smearing and ink transfer as well as jams that can damage the press and/or create excess amounts of waste. The image must be converted to an outline, like a coloring book picture. See picture below.
The single color method of printing also does not print white lettering on a black background. Logos/art that contains this type of lettering must be converted to black lettering on an outlined field. See picture below.
If you submit a design that does not meet the single color requirements and can’t be changed so that it does, we may recommend multi-color printing. In addition to printing multiple color images, the multi-color printing method does not have the same restrictions as the single color printing method. The multi-color machines can print more detailed images, large solid areas and other design elements that cannot be printed on the single color machines. If you choose to proceed with an order under these circumstances, you will be charged for multi-color nickels, even if they are one single color.
Single color art must be sent as monochrome, black and white line art with no shades of gray. If you do not have the capabilities of converting your art/image to monochrome, we can do so, usually at no charge. However, if your art is complicated and cannot be easily converted you will incur an extra art charge. See picture below for monochrome art.
The ink we use for single color printing is rubber based ink and is non toxic. Stock single colors are; Black, Blue, Green, Red, Brown, Purple, Orange, Turquoise and Burgundy. Specific PMS colors are available at an additional charge. PMS colors will vary slightly since we are printing on wood.
The multi-color printing method is capable of printing all colors except white. All design elements that should be white will actually not print and therefore be the natural wood color. We do not recommend printing in light colors such as yellow, beige, grey, etc…, as these colors do not show up well when printed on a light brown wood surface. If your logo/art contains light colors and cannot be changed, these colors should be outlined or bordered by a darker color to make them stand out against the wood. Lettering, unless very large and very bold, should not be outlined. Small thin lines will run together.
Send your art/logo in the colors you want them printed in. Spot colors will work better than photographs but photos do work fine. Colors will vary slightly since wooden nickels are not pure white. Colors may appear dark or dull, in which case our art department may make adjustments to your multi-color photo or graphic to make up for this difference. If you are concerned about how possible changes will look, please request pre-production samples (there is an additional charge and added production time for pre-production samples).
Multi-color ink is water based and non-toxic.
Laser Engraved Items
Laser engraved/cut images do not contain color. The design is etched into the wood and appears almost like a brand. However, art can be sent in full color, gray scale or monochrome line art and we will convert the image to the format we need. While laser engraved images do not contain color, the laser does recognize half tones and shades. Full color and grayscale images will have depth and contrast whereas monochrome images will be a single, flat consistency.
If you want wording added to a logo or art, you can send the text information, the artwork and a general idea of how you want the design laid out and we will do all of the typesetting. We do not charge extra for typesetting. Like printed wooden nickels, round laser engraved items can be created using the online wooden nickel designer.
Printed Wood and Leather Items
Leather items and YOYO’s are printed using the multi-color printing method which is capable of printing all colors except white. All design elements that should be white will actually not print and therefore be the natural wood or leather color. We do not recommend printing in light colors such as yellow, beige, grey, etc…, as these colors do not show up well when printed on a light to medium brown surface. If your logo/art contains light colors and cannot be changed, these colors should be outlined or bordered by a darker color to make them stand out against the wood or leather. Lettering, unless very large and very bold, should not be outlined. Small thin lines will run together.
Send your art/logo in the colors you want them printed in. Spot colors will work better than photographs but photos do work fine. Colors will vary slightly since wooden nickels are not pure white. Colors may appear dark or dull, in which case our art department may make adjustments to your multi-color photo or graphic to make up for this difference. Like printed wooden nickels, leather coaster designs can be created using the online wooden nickel designer.
We use CorelDraw16 for editing artwork and creating designs and layouts. You may send us CorelDraw CDR files from any version of CorelDraw up to version 16. Always convert all text to curves before sending. We may not have all the same fonts that you are using.
If you are using Adobe Illustrator, save your file in version comparable to Corel 16 or earlier, as an AI or EPS and convert all text to outlines. Macintosh users need to save in PC format.
Other graphics programs (from scanners or digital cameras, etc.) usually can export to TIF, JPG or BMP files. These files should be saved as 600 DPI at double size so that there is enough detail when we reduce it down to the imprint size. If sending multiple files DO NOT send a ZIP file. Send each file individually.
PNG files are recommended if you are using the Wooden Nickel Designer to create your wooden nickel design. Other file types are acceptable but may not preview clearly on the Designer or may not preview at all.