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Artwork (2 of 3)

Preparing your figures can be tricky and there are lots of areas to consider. We’ve already looked briefly at sizing and labelling, so in this article we’ll focus on colour and how to get the best out of shading … Artwork Tips Part 2!

Colour Printing figures in colour is free for all our journals and book series. If your artwork is to be in colour, use bold, solid colours as these will reproduce well, and tightly crop the image. Supply your colour figure as RGB with the ICC profile used by the software processing the file (e.g. sRGB). Your file will ideally be an EPS or PDF or a TIFF (600 dpi). When we print your figure, we will convert the RGB files to CMYK so you should note that colours will not be identical when viewing on screen and in print.

Shading Avoid tints if possible. If you have to use tints they should be a minimum 15% and maximum of 85%. For best results, do not include more than three levels of tints as the differentials will be lost on printing. When creating a scale or using different shades to highlight areas in the figure, increase the contrast between shades as much as possible and use increments of 25%. This will allow you five ‘shades’ in your figure – white, 25% tone, 50% tone, 75% tone and black. In some instances it may be better to reverse the greyscale so that large areas of dark grey next to black become light grey next to white. Think about whether you need grey shading at all in the figure – cross-hatching can be used more effectively to represent particular regions of a graph or histogram (see below). Or you could try numbering the shaded regions and supplying a key to the numbered areas.

Top tip Artwork 2 of 3 illustration Shading example

You can find all the information you need in the Illustrations guidelines on our website.

Best wishes 

The Production Team