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Appendix 1: Detailed Artwork Guidelines


- Before you begin

- Types of artwork: line art

- Considerations when preparing line art

- Types of artwork: photographs

- Originating photographs

- Resolution

- General notes on photographs

- Medical artwork

- Types of artwork: combinations

- Positioning artwork

- Frequently asked questions

- Appendix A—Methods for checking resolution

Before you begin . . .

The term ‘artwork’ relates to all non-textual material and includes ‘figures’, ‘line drawings’, ‘illustrations’, ‘halftones’, and ‘photographs’. Artwork can be produced either as print-ready or in draft form (requiring some input from a typesetter or illustrator).

  • Artwork directly reproduced or adapted from a third party source will need copyright clearance and this must be obtained before final manuscript submission. Further details are provided in Copyright Permissions.
  • Be mindful that there is often a cost associated with artwork. In your Contract it will stipulate who covers any artwork costs associated with your title.
  • For information on how to submit artwork (how to number and save it, keep records, write legends and callouts, and so on), please see Artwork.
    If you have any questions about any of these points or any of the following instructions, please do not hesitate to contact your OUP Editor.

Types of artwork: line art

Line art can be prepared in the following ways:

  1. as roughs to be redrawn, or;
  2. as final print-ready files that just require placing by the typesetter.
    Whichever method you choose, you must follow the instructions on how to prepare and submit artwork.

Throughout this section, any information that appears in a yellow box relates to the production of print-ready artwork only.

1. Preparing a ‘rough’ by hand or using a non-professional package such as MS Word or PowerPoint that a typesetter or illustrator will then redraw.

In order for artwork to be reproduced accurately, you must provide explicit instructions and clear drawings. Explain any technical features that may not be clear from your rough; for example: if two lines on a graph must be of different thicknesses; if a line with rough steps in should really be a smooth curve; if a particular pattern of shading must be preserved because it is mentioned in the main text; and so on.

Example 1 shows an author’s hand-drawn rough (a) and the final figure (b), redrawn by the typesetter.

a.)art b.)art1

 Example 1

2. Using a professional software package such as Illustrator or Freehand, to prepare print-ready artwork to a given specification, which can be placed directly into the final text by the typesetter.

It is crucial that artwork is consistent throughout the text and that it complements the design of the title. Before you prepare any print-ready art, speak to your OUP Editor who will provide you with specifications for line weight, sizing, colours, and fonts, or will help you to develop your own specifications document. It is essential that you follow such specifications otherwise complications are likely to occur during production. For example, if you use a line weight that is too fine for the printer to recognize, the artwork will not print properly.

All print-ready artwork should be supplied as an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps), or Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file. If possible, please also supply the artwork as a Portable Document Format (.pdf) file.

If you need the typesetter or illustrator to adapt the submitted figure before publication, you must provide clear instructions.

Example 2 shows a sample specification document for authors supplying print-ready artwork (specifically chemical structures) for their text, to be drawn in ChemDraw.


Example 2

Considerations when preparing line art

Titles being printed in colour (2-colour or 4-colour)

Your OUP Editor will confirm early in the planning stages whether the title will be printed in black and white, 2-colour, or 4-colour, and whether it will have a plate section. If you are not sure whether colour will be used in your text, please check with your OUP Editor.

Tip! A plate section is a collection of pages of photographs and line art, usually colour, which is bound together in sections in the printed book.

Remember the following points when preparing artwork in colour:

  • If you are submitting rough drawings or photocopies of source material for typesetters or illustrators to work from, annotate the hard copy to show how colour should be used. Alternatively, use a coloured pencil, pen, or crayon to physically mark-up how colour should be applied.
  • If you are preparing electronic roughs (in MS Word or PowerPoint, for example) either add colour directly into the electronic image or mark up a hard copy of the electronic image (as per hand-drawn or photocopied roughs).
  • Use colour for the purposes of adding educational value to artwork, rather than just to add visual appeal.
  • Ensure that the use of colour is systematic.
  • Mark-ups do not have to be perfect but such guidance will be invaluable in helping the typesetter or illustrator produce artwork that meets your requirements and expectations, with the minimum of redrafting.

Shading and tints

Only four tints can be distinguished in any one diagram. If more than four shades are required, use patterns instead.

Be consistent! Adopt the same styles in terms of shading and types of lines used for curves, arrowheads, and so on.

If you plan to submit print-ready artwork, please contact your OUP Editor for specific guidance regarding the use of colour and how to set up your drawing software. Your drawing software must be set up in a particular way for typesetting systems to interpret the colour correctly. Set-up is not difficult but getting it right before you start will save unnecessary work later on.


  • Labelling should be minimal and must be consistent with stylistic conventions used in the text. OUP titles typically use sentence case for labels (an initial capital for the first word only).
  • Check that the labels correspond with those cited in the figure legend and text. Note that this may mean that you need to re-label artwork taken from other sources.
  • If you wish to use italic and bold, indicate this clearly when drawing your rough. Be consistent with your use of italic and bold.
  • All labels on the ordinates and abscissae in graphs should show the relevant units in brackets.
  • If the relative position of labels is important, indicate this clearly when drawing your rough.
  • Make good use of the area around the artwork you are labelling. Space the labels carefully so they are not crowded.

If you plan to submit print-ready artwork, please contact your OUP Editor for specific guidance regarding typography.


If you are submitting line art to be redrawn and you would like to stipulate the size at which it is printed (for example, ½ page; ¼ page; full page), do so in the OUP Artwork Log.

If you plan to submit print-ready artwork, please contact your OUP Editor for specific guidance regarding sizing. The area available for artwork will depend on the title’s format, text design, and where the image falls within the text.

  • Ask your OUP Editor for the dimensions available for artwork (for example, the width and height a line drawing needs to be to fill a quarter of a page, half a page, or a full page).
  • Using the dimensions supplied by your OUP Editor, prepare the illustrations at the actual size that they will appear in the text.

Types of artwork: photographs

You may originate photographs yourself, or with the help of a photographer if you have access to one who does not require payment. Alternatively, you can source them from a third party, for which permission will need to be sought.

Originating photographs

If you are taking photographs, having them taken by a photographer, or using existing photographs you have taken in the past, you must have written permission from anyone in the photograph and the photographer. Contact your OUP Editor for a Consent Form template. (For information on patient content, for medical photographs, please see the ‘Medical Artwork' section

How to take a good photograph

  • Use a digital camera with at least 10 mega pixels and an accurate lens. (A camera phone will not do even if it does have over 10 mega pixels because the lens is not proficient enough.)
  • Set your camera to the largest possible file size.

When shooting, check that:

  • The lighting is bright but there are not strong shadows.
  • The background is clear and the camera is steady.
  • The photo just shows what you intend it to—there are no other distractions in it.
  • When photographing objects on a surface, ensure that the surface is clear of texture and marks. Use a white surface for all objects unless they are transparent or pale, in which case use a contrasting but neutral colour.

Example 3 shows good and bad photographs. Note that:

(a) Is very clear, whereas (b) is out of focus.

(c) Is well cropped, whereas (d) is not as there is too much space surrounding the stethoscope.

(a)square1 (b)square2
(c)square3 (d)square4

Example 3


Key definitions

  • Image size/dimension is the number of dots or pixels in the width and height of an image: for example, 800 × 600.
  • Resolution (‘res’) is the number of dots or pixels in a given area: dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi) (same measurement).
  • Visual/printed size is the actual size at which the image will be printed or displayed: for example, 3 × 4 inches.
  • A high-resolution image is one that can be reproduced at the required dimensions and quality. 300dpi at 4 × 6 inches is considered high-resolution. An image that does not meet this requirement is low-resolution, poor quality, and cannot be used.

Tip! Any photograph must have a resolution of at least 300dpi at the final printed size, so that it achieves the minimum requirements for professional good-quality printing. Always use 4 × 6 inches (or 10 × 15 centimetres) for the final printed size when calculating the resolution.

How does resolution work?

Resolution is not a set value, it is variable, and is inversely proportional to visual size. If you decide to double the visual size, the resolution will halve, reducing the quality. Example 4 illustrates the same photograph at different resolutions.


Example 4

Tip! Do not artificially increase the resolution of a photo in software packages like Photoshop. It does not increase the printed quality of the photograph.

Checking the resolution of a photograph

You can check the resolution of a photograph using a variety of methods. A few of these are given in Appendix A, at the end of this document.

General notes on photographs


If you supply a photograph electronically, the typesetter will use it ‘as is’; they will only crop the image if instructed. Mark areas to be cropped on a photocopy and supply it with the electronic file.

Converting from colour to black and white

If you have a colour photograph that is going to be printed in black and white, do not convert it yourself, this will be done by the typesetter. Be aware that some colour photographs do not convert well into black and white, so they will need to be checked by your OUP Editor. (You can get an idea of what your photograph will look like by using the ‘convert to greyscale’ function for pictures in MS Word, although this won't accurately reflect the final print version.)

Medical artwork

If you are taking a photograph of a patient you will need to ask them to complete a Patient Consent Form (please ask your OUP Editor for a template).

Medical artwork, such as X-rays and MRI scans, are not produced with print publishing in mind!

  • Sourcing high-resolution images is often difficult. Where there is no other option but to use a low-resolution version we can do this, but be aware that some print quality will be lost.
  • Consider whether meaning will be lost if colour medical images are reproduced in black and white.
  • Consider the use of colour for arrows, asterisks, and labels against the background they will be printed on. For example, would a white asterisk be easier to see on a grey background?
  • Always ensure patient identity is obscured in images provided.

If you need to include cardiac traces in your title, please provide the originals to be scanned. Note that some of the quality will be lost. If you would like to add labels to traces, mark these up on a photocopy and the typesetter will add them electronically.

Types of artwork: combinations

You can use both line art and photograph in one piece of artwork. Supply an electronic file with the high-resolution photograph along with a drawing showing how you would like the artwork to appear in the final text.

Example 5 shows a combination artwork. In this particular example, the line drawing was submitted in MS Word, with an instruction to be redrawn:

(a) Shows the photograph and text submitted in rough.

(b) Shows the high-resolution photograph to be used into the final figure.

(c) Shows the final artwork created by the typesetter.




Example 5

Positioning artwork

Artwork within chapters

Artwork within chapters should be labelled using the chapter number and figure number. For example, the fourth figure in Chapter 1 should be labelled Figure 1.4 and the eighth figure in Chapter 17 should be labelled Figure 17.8.

Tip! If any artwork needs to be ‘anchored’ (placed in a particular position when typeset) be sure to include an instruction. See Using in-text features.

Artwork in a plate section

If your title is not being printed in full colour but requires some colour artwork, your OUP Editor might decide that a colour-plate section is appropriate. Artwork for this should be labelled ‘Plate 1’, Plate 2’, and so on.

Plates should be submitted in the same way as all other artwork, to the same specifications: high-resolution, clear, and relevant.

In the text, ensure that there is a call out directing the reading to the plate, for example ‘See Plate 1’.

Artwork within chapters and in a plate section

Check with your OUP Editor whether artwork in your plate section should also appear in black and white within the chapters. If artwork is going in both, it should be labelled in the chapter as normal (for example, Figure 1.1), and at the end of the caption you should add: ‘See also Plate 1’. In the plate section, OUP will insert the plate number (for example, Plate 1’), and then ‘See also Figure 1.1, page 3'.

Frequently asked questions 


Question Answer
If I get permission from the copyright holder, can I use a photograph that I have found on a webpage? Photographs copied from a webpage are low resolution. Unless you are able to get the high-resolution file from the copyright holder you will not be able to include it.
I’ve got a photograph that isn’t a TIFF or JPEG file. Can I still use it? Check with your OUP Editor. Depending on the file type, you might be able to. It is unlikely however if it is a .doc, .ppt, .xls, .pdf, .bmp, .psd, .pub, or .png file.
What should I do if I feel that my artwork needs special attention to ensure quality of reproduction? If you feel that artwork has to be handled especially carefully—for example, if you are including fine art where colour match is very important, large-format colour photographs, or dense and dark artwork, discuss this with your OUP Editor, who will work with the Production Editor to ensure that the most appropriate production methods are used.
What will my line art look like once it has been redrawn? The typesetters and illustrators we work with follow the OUP Illustrations House Style. If you would like to see this, speak to your OUP Editor.
For easy reference, can I embed all the photographs for a chapter into a MS Word or PowerPoint document? You can do this but only if the MS Word or PowerPoint document is accompanied with separate image files (.tiff or .jpeg) for each photograph.
What file types should print-ready artwork be supplied in? TIFF is preferred for photographs and .eps is preferred for line art.
Can I use screenshots in my text? To ensure that the quality is as high as possible make sure you maximize the program you are taking a screenshot of. If it needs cropping, please do not do this yourself. Send the screenshot as a TIFF or JPEG file accompanied by a hard copy marked up with the cropping lines required.
It is important to note that normal copyright rules apply. See Copyright Permissions and speak to your OUP Editor if you have any queries
Can I assume that it will be possible for a typesetter or illustrator to redraw any existing line art (provided I have permission from the copyright holder)? In some instances, reproduction may not be possible, for example, if the original line art is very complex. Where image files (with 600dpi) are not available, the line art can be scanned. This is always a last resort, as quality will be lost. Do not scan the line art yourself; send it to your OUP Editor who will liaise with your Production Editor to have it professionally scanned and checked for resolution.
I would like to use a photograph from an existing publication and have permission from the copyright holder to do so, but I cannot get the digital file. What should I do? If you have permission to use a photograph from the copyright holder but you cannot obtain the digital file, the photograph can be scanned. This is a last resort as quality will be lost. Do not scan the photograph yourself; send it to your OUP Editor who will liaise with your Production Editor to have it professionally scanned and checked for resolution.

Appendix A: methods for checking resolution

Five types of software program are given here. Three are suitable for Microsoft Windows users only and two are Mac compatible.

Tip! Vector-based images (line drawings), such as those created in Adobe Illustrator (.ai/.eps files), are effectively resolution-free, so do not need checking.

The minimum resolutions at printed size (4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres)) are:

Type Minimum size
Printed photograph 300dpi

Printed line art

  • Simple
  • Detailed



Checking with Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder where the image is stored.
  3. Right click on the image you want to check and choose ‘Properties’ from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the ‘Details’ tab, to get the dimensions in pixels.
  5. Divide these dimensions by the minimum dpi required to get the size at which it can be printed in the text. If it is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15centimetres), speak to your OUP Editor. See the worked example in the ‘Tip!’


Tip! Here is a worked example:

An image’s dimensions are 850 × 1100 pixels

Pixels/required resolution (300dpi) = Printable size

Divide pixels (or ‘dots’) by 300 to get the size it can be printed in inches:
          (850/300) × (1100/300) = 2.8 × 3.7 inches


Divide pixels (or ‘dots’) by 120 to get the size it can be printed in centimetres:
          (850/120) × (1100/120) = 7.0 × 9.3 centimetres

As the printable size is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres) this photograph would need to be checked by an OUP Editor.

Checking with Microsoft Office Picture Manager

  1. Open the image you wish to check in Microsoft Office.
  2. Click anywhere on the image and right click. Choose ‘Properties’ on the drop-down menu.
  3. The window that appears to the right will show you the dimensions in pixels. (You might have to click ‘More’ next to ‘Picture properties’).
  4. Follow Step 5 of the Windows Explorer instructions above to check what size it can be printed at. If it is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres), speak to your OUP Editor.

Note: do not use the horizontal and vertical resolutions as given under ‘Picture properties’.



Checking in Microsoft Paint

  1. Open the image you wish to check in Microsoft Paint.
  2. In the main menu, click ‘Properties’, which will open an ‘Image Properties’ window.
  3. By clicking ‘Pixels’ in the ‘Units’ field, you can get the dimensions in pixels. Carry out the calculation in Step 5 of the Windows Explorer instructions, to check what size it can be printed at.
  4. Alternatively, if the resolution given in the ‘File Attributes’ field is 300dpi, you can simply click ‘Inches’ in the ‘Units’ field to get the printable size. If it is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres), speak to your OUP Editor.


Checking with IrfanView

  1. Open the image you wish to check in IrfanView.
  2. Click ‘Image’ on the toolbar and choose ‘Information’ from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the ‘Images properties’ window that opens, change the resolution to that which you require. For example, to check a photograph, it needs to be 300 × 300.
  4. This will automatically update the printable dimensions (‘Print size’). If it is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres), speak to your OUP Editor.


Note: when opening a file using IrfanView, it will open all the image files in the same folder. You can scroll through all the images without having to open them separately, however, you have to close the ‘Image properties’ window before scrolling from one image to the next.

Checking with Photoshop

  1. Open the image you wish to check in Photoshop.
  2. Click ‘Image’ on the toolbar and choose ‘Image Size’ from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the ‘Image size’ window, uncheck the ‘Resample Image’ box and change the Resolution, in the ‘Document Size’ field, to 300 if you are checking a photograph (or to 600/1200 if you are checking simple/complex line art).
  4. This will automatically update the printable dimensions. If it is less than 4 × 6 inches (10 × 15 centimetres), speak to your OUP Editor.