Creating wax seal/stamp artwork for the first time? Or just need a refresher? In this guide we take you through our custom artwork process, artwork guidelines and requirements, formatting your artwork and our custom order process.
Before we get into the details, it’s important to start off by saying that wax is an imperfect medium! Like handmade paper or raw-edge silk ribbon, wax by nature will have slight variations and imperfections from seal-to-seal. While this is part of their beauty – it also makes it extremely important to create the right type of artwork to make your seals as beautiful as possible! So, let’s get started!
Custom Artwork Process
By thoughtfully designing your artwork using our four-step process, you can rest easy knowing your seals will come out client-perfect every time!
- You design the artwork for your wax seals or wax stamp
- Choose the right shape/size to compliment your design
- Submit your artwork online and place your order
- We send you an electronic proof via email for your approval
Artwork Requirements & Guidelines
The most common mistake we see with wax seal artwork is the use of 2D illustration techniques like shading and crosshatching. As the artwork you are about to create will be used to create a 3D engraving – those techniques will not translate the same way once pressed in wax.
Instead – we use layers of engraving to create the same effect.
Use Layers to Create Dimension
Layer your design using different shades of color (light gray being the shallowest engraving and black being the deepest engraving) to create dimension!
Quick Tip: Think of your design like a pyramid – where the base layer (shallowest) is the lightest gray, the middle layer is a medium gray (mid depth engrave) and the very top of the pyramid (deepest engrave) is in black.
Use Size to Your Advantage
If you want to create an extremely intricate design, use size to your advantage by increasing the size of your seal to enhance fine details, and avoid line merging.
The most common adjustment we make to client artwork is the size of wax seal.
Why? Because we want your seals to be as clear as possible – and size is the biggest contributor to that! Think of size as your friend – especially if you love working with ornate calligraphy, delicate floral illustrations, or complex artwork!
The larger the seal, the more intricate detail we can capture in wax! With sizes ranging from 0.5” to 1.5”, there really is a size for every design! For larger sizes, please place a special order via email at email@example.com
Optimal Line Thickness
Incorrect: Thin lines with too much detail
Incorrect: Thickened lines with too much detail
Correct: Simplified artwork with thickened lines
Thicker lines will stand out more when pressed into wax. We have a minimum line thickness requirement of 0.6 points. We also recommend leaving 0.6 points (3 pixels, 0.230 mm, or 0.009″) of negative space between each line to be engraved to keep your artwork from merging together. Our Engraving Team will thicken your artwork before engraving if it does not meet these standards.
Please note that for light colored wax (Vellum, White, etc.) the optimal line thickness recommendation increases to 1.3 points or 6 pixels.
Incorrect: Text too small
Correct: Text sized appropriately
While we love seeing your beautiful fonts and calligraphy on wax seals, it’s also very important that it’s legible! Our recommended font size is 0.06″ or 1.5 mm tall. The thickness of the font should follow the “optimal line thickness” requirements above.
Designs with at least 50% coverage on the brass die space are less susceptible to blemishing or bubbles.
If you are working with a large seal size (+1.50”) aim for at least 60-70% coverage.
Quick Tip: Working with less than 50% coverage or a wax seal 1.5″ or larger? We highly recommend adding a background/texture to your design for a layered effect! Make sure to send this in a separate layer.
*Our Engraving Team will add a background to your proof on larger designs that are prone to blemishing and bubbling (the background will be shown in a light grey).
Optimal Detail for 0.75″
Optimal Detail for 1.00″
Optimal Detail for 1.25″
Optimal Detail for 1.5″
Formatting Your Artwork
No matter what type of design you are creating, making sure your artwork is formatted correctly is the most important factor in creating beautiful wax seals!
As part of the proofing process, our Engraving Team will provide you with detailed feedback and their recommendations on how to optimize your artwork for wax seals.
To get your artwork “proof ready”, make sure that it meets the requirements below.
Custom Artwork Requirements:
- High resolution file (300 dpi) i.e. it should not be blurry when you zoom into the file
- Black and white vector format
- PDF, .ai, .eps format is preferred
- High quality .jpeg and .gif files are also accepted
- No shading/3D effects
- Black areas will be raised when pressed into wax
- For exact placement of your design within the die, please make sure to send your artwork with a dieline (please do not use black or shades of grey)
Incorrect: Low Resolution Bitmap
Incorrect: Low Resolution Bitmap Converted to Vector
Correct: High Resolution Vector
- Make sure to design your artwork with a dieline showing your desired shape and include specifications when placing your order.
- If you are putting your wax seals on a specialty surface (such as glass or a curved surface), make sure to let our team know as some adhesive types may be restricted for certain shapes.
- When ordering shaped seals, it is important to keep the shape of the wax seal edge (or “bleed”) in mind. When pressed into wax, this excess wax will potentially create a different shape than the die itself (see examples below).
Every time you place a new order for custom wax seals, you will receive an electronic ARTISAIRE branded proof with a mock-up of your design for approval. Your design will not move into production, until the proof has been approved by you (or your client). Please check your spam folder, and if you do not receive a proof within 1 business day, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you are sending the wax seal proof along to your client, we recommend creating your own branded proof template that you can simply insert the image from our proof and send off to your client for approval.
This will help to prevent any brand confusion by sending an Artisaire PRO proof to your client directly!
Custom Order Process
After you’ve approved your proof and placed your order:
- You will receive an order confirmation with an estimated delivery date based on the shipping method that you opted for at checkout.
- Our Engraving Team will create a branded electronic proof for you within 1 business day – which will be sent to you via email. Please watch your inbox, as the email may reference our proofing company named Ashore.
- If approved, please press the approved button in the top right corner. If you would like to make changes, please follow the instructions as per the proofing email. We offer up to 2 revisions at no charge. Once you are happy with the revised proof, press the approved button in the top right corner. Your order will not move into production until that approved button is pressed. Please note that your estimated delivery date will change if your proof is not approved within 1 business day, before 2pm PST.
- Once we receive your approval, we will send you an order status update email with your estimated ship and arrival date.
If you have questions about creating custom artwork or placing custom orders, let us know by sending an email to email@example.com
The Artisaire PRO Team