STATIC GRAPHICSAlthough the term "graphic" can be used for any image, on the Graphic News Website it means an image containing drawn elements, words and picture elements that is "flat" and "static". Other types of downloadable files are available, the terms "interactive" or "responsive" being used for non-static images.
- Topical stories of world interest: Both sport and news graphics (i.e. Current Affairs, Business, Technology & Science, Entertainment, Geography, History, Anniversaries...) ... with a short contextual story and links to data sources.
- Constructed in Adobe Illustrator CS5 (CS4 prior to January 1, 2021) and made available as AI, PDF & JPG (CMYK). Other formats available on request.
- Supplied in six languages: English, Arabic, Dutch, German,Spanish, Portuguese.
- Can be translated or edited in Adobe Illustrator - the text being on a separate layer above the artwork. For editors and translators the text (in English) is also supplied as a separate file.
- Modifiable as constructed with consistent layers, views and grouping.
- ...and for digital publishers there are equivalent responsive screen graphics and responsive interactives.
• Sizes: Print graphics are created in three widths (52mm, 107mm and 163mm wide) corresponding to the one, two or three columns widths used in traditional newspaper design. For comparison: - A4 210 × 297 mm, A3 297 x 420 mm, US Letter 216 x 279 mm
• A JPG at 300 dpi (dots per inch) will give a quality print at the size specified. It can be enlarged but there is a limit. It starts to look fuzzy when you can distinguish the pixels (dots).
• When AI (or PDF) formats are used the drawn elements will stay sharp when enlarged, but any picture elements within the graphic will start to look fuzzy as with a JPG. Vector artwork can however look very crude when enlarged unless the artist has drawn the elements in sufficient detail.
• Shapes: Particular care should be taken when changing the size of graphics containing symmetrical objects such as wheels. These need to stay circular and not become oval.
• Shrinking graphics by more than 20% or the text will become illegible. That is why responsive graphics change their design when viewed on a mobile phone as against a laptop.
• Flipping:Care should be taken if a graphic is flipped left-to-right or vice versa because many objects are not symmetrical. Even faces can become unrecognizable when flipped.
• Graphics may be clipped on request (time permitting) and the drawn elements supplied separately. Clipped artwork is supplied with the English version of a graphic The keyword "Clipart" is reserved for such graphics
• If abstracting drawn elements, you can identify which layer the element you want is on by making each layer invisible and invisible and seeing when it disappears, or unlocking all layers and clicking on the element. The relevant layer will then be highlighted in the Layers Palette. All the elements within a layer may have been grouped so elements are not moved accidentally.
• When abstracting groups for use in print use the AI format of the print graphic rather than the responsive screen graphic (as the latter may be in RGB rather than CMYK)
• If using a version of Adobe Illustrator that is pre-CC, do NOT use the PDF for making modifications or abstracting elements; use the AI This is because with older versions the PDF will only be compatible with the version of Illustrator with which it was created. In other versions the layers will appear flattened and the grouping lost.
• Most drawn elements should be in the Main Art Layer
• Masks make graphics slow to RIP (Raster Image Processing) when printing.- A RIP is the translator that turns vector digit information such as an Illustrator PostScript file into a high-resolution image that a printer can output. When masks are used, calculating what is visible and what is not at each spot takes substantial processor time and capacity.
•The down-side to not using masks is that you may find some of the drawn elements have been cut and this can be irritating if you want to use them in a different location. It is worth contacting us in this circumstance as the artist that originated the graphic may have saved the original uncut element
• Text Layer
• Pointer Layer
• Top Art Layer
• Box Rule Layer (Contains the black rules above and below the graphic)
• Main Art Layer
• Placed Art Layer (Used for images and picture elements)
• Background Layer (Usually white or with a gradient fade)
• Translation Layer (Invisible as behind the background layer)
• Guides Layer (Invisible usually. Useful for aligning text)
If the layers appear to be missing, this could be because of incompatibility with the version of Adobe Illustrator you are using. With versions of Adobe Illustrator pre-CC, PDF are only compatible with the version of Illustrator with which they were created. Therefore always use the AI rather than PDF if you are making modifications.
• If areas of text are outlined to preserve the appearance when non-standard fonts are used, the pre-outlined and therefore editable version of the text will be preserved in the Translation layer.
• At Graphic News when a graphic is translated from English the words are translated directly into the graphic using Adobe Illustrator (version CS4 or later) (see below). This is fast and the translator can see the context and the space available.
• Alternatively, the words for English graphics are now available in a separate text file that can be sent to a translator or editor, together with the JPG (so that they can see the context). Translated words, or words that need changing, can be added below the English, matching the line length wherever possible. The translated words can then be given to someone with Adobe Illustrator who can replace the words in the graphic.
• Alternatively, words can be replaced using other software but you may need to contact us for a different format (such as EPS) or to get the artwork with the words removed.
When translating or editing words in an Adobe Illustrator document, first familiarise yourself with how the graphic is constructed - in particular what is seen with the pre-set Views and Layers. Then, in brief :-
• Select the AI file and open in Adobe Illustrator. At this point any missing fonts will be highlighted in pink. Replace these (Type/FontFix/Select/Replace). All the layers should be locked except the top text layer so you don't have to worry that you will disturb the artwork.
• Edit or translate the captions and standfirst (introductory paragraph) using the Text Tool, inserting line breaks as necessary. Cut or alter words at your discretion. Adjust the text width only if unavoidable and by no more than 80%. (If you are new to Illustrator, and you get into a mess, an editable copy of the text can be obtained from the Translation Layer if you go to the Translation View.)
• Translate the Headline: If it has been outlined you may need to first replace the outlined text with an editable version of the text. Select the headline with the Group Selection tool, delete, Go to the Translation View, Select the editable headline, Return to the Publish view. Place using Cmd-F. The headline text should now be positioned exactly where the outlined text was placed before.
• Check the text is clear on the graphic and not clashing with any artwork. Adjust the pointers so they are consistently positioned relative to the text captions (3 points). Remove any floating handles.
• Save the graphic, changing the filename to distinguish it from the original. Selecting Publish View first will ensure the graphic opens consistently with all layers locked except the Text layer.
• If an archive graphics is used that contains a linked image, the JPG and the AI will be in a folder. It is important that they are kept together. To open the graphic, open the AI and this will pull in the image automatically. It can then be embedded and the separate JPG file dumped.
Before Adobe Illustrator CC, if you opened a document with a font that wasn’t available on your computer, an alternative could be substituted without your noticing, and the graphic would look horrible. This wouldn’t happen now because with Adobe Illustrator CC any text without the appropriate font is highlighted in pink - so difficult to miss. Headlines containing non-standard fonts were therefore outlined to maintain the appearance of a graphic.
With legacy graphics, to make the headline easily editable, the fully editable English text (from before the headline was outlined) was preserved in a “Translation Layer” (hidden behind a background layer). It was therefore easy to select all the text in the “Text Layer” (the text visible on the graphic) with all the text in the Translation Layer (Cmd-F) thereby making all the text editable.
NOTE: The Translation Layer is so-called because it was produced so that the original text was preserved after translation and/or could be used by translators.
Helvetica Bold – Current graphics and reissued archive graphics
Georgia (for the headline with Arial for the captions) – for a short period from April 2017 when responsive screen graphics were first introduced.
Franklin Gothic Std Condensed – (2008-2016)
Helvetica Black (also known as Helvetica Std 2 – (pre 2008).
With a text box the text flows automatically. This makes it easier to substitute text but you have less control of where the line breaks occur. Because the cuts of fonts from different sources vary very slightly even though they have the same name the same, you can sometimes find the line breaks are garbled when a files is opened, even though they were perfect when the artist packed it. Worse still, some words may be hidden at the end of the text box. To avoid the danger of this happening, carriage returns are used to produce line breaks.
NOTE: If a legacy graphic is opened that has used a text box, and the text is garbled select all the text and ensure the “set width” is 100% (found under Text pull-down menu> Character> Show Options> bottom box on right hand side). Progressively reduce the set width (95%, 93%, 90%) until the text returns to its correct position.
First determine how much extra space is needed
• Use the 'Direct Selection Tool' (open arrow) to select the stand-first.
• Look in the character palette to see what the leading / line distance is -- usually 9.5 pt. This is how much you need to enlarge the background to accommodate an extra line of text.
Now expand the background layer by 9.5pt:
• Lock the text layer and unlock the Background Layer
• Drag with the Direct Selection Tool in a square across the entire top of the graphic. This will select the two top anchor points at the top of the background.
• Press Cmd-K to call up the preferences window, and set the 'keyboard increment' to 9.5 pt.
• Press the up-arrow-key once to expand the background layer by 9.5 pt. Then lock the background layer.
Now move the box rule at the top of the graphic up by 9.5pt:
• Unlock the Box Rule Layer.
• Drag with the Direct Selection Tool in a square across the entire top of the graphic. This will select the top black line above the title.
• Press the up-arrow key one to move the top black line up 9,.5pt. Then lock the box rule layer.
Now move the headline up:
• Unlock the Text Layer.
• Select the headline and press the up-arrow key to move it up by 9.5pt.
Now you’ve got room for another line in the standfirst
• Click File / Document Setup
• Add 9.5 pt to the height of the box and click OK.
• Press Cmd-K to call up the preferences window and set the 'keyboard increment' to 5 pt, say.
• Press Cmd-A to select everything on the graphic, and use the arrow-keys to adjust the position of the graphic. Changing the keyboard increment to 1pt if necessary.
• Now select View / Publish view to lock the layers and position the graphic