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Illustration Guidelines

Please keep in mind that illustrations should not be included simply to make a work appear more attractive. Illustrations should play a supportive role, reinforcing editorial points in the text or helping to further the reader’s understanding of issues you discuss. Please be judicious in selecting illustrations. Certain kinds of illustrations can be time-consuming or costly to produce for print production. In addition, permissions restrictions can complicate our ability to sell digital/electronic editions of your work or to reach overseas markets. Many books, of course, will and should contain only text.

Remember that the size at which your illustrations appear will be determined both by the book page and by the reproduction size and quality of the originals you submit. Sizing may limit the degree of detail that can be represented for certain illustrations. In a standard-sized book, the maximum width of an illustration is usually 5 inches; most illustrations will be set smaller.

It is important that the “originals” you submit for reproduction purposes be of high quality. To that end:

  1. Please submit original artwork (photograph, transparency, etc.) if at all possible.
  2. Photocopies and prints from digital files are not acceptable. If original artwork cannot be submitted, please commission a professional photographer to make a copy print or a professional scan (according to the guidelines below).
  3. If the art is originally digital (created using a software program or digital camera) or if it is only available digitally, please see the following guidelines for electronic art.
  4. Please submit an Art Log (provided separately) and accompanying Permissions Log and permissions letters.

Electronic Art Guidelines

  1. All images should be saved on a disk (either CD or DVD).
  2. Give your files indicative names according to the following schema: figure number, author last name, file extension (01Smith.tif, 02Smith.tif, etc.).
  3. Include electronic images on your list of illustrations, noting the file name and figure number.
  4. Include two sets of printouts of all images. Be sure to write the file name and figure number on the printouts as well.

Photographs and Line Art

1.     All scans should be saved as TIFF files. Scans in the following formats will not be accepted: JPEG, GIF, PSD, PNG, or BMP.

2.     Resolution (the number of pixels per unit used to form an image) should be determined at the scanning stage based on the size and qualities of the original.

3.     Photographs or fine art drawings that contain multiple levels of gray tones must be at least 300ppi. If the originating image is smaller than 5″ x 7″, it should be scanned at 600ppi or greater.

4.     Line art, or any drawing that consists only of black-and-white lines and shapes without gray tonalities, must be at least 1200ppi. If the originating image is smaller than 5″ x 7″, it should be scanned at 2400ppi or greater.

5.     Do not digitally alter any image you scan or have scanned; this includes sharpening, descreening, and similar modifications.

1.     If when downloading from a source the repository provides a JPEG, please submit the file “as is.” Do not open and resave, as it is extremely important that JPEG files not be altered in any way prior to submission.

2.     Acceptable downloads must be high-resolution (at least 300ppi at printable size) JPEG or TIFF files.
Charts, Graphs, Maps

  1. Please contact us if you are planning to use a map in your book. Do not attempt to draft your own map or commission one. (We can recommend a cartographer who will provide quality maps to our specifications.) If map files exist, we will review them, but please be aware that GIS software and other map-making programs are difficult to adapt to our purposes.
  2. Charts, graphs, timelines, etc., should be prepared in a vector-based program, such as Adobe Illustrator, and saved in the EPS file format. They should not include color. Please submit all accompanying fonts, and please also supply the drawing application files. If data files are available, please submit them as well.


Unusable Art

Please note that we cannot accept any of the following as final art for reproduction:

  • Photocopies or any art derived from photocopies
  • Non-professional scans
  • Scans of slides
  • Prints (including glossy) produced from digital files
  • Photographs of two-dimensional media, including photographs of book pages, newspapers, drawings, other photographs, paintings, etc.
  • Second-generation images, such as scans from books (an exception may be made if the original source material is absolutely unavailable)
  • Maps not prepared by a Press-approved cartographer
  • Images copied or downloaded from the Internet (an exception may be made for certain repositories, such as the Library of Congress, where large, high-resolution files are available for download)
  • Digital images in PDF format
  • MS Word or MS PowerPoint files
  • Poor-quality images derived from microfilm/microfiche
  • Color graphs, charts, tables, etc.