Graphic file formats, master files, Inkscape and me
May 19, 2013 4:01 PM   Subscribe

How do I get Inkscape files ready to be worked on in Illustrator?

I have some SVG files that I need to give to a professional graphic designer. These are files relating to a logo that I designed myself for our church. The designer is the husband of a church board member who has agreed to give us some design help.

The logo was created in Inkscape and saved as color, grayscale and b and w SVGs. I also exported the files into PNGs.

The designer says neither of those files are standard and he needs them to be EPS so he can use them to create master files in Illustrator. He shouldn't actually need to edit the logo itself.

I feel like I'm getting some weird attitude from this board member because I created this logo without being a bonafide designer like her husband. So I'm trying to make sure anything I send her at this point is exactly what she and her husband want. I downloaded a trial of Illustrator to see what would happen if I sent him the files the way I have them. The last thing I want is to hear back that they can't get the files and now we have to start all over again.

The SVGs open fine, but don't render as smoothly as in Inkscape. Lines are jagged and colors look desaturated. If I save the SVGs as EPS files in Inkscape (at 300 dpi) I get the same result in Illustrator. If I open either file in Scribus they look fine on the screen. If I print any of these files from any of these applications they print almost 100% perfectly. If you look closely, though, there is still some jaggedness on the diagonal lines.

I know I could just send him the EPS files as is, but I want to make sure that:
A. My original vector will print as smoothly as possible even after being converted to other formats
B. My EPS is saved the best way for this guy to work on in Illustrator
C. There isn't a better way to get him the files that he and I are missing
posted by Biblio to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a section called "To Save Illustrator Files in Inkscape for Windows" on this Inkscape Wiki page. They seem fairly straightforward.

While I don't have Inkscape, I do have Acrobat X (and Illustrator), so I'd be willing to help with the second method if you don't have any luck with the first one.
posted by Magnakai at 4:36 PM on May 19, 2013

Re: desaturated colors

Is your source file RGB and is Illustrator re-interpreting it as CMYK? I sometimes have that problem when importing "foreign" (aka not-created-in-Adobe) files and have to manually readjust in Illustrator to get colors back on track.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:38 PM on May 19, 2013

Illustrator will open SVGs. If the designer can't open your files, find another designer who is competent at their trade.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 PM on May 19, 2013

Your "300 dpi" note gives me pause. You are exporting vector EPS files, not bitmap EPS files, right? Inkscape apparently also supports exporting to Illustrator native .ai files as well; you could try that.

Illustrator does seem to have a little difficulty with SVG files, so it may be that the other designer is not incompetent. On the Adobe forums, they recommend EPS, AI and PDF as interchange formats, so maybe make all of those from Inkscape and see how they perform.

re: colors, I second These Birds of a Feather's comment about color space; you may be designing in RGB or some other color space that Illustrator doesn't understand or support. This is not really a big deal for a competent designer to handle. You don't specify what will be done with your logo, whether it's to be printed (CMYK) or viewed onscreen (RGB), but the designer would simply need to know what colors you want to use and adjust in your files as necessary.
posted by dammitjim at 7:59 AM on May 20, 2013

Response by poster: I know Illustrator can open the files in both formats, I was just concerned because both look jagged compared to how they look in Inkscape. Like I said, they print almost perfectly in all applications, but are still a bit pixelated, even when printed from the original SVG in Inkscape. When I say a bit, I mean, if I put my nose to the paper, I can see some jogs in the lines, so maybe it's my printer or I have unrealistic expectations

The logo will be used for print and the web. When I originally made it I converted it to PNG for web and MS Office use, since I have had good experience with that format before. And I know that printers like Vista Print (that we use often) accept SVGs, so I though we were covered. I had no idea we would need to convert it to other, more standard formats in Illustrator. I didn't realize Inkscape couldn't do that.

I have the colors in CMYK and RGB saved in a txt file for the designer to use.

I think I will just send him the EPS and a PDF for good measure. I'll tell him it looks weird but prints fine. If he's been doing this for 30 years like his wife says then he's probably seen it before.
posted by Biblio at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2013

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