Illustration Submission Guidelines

Contact your Editor or the Head of Production, Ian Davidson, with any queries.

Supplying Digital Images

If these guidelines are followed, we should be able to handle your digital files. Please note, however, that because of the range and variety of formats available we cannot cover every option. If you have any queries, ask your editor or email our head of production, Ian Davidson: [email protected].

Most images sourced on the internet will not be of a high enough resolution and cannot be used. If you locate an image on the internet, you will need to find its original source and request a high-resolution version.

You will need to clear permission as necessary for the use of images. For information regarding copyright and permission to reproduce images, please refer to the Clearing Copyright page.

Each image should be detailed on your Illustrations Checklist form.


  • Scan at a minimum of 300 dpi and save as a TIFF image for PC
  • Final size of scan to be approximately 250 x 200 mm

Line illustrations (maps, graphs, etc.)

  • Scan at a minimum of 1200 dpi and save as a TIFF image for PC
  • Final size of the scan to be approximately 250 x 200 mm


Tints used on computer-generated illustrations should be no lighter than 15% and no darker than 70%. Do not use pattern fills. Do not use colour fills.

Line weights

Bearing in mind that line illustrations supplied at approximately 250 x 200 mm will be reduced in size to fit comfortably on an average page size of 234 x 156 mm, the line weights will be reduced correspondingly. Do not, therefore, use a line weight of less than 1 pt in illustrations.

Illustration file types


Save files as TIFF images for PC. We would prefer you not to compress TIFF files; if you need to compress them, use a lossless compression software package such as LZW.


Images can also be supplied as EPS files, with a laser print for identification. EPS files cannot be altered; if we are required to edit these files, the original application files should be supplied with all fonts used.

Other digital formats

JPGs and images downloaded from the internet are normally low resolution (72 dpi) and are not usually suitable for reproduction by conventional printing methods.

Unacceptable file types: MS Word and Excel

Do not submit illustrations or graphs created in MS Word or Excel. These cannot easily be imported into the typesetting programs that we use. If illustrations are supplied in this format, we may need to redraw them and you could be charged for this. Please discuss this with your commissioning editor.

Press-quality proofs

Edinburgh University Press cannot accept responsibility for the final printed quality of any images supplied digitally without an adequate press-quality proof. Without sight of the original illustration or control of the scanning procedure, we cannot be sure of getting an adequate printed result.

Print images

If you are supplying print images, mark each illustration very lightly on the back (in the corner) in a soft pencil with its number (e.g. ‘Figure 4.1’).

Sending us your images

Digital media storage

Files can be supplied on CD, DVD or memory stick, which you can send to your Assistant Editor/Assistant Commissioning Editor in the post.

File transfer

You can upload the files to the Edinburgh University Press FTP site (please contact your Assistant Editor/Assistant Commissioning Editor for details). Alternatively, we can download images from other FTP sites or from other file transfer programs such as Dropbox.

Please do not supply illustrations as email attachments.


Print images can be sent to your Assistant Editor/Assistant Commissioning Editor by post.

Information to accompany illustrations

  1. Supply a list of all the illustrations with their numbers, using the Illustrations Checklist form.
  2. On the list, indicate the number of each illustration, the file name for each digital image (or check the correct number is on the back of images supplied in print format), and indicate whether you want it to appear as a full-page illustration, half-page or smaller than half-page (you don’t have to give exact dimensions). If you have not been specific, the typesetter will size them according to their discretion.
  3. Note any special treatment (e.g. cropping) that is required. It will be helpful to also mark the cropping either on tracing paper attached to the illustration (taking care not to indent the illustration by leaning heavily with pencil) or on a print out of your image, if you are supplying digital images. This will enable the designer to show the most important parts of the illustration to best effect.
  4. Indicate where, approximately, you would like the illustration to appear (e.g. near paragraph 4 on p. XX; before paragraph 2 on p. XX, etc.). If you find it easier, it would be fine to send a photocopy of the relevant page with an arrow showing where the illustration should be placed. Exact placements are not always possible, but the typesetter will place the illustrations as close to your preferred position as they can.
  5. Give the caption for the illustration.
  6. If the book is to have a List of Illustrations, duplicate the captions on the above list and head it ‘Illustrations’.
  7. If you are acknowledging the sources of your illustrations, include this in the List of Illustrations or, if you have decided against a List of Illustrations, at the end of the captions.
  8. Send the Illustrations Checklist form, List of Illustrations and the illustrations to your Assistant Editor/Assistant Commissioning Editor at Edinburgh University Press.
  9. If the typesetters raise any queries about the illustrations or their placing, they will seek our guidance and we shall contact you.


What file size is acceptable?

It isn’t about file size: it’s about the size of the image and the dpi. The image dimensions should be nearly the same as the final printed version (as above, aim for 250 x 200 mm) and saved at 300 dpi.

An image can make quite a large file, and be saved at 300 dpi, but in fact still be unusable.

Example 1

Example 1: image size too small

This image is only 25 x 20 mm at 200 ppi. In the printed book, it will be roughly 120 x 80 mm. This means that this image is not acceptable: just as in blowing up a balloon, the pixels become more widely spaced as the image gets bigger, and the quality gets worse.

Example 2

Example 2: image size just right

In this example, the image is 200 x 126 mm at 300 ppi. As this is close to the print size, this image is acceptable.

Can I use images from the internet?

Almost never. They will generally be at 72 dpi and this will give a very poor result in the printed book.

I want to use screen grabs from a DVD

Provided you can set your software to save these at sufficiently high resolution, they may be acceptable.

I’ve been offered digital images suitable for ebooks

Again, these will probably be at a lower resolution than we need for printed books. We produce our ebooks from the print files, so the quality of material supplied must be suitable for print work.

Illustrations Checklist

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