Embedding linked images in Adobe Illustrator

Guess who learned another lesson today…?

I’ve been making object labels for artworks for an exhibition. They will be printed in vinyl, and for vinyl you need to make sure certain requirements are met for it to be printed properly.

For context, this is my design and this is essentially what I want the object label to look like when it is printed. It will actually go on to the wall as a dry transfer, but I’ve shown it in a bounding box below so it doesn’t look like post text…

Rub Down - Rachel Whiteread Outlined and Expanded 2-011

The first thing you need to do is create outlines from your text. As far as I am aware, it doesn’t matter too much about how you do this – it should be fine to just select the type frame, and then go to Type > Create Outlines (or use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + O).

Once you’ve done this and you click on the text again, it will look like this:

Outlines Created

So the text is all done.

But what about the headphones?

Well, I inserted that image by going File > Place. This provides a ‘link’ in the file to where your image is stored on your computer. I thought that once I’d expanded this image (Object > Expand), that was enough to ensure it would stay in the file and that the printer wouldn’t have any problems with it.

Linked headphones

See that little Links panel? If the link was broken (for instance because the original image had been moved to a different location on my computer since I’d placed it), there would be a warning sign next to it. But there isn’t, because it’s not broken.

So why did I get a call from the printers saying that the headphones were dropping out of my file?

The answer is really simple.

You need to go to the three little lines at the top right of the links panel, and select ’embed image’.

Embed Image Option.png

Notice how the information in the Links panel has now disappeared, because it’s no longer a linked image but an embedded image:


The box around the headphones has also changed.

This is what the frame around the headphones looked like when it was just linked (I’ve changed the box colour to red so it’s easier to see than the bright green it was above for this):

Headphones Before

And this is what it became after I embedded the image:

Headphones After.png

Notice how the red line sticks to the contours of the shape?

Et voila.

Doing that in each file that had the headphones fixed the issue.

I shan’t be forgetting to embed linked images again… 🙂

Thought I’d share in case it helps anyone!

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