Illustration submission guidelines

To make sure that your book’s publication proceeds smoothly, you must follow these guidelines for all illustrations, whether they are pictures, graphs, tables, charts, maps – anything that’s not plain text. Each illustration must be submitted separately (not embedded in the text) at the same time as you submit your manuscript, along with your completed Illustrations Checklist. Only once we have all the files can the production process can begin. Remember to include a List of Illustrations after your table of contents if you’d like this to be included in your book.

You will need to clear permission to use illustrations in copyright before submission. For information regarding copyright and permission to reproduce illustrations, refer to the Clearing Copyright page.

Unless you have agreed otherwise with your commissioning editor, all illustrations will be printed in black and white.

If you have any queries, simply ask your assistant commissioning editor.

Preparing your illustrations

Illustrations should be supplied as digital files that are of a high enough quality for printing. If you find an illustration online, check the quality before submitting it. Most online illustrations are of low quality so you might need to request a high-resolution version from the copyright holder. It is possible to have certain types of illustrations, such as line art or maps, redrawn (although for very complicated images this might incur an extra cost). If you would like an image to be redrawn, ask your Assistant Commissioning Editor before you submit your manuscript and illustrations.

Scanned illustrations

  • Photographs should be scanned at a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • Line illustrations should be scanned at a minimum of 1200 dpi.
  • Save as a TIFF or PDF for PC.
  • Final size of the scan to be approximately 250 x 200 mm.

Computer-drawn illustrations

  • Create at a minimum of 300 dpi and save as a TIFF, PDF or EPS for PC.
  • Image size to be approximately 250 x 200 mm.
  • Tints, if used, should be between 15% and 70%; do not use pattern or colour fills.
  • Line weights: lines must be a minimum of 1pt to ensure they are still visible when the illustration is resized.

Film stills

  • Save at a minimum of 300 dpi as a TIFF for PC.
  • The final size of the still should be approximately 250 x 200 mm.

Image file types

  • TIFF: the highest-quality image for printing and our preferred format. Do not compress your TIFF files.
  • PDF: this is the preferred file format for text-based illustrations such as graphs, tables and charts.
  • EPS: illustrations can also be supplied as EPS files, with a laser print for identification.
  • JPEG: this is not a preferred image format because it sacrifices quality to make the file size smaller. If you have no other option, you can send us JPEGs but you must ensure that the resolution is at least 300 dpi.
  • Unacceptable file types: MS Word and Excel. If you have an illustration generated in one of these programs, such as a graph or table, save it as a PDF.

Print illustrations

We strongly prefer digital illustrations and will only accept print illustrations in exceptional circumstances. Speak to your assistant commissioning editor to discuss submitting print illustrations.

If you are supplying print illustrations, mark each illustration very lightly on the back (in the corner) in a soft pencil with its number (for example: ‘Figure 4.1’). Send your print illustrations to your assistant commissioning editor by recorded post.

Numbering your illustrations

  • Number figures by chapter and figure number in that chapter.
    • For example: the first figure in Chapter 2 is Figure 2.1 (even if there are no illustrations in Chapter 1)
  • If your Introduction does not have a chapter number, use I (a capital ‘i’) in place of the chapter number.
    • For example: the first figure in the Introduction is Figure I.1
  • Number tables separately to other illustrations.
    • For example: Table 1.1, Table 1.2 and so on
  • If your book has a plate section, number your plates separately to other illustrations, based on where the plate is first referred to in the text.
    • For example: Plate 1
  • The file name of your illustrations should match the illustration number in the text.
    • For example: Figure 1.1 in the text should be called Figure1.1.tif; the first plate mentioned should be called Plate1.tif.

Submitting your illustrations

  • Illustrations should be submitted to your assistant commissioning editor as individual files along with the completed illustrations checklist.
  • Submit your illustrations at the same time as your manuscript and submission forms.
  • or, if your files are large, transfer them to us using
  • Use a secure file transfer service, such as the Edinburgh University Press SFTP site or a service like WeTransfer.
  • If the typesetters have any questions about the illustrations or their placing, we’ll get in touch with you to clarify.