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Instructions for the preparation of illustrations in Geological Society of London books and journals

Please design your illustrations with the page sizes of the journal or book series in mind. Pages sizes are given in the information pages for journals and book series. Use a clear font such as Arial. Lettering should be a minimum of 2 mm high when reduced. Figures should be submitted preferably at final size.

Diagrams should be produced using a standard graphics package that allows you to export as EPS files. Packages such as Illustrator, Freehand and CorelDraw are suitable. Packages such as PowerPoint are not designed for producing print-quality files, and if your article will also be an oral presentation, you should produce the figures in the graphics package and import them into the presentation software.

Line illustrations (including colour diagrams) should be supplied as EPS or bitmap tiff (with a resolution of 600 dpi) files. 

Photographs and other halftones (e.g. satellite images) can be provided as EPS or greyscale tiffs (recommended input resolution of 300 dpi).

Do not use any non-PostScript or unusual fonts. Embed fonts in the EPS files.

Please ensure that all lines have line widths of at least 0.5 points. Do not use defaults such as ‘minimum width’ or ‘hairline’ for lines – use actual line width. Fine line defaults will appear in proofs, but disappear on the press.

Figures should not have a frame enclosing the figure or the page, unless it is an integral part of the figure (e.g. a map with grid marks on the box). Please do not include any labelling that duplicates the caption, logos, company diagram numbers or other extraneous matter.

In maps, north must be indicated.

If you are using one of our online submission sites, it is acceptable to upload lower resolution files for review purposes and provide the higher resolution files off system when the article is accepted. You will be given instructions on how to do that when we are ready to start production work on the article.

If the book or journal does not use online submission, please label any discs with your name and the date. The file names should include the figure number. If there is more than one disc, please indicate what is on each disc.

Using figures from other publications or sources

If your figures are taken from elsewhere, please ensure that necessary permission is obtained from the copyright holder. You need to obtain permission to use the material “in this and all subsequent editions of this Geological Society of London work, its ancillaries, and other derivative works in any form or medium, whether now known or hereafter developed, in all languages, for distribution through the world.”  If you are not given the opportunity to include such detailed wording, you must at least obtain permission for print and online publication in perpetuity. The Society cannot accept temporary licences.

If you plan to make your article Open Access, please ensure that you have permission to use any third-party material with the CC-BY licence.

Colour diagrams

The above instructions for black and white illustrations apply. Files should be saved as CMYK, not RBG. Authors are normally expected to pay the additional cost of printing colour figures. Prices can be found in the journal and book series information pages.

If you plan to have colour illustrations in the online version, but black and white in the print version, we need to be able to use the same file, i.e. the colour file must be intelligible when printed in black and white.


The above instructions apply. Authors are expected to pay for the additional cost of printing foldouts. The cost is proportional to the number of folds required. Please contact the staff editor of the journal or book for more details.