How to Ensure Your Artwork is Print-Ready

How to Ensure Your Artwork is Print-Ready

At Fine Print Plus, we want to ensure that your graphics look the best that they can. To ensure this we ask that our customers provide their graphics in vector or raster file types that are at least 300 printer dots per inch in resolution. Resolution describes an image’s dimension in pixels—more pixels, the sharper the text and graphics. Whether you want your images on items as small as promotional items or business cards, as large as signs and banners, or wearable for you and your employees we have outlined why these file types are important for both creating and printing your images.

What are Vector Files? 

Without going into the very detailed calculus that goes on behind the scenes, vector files are constructed from shapes defined by mathematical equations. This crunching of numbers ensures that your image resolution, or clarity, stays as high as possible.This means that when your graphics are made in this format, they can be scaled down to as small as a business card or scaled up to as big as a banner. 

However, there are some limitations to this file type: 

  • Best for flat colors and simple gradients—not great at reproducing delicate linework. 
  • This file type is incapable of reproducing photographs. 

Vector files are best used for logos or typography heavy content. Raster files are better for almost all other file types—digital photography and document scans—that is why the best graphics are a combination of vector and raster files to utilize each’s best capabilities. 

What are Raster (or Bitmap) Files? 

Unlike vector files, Raster or Bitmap files are built on the individual color points or pixels. Because they are built this way, it is important that images built this way are at a minimum of 300 printer dots per inch (dpi), to ensure that the resolution is high enough for scaling the image to different sizes, depending on what you want to use it for. 

These files are best used for photography-based images—as digital cameras typically create bitmap files of photos (JPGs or RAW). This format also gives the graphic designer greater flexibility in creating or modifying your artwork. 

Types of Print-Ready Files 

  • For the Best Graphics Quality (Logos and Typography) 
  • Fully vector (with all type outlined or all fonts embedded) 
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf) 
  • Adobe Illustrator Artwork (.ai) 
  • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) 
  • For the Best Photo Quality (Digital Photographs and Document Scans) 
  • Raster (300 DPI at scale) 
  • Tagged Image Format (.tif) 
  • Portable Network Graphics (.png) 
  • Photoshop Document (.psd) 
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg) 

Files that aren’t Print-Ready (Save these as one of the formats above) 

  • Microsoft Word Documents (.doc, .docx) 
  • Microsoft Publisher Documents (.pub) 
  • Microsoft Excel Documents (.xls, .xlsx) 
  • Core Draw Documents (.cdr) 
  • Any other proprietary file 

Hope this overview was helpful to any of your questions about the types of files that are best for printing. If you have your graphics in these files ready and want to print, we can consult you on what formats would likely work best. If you need an entirely new design, you can work with our graphic designer or customer sales representatives and bring your ideas to life. 

Submit your artwork here. 

Request a quote here. 

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