file format

FAQs - file format

A good print starts with a good file.

Providing us with a healthy digital file is the best way to ensure the quickest and most cost-efficient print service.


Build the file to the size you want it to print. For example:

  • If you want a finished size of 8.5 x 11, build your file to that size.
  • If you are designing a banner, find out what size the banner should be and construct the file to those dimensions.
  • If you want a poster to be printed at two different sizes, you'll probably need to set up two different files…one for each size.


Ensure sufficient resolution for images:

  • large format: generally 150 ppi at output size is good for large format posters
  • digital and press: try to provide 300ppi at output size
  • fine art and photography prints: 300ppi will giev the best quality and detail

Do not bump up image resolution beyond 300ppi unless the image is intended for enlargement. If you're not sure about how resolution works, call us.

File formatAdobe PDF

Whenever possible, provide us with a PDF. Microsoft formats (Publisher, Word, Powerpoint) are very difficult to print from. Please export to PDF and check to ensure that the PDF looks exactlyhow you want it before you send it to us.





Vector Graphics 

Raster Graphics 

Image is created by 

Geometrical shapes, lines (vectors) A grid of pixels

Capable of spot colours?

Yes Technically yes, but not without difficulty and only in some file formats.

Capable of RGB and CMYK colours?

Yes Yes

Good for photos?

No Yes

Good for logos?

Yes No. Raster files are quite bad for logos.

Typical file formats


Scalable to any size?

Yes No

So which one is better?

Neither. They both have their uses. A photo should be stored as a pixel-based format such as TIF and JPEG, but when a logo is stored in these formats serious limitations are placed on its ability to be scaled, printed and used in general. A logo should be stored as a vector file.

Can I just re-save the file into a vector format?

No, that's impossible. In order for a raster file to be made into a vector file it needs to be re-drawn or traced. A computer can do this (Adobe Illustrator has this ability) but it can only do a nice job under certain conditions. Normally a human will need to do this process using some vector tools. Simply re-saving your image as an AI, EPS or PDF will not convert your file into vector data.

Still confused?

Don't worry about it. Give us a call.

TAGS: bitmap, raster, vector

Yes, you can. But it's not a good way to send files. Send us a PDF instead.

If you are not able to send us a PDF, send us your Microsoft files and we'll do the conversion. We'll send you a PDF proof before we print.

To find out how to convert your Microsoft files to PDF, click here:

TAGS: Microsoft

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