How to make your artwork print ready

How to make your artwork print ready

Ensuring your artwork file is correctly prepared for printing will result in beautifully detailed, colour accurate and impactful prints, every time. If you don’t follow the steps below, your prints could suffer from pixelation and colour saturation

Checklist to ensure your artwork is print ready

  1. Resolution – 300 pixels per inch
  2. Dimensions – match the desired print size and ratio
  3. Bits/channel – 8
  4. Colour space – RGB
  5. Colour profile – Adobe RGB (1998) or our ICC profiles
  6. File type – save a high resolution JPG
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPyZxARBCww&t&rel=0&showinfo=0&w=750]

If your artwork doesn’t match any of the dimensions or aspect ratios listed, then please refer to our walkthrough on irregular artwork file sizes HERE

1. Resolution – 300 pixels per inch

First, go to ‘Image’ in the top menu, then click ‘Image Size’

Then type 300 into the ‘Resolution’ box and ensure ‘Pixels/Inch’ is selected in the dropdown

2. Dimensions

You want to match the dimensions of your artwork file with your desired print size. Start by looking at your artwork files pixels to determine the biggest size you can achieve. Once you find this, look at the sizes aspect ratio in the table below to see if there are smaller sizes that have the same aspect ratio – we’ve used colour coding to pair the matching aspect ratios to help illustrate the different sizes you could produce your artwork at. As matching aspect ratio means your artwork can be scaled down to these sizes with no alterations to your artwork. In an ideal world, you want your artwork file to be a ratio that has 3-4 size variations, as this will give the customer a range of size choices

For example, if your artwork file was 7205x9605px, then your artwork has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and could be printed at 24×32″. But we also have 3 over smaller print sizes with the same aspect ratio, meaning your artwork could also be printed at 18×24″, 12×16″ and 6×8″ if you wanted

If your artwork doesn’t match any of the dimensions or aspect ratios listed, then please refer to our walkthrough on irregular artwork file sizes HERE. As you may have to crop your image or add a white border

Print sizeDigital artwork dimentions
(standard)
Aspect Ratio
6×8″ (15x20cm)1805x2405px (300dpi)1.33:1
8.3×11.7″ (A4)2495x3515px (300dpi)1.41:1
12×12″ (30x30cm)3605x3605px (300dpi)1:1
11×14″ (28×35.5cm)3305x4205px (300dpi)1.27:1
12×16″ (30x40cm)3605x4805px (300dpi)1.33:1
11.7×16.5″ (A3)3515x4955px (300dpi)1.41:1
16×20″ (40x50cm)4805x6005px (300dpi)1.25:1
16.5×23.4″ (A2)4955x7025px (300dpi)1.41:1
20×20″ (50x50cm)6005x6005px (300dpi)1:1
18×24″ (45x60cm)5405x7205px (300dpi)1.33:1
20×28″ (50x70cm)6005x8405px (300dpi)1.4:1
24×32″ (60x80cm)7205x9605px (300dpi)1.33:1
23.4×33.1″ (A1)7025x9935px (300dpi)1.41:1
28×28″ (70x70cm)8405x8405px (300dpi)1:1
24×36″ (60x90cm)7205x10805px (300dpi)1.5:1
28×40″ (70x100cm)8405x12005px (300dpi)1.43:1

Like you did in step 1, go to ‘Image’ in the top menu and then click ‘Image Size’. From there, use the ‘hight’ or ‘width’ inputs to set the dimensions

IMPORTANT!
Never increase the dimensions of your digital artwork file larger than the original size of the digital photograph or scan, as this will lead to terrible quality loss. For example, say the dimensions of your artwork file is 4955x7025px at 300dpi (which is the correct dimensions for A2 printing), but you wanted to print at A1… you shouldn’t! As your print will turn out looking horrible and pixelated. However, you can reduce the size, meaning you could sell the artwork at A2, A3 and A4

2.2. Add a border (OPTIONAL)

If you want a white border around your artwork, go to ‘Image’, then ‘Canvas Size’. Make sure ‘Relative’ is ticked and then enter the size of the border you wish to add

If you want you can then drag and drop a digital signature onto the white border. The best approach to do this is to write your signature in black pen on white paper and then take a photo or scan it in. Then using the ‘Quick Select’ or ‘Magic Pen’ tool in photoshop, copy it out

3. Bits/channel – 8

Head to ‘Image’ in the top menu, then click ‘Mode’, followed by ‘8 Bit/Channel’

4. Colour space – RGB

Like in the previous step, navigate to ‘Mode’ and select ‘RGB colour’

5. Colourful profile – Adobe RGB (1998)

Colour management for eagle eye professionals – if you want to generate an exact colour soft proof, then you can use our ICC profiles as an alternative to this step. You’ll need to download the profiles from HERE and install them into photoshop…this is a bit more advanced. If you opt for that approach, you can skip this step

Go to ‘Edit’ in the top menu, then click ‘Convert to Profile…’ Do not use ‘Assign profile’, as that approach causes a color shift and is not meant for what we’re trying to achieve

Under ‘Destination Space’, click the ‘Profile’ dropdown and select ‘Adobe RGB (1998)’


6. File type – JPG

Once you’ve completed all the steps above, save each artwork file as a high-resolution JGP at maximum/100% quality