Digital Artwork Requirements for Print

How to Prepare a File for Printing?

A print file should come from graphic design software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel, or in artwork delivery formats like PDF, TIFF, or EPS, with fonts converted to curves, colors converted to CMYK or Pantone, and at 300 dpi resolution at an approximate size of the final print.

Below is an explanation of each of the technical concepts for the file:

File Types

Print files can be sent in Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Draw, or they can also be processed in TIFF, EPS, and PDF formats. JPG format is valid but not recommended as it uses a compression system and loses quality at the time of printing.

What does converting fonts to curves mean?

Fonts come from a database, and when files are sent, there is a possibility that the same font is not available where the file will be opened, causing it to be replaced with a similar font, resulting in an unnoticed error during production.

The solution to this problem is to convert fonts to curves so that the font does not have to be obtained locally.


Computer screens display in RGB, and prints are made in CMYK, so the file's colors must be converted to CMYK. If sent in RGB, there may be color alterations at the time of printing.

Pantone Colors

Pantone colors are a color standard, but since there are different printing methodologies, there is a Pantone standard for each printing technique. When a color is accompanied by the letters PC, it means (Process Color) that it is created in CMYK polychrome. It is a common mistake to think that PC is the color seen on the screen, but it is not. When the letter C follows the Pantone color, it means "Coated," which is the specially prepared color or a flat ink. Therefore, digitally printed colors approximate PC colors, and flat colors in flexography or screen printing can produce finished colors with the letter C.

Pantone vs CMYK

When we see a color in CMYK composition, it is relative to the program, screen, type of print, etc. For this reason, it is not recommended to define a color for printing because it is not absolute. If there is no other option and the color is requested with the CMYK composition, we cannot guarantee that it will be the expected color.

On the other hand, the Pantone Code provides an absolute color because it is a global color standard, confirmed by a Pantone swatch at the time of printing.


The resolution of digital files should be 300 dpi for optimal performance when printing.

Final Print Size

The image size should be approximately the size to be printed to avoid loss of resolution when resizing for printing.