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Do you want the highest quality print for your outputs?

Sending the wrong file type to your printer could give you less than satisfactory results. But how does a file format affect printing?

A file format is a technical standard to encode data for storage in a computer file. Through technological innovation, developers created different file types serving their purpose. Using the suitable format when saving files for print guarantees retained image quality.

You can expect your print service to deliver a picture-perfect print. Are you wondering about the best file types to use? Read on to discover the different categories, formats, and suitable types for printing.

Image File Formats: Raster Images vs. Vector Images

Are you familiar with pixelated images? People often use them in photos, digital artwork, or web graphics. In technical terms, they are raster images.

Raster is a graphic that composes a set grid of dots, each displaying a different brightness and color. They are resolution-dependent, making them available in one size. Thus, if you try to zoom or increase its size, the image appears blurry.

Using geometric shapes over pixels create vector images. They are resolution-independent and curve-based. With this, you can resize the file and expect no pixelation or loss of detail when saving the file.

In every print project, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate file type as it can affect results. You either receive a picture-perfect print or a misprint with the wrong colors.

Color Models

CMYK is a suitable color model when printing an image. It combines cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink in the printing process to reduce the white in a file. If you save your document with this model, expect to produce the best color clarity.

The Best Way to Send Files

Giving out business cards with white borders on the edges can make you appear unprofessional. How does this happen? Failure to add bleed produces the white strips during the trimming process.

Bleed is the extended part of an image that appears beyond where printers trim documents. If you want a polished and pro-quality print, you must expand your design past the trim marks. Thus, a file in PDF with a 3mm bleed is the best way to send files.

Printing presses prefer this format as it gives them a millimeter tolerance on the edge of the design. Are you wondering about the best file types to use and export to PDF? Continue reading to discover formats to use when saving files for print.


Many people use JPEG to refer to any digital image. It’s understandable as it’s the most used image format online.

However, in reality, a JPEG is a lossy raster image file. Developers designed it with a sliding scale of compression that reduces file size. Thus, setting a low compression level makes it perfect for printing.

You don’t have to worry about producing leaflets, posters, and other print projects. Note that a compressed file can increase the pixelation of an image. With this, ensure to adjust the compression level with consideration to file quality.

Convert your JPEG image into a PDF file to add bleed. You can use file converters online or the PDF printer on your device. Both Windows 10 and Mac allow users to export JPEG images into PDF.

After converting the file, open it using the Adobe Acrobat DC and choose Tools. Go to Print Production and select Add Printer Marks to add bleed. Then, identify the pages and specify the marks and settings of the document.

2. PDF

Is it possible to present quality documents, regardless of application, operating system, or device used? Using the Portable Document Format or PDF can make it happen. With this, most printing services ask clients to send their final design in this format.

Apart from having a strong graphics foundation, PDF files can display everything. You can use it for images, any document, and form fields. However, note that once you save the design, you cannot edit it anymore.

To add bleed to your document, you can follow the procedures used in the JPEG file. When you’re going for a next-day printing service, it’s best to reduce file size. Most email platforms encounter deliverability and display issues when sending large files.

3. AI

When editing a vector image design, you can count on Adobe Illustrator. Your default file format is AI when using the program. Many people use it to create a logo, single-page print piece, or icon.

Further, you can guarantee quality with AI because it uses PDF standards. You can export the file to different formats, such as JPEG, PNG, and PDF. However, we recommend using the PDF format to add bleed.

Go to File and choose Print to start expanding the design. First, go to Marks & Bleed found on the left side of the dialog box. Next, input 3mm for all sides of the document to determine the bleed mark placements.

Then, hit Create for new files and OK for existing files. A red line appears around the document to show the successful adding of the bleed. Ensure to export your file into a PDF format.

4. EPS

EPS is an abbreviation for Encapsulated PostScript. It’s an image format you can use for raster and vector images. Often, an EPS file has a single-design element you can use for larger designs, too.

If you’re planning to print high-resolution graphics, EPS is the best choice. Further, it allows a lot of customizing and adjusting without destroying file information. You can create vast and detailed images, such as banners and posters, with high quality.

You can open and add bleed to an EPS file using Adobe Illustrator by going to the File menu. Follow the steps used for AI files to adjust your design.

Best Formats When Saving Files for Print

Now you know the best formats to use when saving files for print. Using a suitable format prevents it from losing image data and ensures quality. Depending on the type of print output you plan to produce, choose the best ways to send files to printers.

Are you looking for a printer to help with your project? Visit us at Hippoprint for different printing services with next-day delivery access.