Print vs Web File Preparation

While designing and printing a project can be a large-scale task on its own, how you format your files and prepare them for use can be just as crucial. Whether you’re starting a design for use on the web or for print, there are various formatting details and rules to keep in mind. To ensure the highest quality, try to start with these guidelines:

For images going to print, you’ll want to focus on ensuring that what you see on your computer screen comes across as clearly as it can in print, and in good quality, too. Start with a resolution 300 ppi (pixels per inch) or higher, to ensure a high-resolution print quality. This helps to instruct the printer on how much detail to put into its work with the ink, so for a clear, crisp image, aim high. To ensure your colors are as vibrant and as similar to what you see on your screen as possible, make sure you work in CMYK color mode. This 4-color option, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), work together and mix to present a stunning, wide-range of color. While colors can always vary, it’s the wide range of quality options in printing that makes CMYK the best choice. When making your final saving options for a print project, consider using the extensions TIFF, EPS, PDF, PSD, or AI to achieve a quality save file.

Meanwhile, when you’re saving a project for use on the web, your formatting choices can be a bit laxer. You don’t have to focus so much on saving the highest quality, but your color and saving choices also have a big sway on how your design appears. The average resolution for web-based designs is 72 ppi, much lower than the printed standard. As far as colors go, you should work in RGB mode (Red, Green, Blue) because, in HTML coding, these are the colors mixed to create every other variation. When saving, consider using a JPEG, GIF, PNG or SVG extension to support any image transparency and ease of use.

Keeping these basic formatting guidelines in mind can do a great deal to help you in starting your project documents the right way. No matter your end goal, there are probably at least some guidelines you’ll want to stick to to achieve the proper end goal usage. If you have any questions, or for more information, contact our design experts for help with your projects today! “