Guide to File Size & Type for Printing

print matters

While we can do your mail artwork for you, we love it when clients supply their own creative files! That way, it’s all you – your ideas, your brand, your words. 

But in order for the printing process to go smoothly, you do need to supply the right file size and type for printing. 

Not sure what’s right? Don’t worry! In this article, we’ll give you the rundown so you know what’s expected and how to provide it from the start. 

Choosing the Right File Type 

We highly recommend supplying a JPG, TIFF, or a PDF file. Your document should be named something like mydesign.jpg, myleaflet.tif, or myflyer.pdf. You may find JPG spelled JPEG sometimes.

These files are compact in size but high-quality. They won’t get stuck in your outbox, but they’re more than adequate for us to print you excellent quality documents. 

Another useful feature is that they’re “flat” files. This means that we can’t accidentally move an element – like a picture of a bit of text – when we open your file. Everything is embedded into a single layer on the document. 

Whichever design software you use to create your leaflet or brochure, it should have an option to save it as a JPG, TIFF, or PDF. Some may require you to export it as a PDF. 

Making Your File the Right Size & Resolution 

You should design your artwork on a document the size that you want your final product to be. For example, if you’re designing an A4 flyer, make sure you set the document size to A4 when you open up your design software. 

At some point, either when creating a document or when saving it later, you’ll need to set a resolution. You’ve most likely seen the number 72ppi floating around. But please take note that it’s not quite high-quality enough for us to print your flyer at. 

Please save your file at 300ppi (minimum). When you save your final document, make sure it’s between 3 and 10 megapixels in size to get the best results. 

Common Resolution, File Size and Type Questions 

What If My File Isn’t a JPG, TIF, or PDF? 

First things first – open your file in the software you created it in and see if you can save or export as one of these options. 

If not, we may be able to work around your file depending on what exactly it is. Shoot us an email and we can work things out! 

How Can I Make My File Smaller? 

If your file is too big to email through, it may be tempting to compress it using a software or online tool. Be careful, though – if your file resolution drops below 300dpi, the quality will be compromised. 

If you can’t manage to lower the size of your file, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do. In some cases, using a file transfer service like WeTranfer instead of email is a good solution!