While computer has supposed made life easier, many tend to think that what we see on the screen will naturally automatically be the same we see on paper. Reality is that the way we save the file makes a huge difference.

Computer File Format

After your design for the product which is to be printed has been completed in a graphics program (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator or Corel Draw), taking the bleed, size of lines and fonts, etc. into consideration, all that remains is to ensure that you have chosen the correct file format. At PCL, we accept file formats such as PDF, JPEG, TIFF and EPS. While it is possible for us to work on the Photoshop/Illustrator files, we prefer not to -- this ensures that the file we receive is closest to what you or your designer had intended the design to be. 


Amongst the different file formats, the PDF format are by far our favourite. It is one that keeps most faithfully to the original design and is easy to send around. This can be done rather easily using the design softwares by Adobe.  

However,  In the process some settings must be observed depending on the program. When creating a PDF file directly from these programs, the PDF/X standard (PDF/X3 standard or PDF/X1a standard) should be used. It is also recommended when saving to set the compatibility mode to 1.3. This prevents problems which could arise during the processing of files with layers and transparencies. This applies particularly to programs which do not support any PDF/X standards during the creation of a PDF.

But should you have trouble getting this out, feel free to contact us -- we'd love to help.

Other File Types

  1. JPEG / JPG – Joint Photographic Experts Group. A JPEG is an image file which uses lossy compression. Therefore only high-resolution images (saved in the best possible quality) are suitable for printing!
  2. TIFF / TIF – Tagged Image File Format. The TIF Format is also an image format. It was developed by Aldus and Microsoft for raster graphics and colour separation. A reduction in quality is to be expected with this format.
  3. PS – PostScript. PostScript is a page description language for the lossless output and saving of text and graphics. It is a file which is independent of the output device and was also developed by Adobe.
  4. EPS – Encapsulated Postscript. EPS is a file format which was developed by Adobe and enables the exchange of PostScript graphics between applications. The format can contain pixel and vector graphics.