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How to create a print ready artwork PDF

What is a print ready PDF? 

The term "print ready" is often used in the print industry for a high resolution PDF that formatted so it can be printed by a commercial printer without any alterations required. 

Is a PDF a print ready file? 

It can be depending on the export formatting of the PDF. Every printer has slightly different requirements depending on their specific printers.

PDF is often the preferred file format for print ready files and there are multiple ways a print ready PDF can be created from a host of softwares.

Is a PNG a print ready file? 

PNG files are preferable for online as they are smaller file sizes and low resolution. For these same reasons they are not ideal for Print ready files. 

What is a print ready file format? 


  • .PDF is overall the preferred format 

  • .EPS ideal for large banners or signage

  • .TIFF preferred for high resolution images

  • Packaged InDesign File 

Print ready artwork checklist

Time for a last-minute check! Before you send us any artwork for printing, make sure you’ve considered all of the points below. 

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How do I make a file print ready? 

There are several different ways to create a print ready file; Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. However these settings needs to be adhered to in order to create a print ready file for any of them.

Page layout for print ready files.

  • All pages include 3mm bleed

  • Important images and text are at least 3mm from the page edge

  • No borders are used

Print ready file formats

  • Please ensure only relevant job files are included

  • Design is supplied as a hi-resolution PDF or packaged InDesign file

Font considerations for print artwork

  • All text is 6px or larger

  • Text is set as vector, not an image

  • All fonts are supplied, outlined or Embedded (PDF)

Colour settings

  • All colours are converted to CYMK unless using a spot or Pantone colour

  • Large black areas are set to 40% Cyan and 100% black (rich black)

Images included in your print files

  • All images included are above 300 DPI

  • All images have been converted to CYMK and saved

Additional tips for creating artwork for print

  • All artwork has square corners

  • Fine lines/ hairlines are no less than 0.25pt

How to create print-ready files in Adobe Photoshop


  1. First ensure the document it set up for CMYK and not RGB. To do this navigate to the top nav in Photoshop. Click Image - Mode - CMYK Colour.

  2. Flatten the layers down by navigating to Layer - Flatten layer

  3. Click file - save as, and choose Photoshop PDF as the format.

  4. From the pop up that appears use the High Quality Print Adobe PDF preset and then click save PDF

How to create print-ready files in Adobe InDesign


  1. On the top navigation bar of InDesign select File - Export.

  2. From the format options select  Adobe PDF - Save

  3. On the pop up select High Quality Print Adobe PDF preset - Export

How to create print-ready files in Adobe Illustrator


  1. First convert text to outlines by clicking select - all

  2. Click type - create outlines

  3. Naviagte to File - save as - Adobe PDF format.

  4. Click Save, choose the High quality Adobe PDF preset - and click save PDF

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