When it comes to designing for print, it’s important to be knowledgeable on the best programs to use and the best file formats for your projects. Since we’re all about making the lives of our fellow New Yorkers easier, here’s a quick rundown of tips to live by when designing for print:

Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are three of the most commonly used Adobe programs by graphic designers, especially those who specialize in print design. While there is a bit of an overlap among them in terms of basic capabilities, they are not easily interchangeable. Each has its own set of core strengths, and when used correctly, these three programs work great together as a team.

Adobe Photoshop
File extension: PSD
Best for: Raster graphics, photo editing and manipulation, filters and special effects
Save as: JPEG or TIFF at the actual dimensions of the final product with a minimum resolution of 300dpi

Adobe Illustrator
File extension: AI
Best for: Vector graphics, logo design, shapes and line art
Save as: Save as a PDF, EPS, outlined AI file, or package the native AI file and and send it as a zipped folder

Adobe InDesign
File extension: IDD
Best for: Typesetting, composition­, multi-page layouts, exporting for print
Save as: Print-ready PDF with at least 0.125 bleed and crop marks, or package the native IDD file and send it as a zipped folder

When designing for print, elements from Photoshop and Illustrator often come together in InDesign for final composition and print preparation. For example, let’s say you were working on designing a brochure for a small business. Photoshop would be the program of choice for retouching the company’s photos; Illustrator would be the program of choice for perfecting the company’s logo; and InDesign would be the program of choice for typesetting and laying out the composition of the brochure, which would include the photos and logo designed in the other programs.

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to your VPM sales rep or get in touch with our creative agency, Vedia NYC!

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