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How do you supply your files?


Senior Member
Again, been a while - but im really busy at the moment to only pop on here from time to time but really appreciate all help thats given!

How do you supply your design files for print? Be it business cards?

I am exporting my designs as .pdf files at the moment but a flyer is about 13mb. How can I compress this down making sure its still the best quality to be printed at a printers?



Some of my PDFs can be huge too. As long as they're high res, you can try zipping them then emailing them. Failing that I find sendspace.com quite useful, especially as it's free!


Tom Sound

Active Member
You can compress the files if they contain elements higher than 300dpi compress down to 300dpi in the 'save as' dialogue box.

You can also save as earlier versions of the pdf format. If you use the PDF/X-1a:2001 option for instance this will flatten any effects and transparency which will reduce the file size.

You can do this too in acrobat if you go to reduce file size. This will reduce the file size as above by saving as earlier versions but will restrict what you can then do with the file ie. if you need to edit the file from the pdf.

yousendit.com is good for sending files up to 100mg too
Depends on the program used, it's worth spending some time creating custom PDF settings, but you will have to have a play around to make sure quality stays okay. If you're PDFing an illustrator file that includes bitmap images, changing the image compression from zip to Jpeg 2000 (High/maximum) can help keep file sizes down without any major quality loss. Unchecking the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities also shrinks most file sizes a fair bit.

Generally though I send low res proofs first then use mailbigfile to send zipped full quality artwork. I have a pro account which only costs £10 per year and allows you to send up to 2GB files. Although if you've got a mobile me or dropbox account you can use the share functions on those just as well.


Staff member
13 megs isn't really that big in this day and age of broadband (remember its quicker for them to download than you to upload). I've had files over 100megs (not for print) sent to me without issue although obviously it depends on your email provider etc.

I will say that if I'm sending large files to clients I normally upload it to my web server in a passworded zip file.

As to print it would depend on the printer in my experience but as a rule flattened pdf/psd files at required specs.
I did and FTP upload of a 200 page A3 book, including 50-60 maps, to a printer. How big do you think that file was. HUGE!!!!!

Don't compromise quality for file size.
I recently sent a whole load of artworks and images to a printer for some giant hoardings going up in a shopping centre. All artwork was produces at 1:10 scale and saved as maximum-res PDF files, chopped up into manageable sections (finished size was approx 10m tall by 120m long!). Finished file sizes came to just under 400Mb. Used SendThisFile to upload them. It's a free service that has no filesize limits, although it does throttle the speed according to the size of the file you're sending. I find that anything under ~40Mb tends to whip through at near enough full speed. However, where possible I try to send directly peer-to-peer using Cyberduck which is even quicker depending on the connection speeds at either end. As the internet is open for business 24 hours a day, if massive files can be sent across overnight, that's a huge bonus. But if you've got huge amounts to send, split it up a bit - nothing worse than finding out that NOTHING made it to the other end rather than just some of it...

In short then, I use press-ready PDF files for the majority of cases. The only time I don't is when the artwork the other end is going to be changed once I've sent it. Then I'll send native files (InDesign etc) with links.