Should I design my artwork in Photoshop for print?

We’ve all been there as young designers – setting up flyer artwork in Photoshop. Saving your 200mb PSD file, exporting a Photoshop PDF and manually adding crop marks. Or even just saving your files as a JPEG. We all know this isn’t right… or was I the only one who did this?! So, should I design my artwork in Photoshop for print? 

The simple answer is yes and no.

It all depends on what you’re creating. If you’re editing a photo for print then photoshop is software to use (It’s kind of in the name!). However, if you’re creating any graphic/editorial artwork with type I would suggest using either Illustrator or InDesign.

Think of Indesign Illustrator & Photoshop as a jigsaw…

You create the images in Photoshop, graphic/vector work in Illustrator and put them all together in InDesign alongside your copy text.

Why shouldn’t you use Photoshop for print?

Photoshop works as a raster-based software (Pixels instead of vectors), this is perfect for images but it can make text look blurred. Even if you save your file as a Photoshop PDF you still creating a raster/JPEG image.

Illustrator and InDesign are both vector-based software which removes the blur completely. All of the items such as type and graphic artwork are no longer made up of pixels – Resulting in a clear, sharp print. Perfect for print!

Please note…

Poor quality raster images i.e. JPEGs won’t become vectors if you just place them into Illustrator/InDesign.

Always make sure images are saved at 300dpi at the correct physical size (i.e. in millimeters) and then place them into Illustrator / InDesign. If your image is pixeled when you save your PDF, it will print pixeled too.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, it’d be great to know what you think to these tips. Have you ever made any of these mistakes? Leave a comment below.

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