Print Ready Files

All you Need to Know About a Print Ready File for your Giclée Prints

Fine art printers require a digital file before placing an order for a giclée print of your artwork or photos. They will also request that the file is “print ready”.

We will discuss how your digital images should look as well as what technical specifications are required for creating prints from them at the end of this article. We’ll also explain what we mean by the term print-ready file and how we can help you if you don’t have one.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the size and style for your image, such as aspect ratios, meaning the size of your actual image versus the size of the giclée print you want. We will also look at border styles and whether your image should have one.

A Digital file of your Artwork is a Must

If you’re not happy with the way your artwork looks in the photos you may have taken on your camera, we offer an Artwork Photography service where our expert photographer will take pictures of your work and create high-quality digital files that can be printed as giclée prints.

What is a Print Ready File?

Imagine you’ve just completed a piece of artwork and take a photo of your finished work. You use this digital image to upload onto your website or social media sites, in creating the image, it is framed with an artful background that includes elements from within your studio space. This works for online platforms like Instagram and Facebook; however, when fine-art printing becomes necessary for replicating and selling your masterpieces, this type of digital image will not make the cut!

A print ready file is a digital image solely of your artwork, no background or frame. This means that it has been cropped to the desired print size and meets all technical specifications required for print quality. So, what you see when opening this file is exactly how it will look on paper. The digital file must be to the exact print size in millimetres at minimum 300dpi and saved as a tiff with embedded RGB colour space.

The same applies if you’re looking to order prints of your photos, make sure all photo adjustments (exposure settings and dust/mark removals) have been made and that the digital image file is at the size you want printing.

Technical Specifications

Giclée prints are created using archival pigment inks, which can use more than eight colours of ink to produce your print and capture any flaws on screen with microscopic dots that will stand out for all time like a proud warrior!

That is why the quality of your digital image file needs to be of a high standard.

Giclée printing is completely different to commercial printing, which uses the standard four colour ink system. Which is why the technical specifications for a Print Ready file for giclée printing are very specific: –

  • The digital file should have a minimum resolution of 300dpi. It should also be cropped to the actual finished print size you require.
  • We recommend using an embedded Adobe RGB colour space and that you save your digital image file as a Tiff file. JPEGs are also acceptable, but please note these are compressed files.

Using a compressed image file will reduce the gamut information available when it comes to printing, which will reduce the quality of the achievable print.

Aspect Ratios and Cropping

The aspect ratio of your print-ready file needs to match the size you want for a giclée. If choosing an image that is different from these dimensions, then cropping out sections may be necessary in order to produce the desired outcome.

There are many different aspect ratios for scaling your giclée prints. To avoid cropping the digital image, it’s worth understanding how each ratio works to suit your original artwork or photo size.

Is your Digital file not Print Ready – we can advise and help

Here at Kili Arts we can edit your file, however there are limitations which are dependent on the quality of the file you provide.  We would of course need to see your file to advise and propose what is achievable. Here are a few editing services available:

  • Cropping and sizing image
  • Balancing whites, removing colour casts
  • Enlarging image and noise reduction
  • Removing and editing flaws within the image

As much as we wish we were, we are not magicians, if the image is out of focus, no amount of editing will make it a clear sharp image.

Border or no Border

Some artists and photographers choose to include a border within their digital file. This can be achieved by using editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. However, you don’t have to always do this. When you place your fine art print order with us, you can let us know if you want a border and what size.

If you decide to include a border within your print-ready file, the one thing you must keep in mind, is that if for example you ordered an A4 giclée print, then your actual print image area would be smaller than A4, as your print-ready file has been sized with borders included. You can always edit the file, so it is sized to print your work at A4 plus the border size.

Following the same example size, if you choose not to include borders in your print-ready file and then place an order for an A4 giclée print with 2cm borders. Then the giclée print image area will be A4 in size plus a 2cm border.

Please always specify how you want the border, in addition to the print size or included.

Now you’re in the know on how to Create a Print Ready File

So, in conclusion we hope the above information has helped you understand what a Print-Ready file is and what technical specifications are required.

We believe in providing you with lots of information about giclée printing. We want you to get the most out of our fine art printing services, so in the end you’ll have giclée prints that you’ll love.

We hope the information above has helped you understand what a Print-Ready file is and what technical specifications are required. We believe in sharing as much information as possible, so you get the desired outcome from your fine art giclée print and that your clients fall in love with.

Don’t be Shy! Contact us if you have any questions

Give us a call or send us a WhatsApp on 01753 542319, alternatively, send us an email at [email protected]. We would love to bring your art to life!