Print vs. Web: Let’s Get It Straight! (Infographic)

By Jessica Otte, July 31, 2015

Many people have a hard time understanding the difference between what graphic specifications are ideal for print and what is better suited for the web. We hope the below infographic is helpful. To receive a quality print, it really makes a difference on what color mode you send your file, what resolution the file has, what dimensions it has, and what file type you send.

Color Mode

Print

  • 4 colors
  • Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (aka key color)
  • Subtractive color mode used for printing
  • 1,000,000 possible colors

Web

  • 3 colors
  • Red, Blue, and Green
  • Additive color mode used for anything web/digital based
  • 16,777,216 possible color values

Resolution

Print: 300 dpi (dots per inch)

Web: 72 ppi (pixels per inch)

* Although both refer to resolution, dpi is used for printing and ppi is used for the web.

* Sending in a file that has a resolution of 72 dpi, will look great on your computer screen, however, it will look extremely pixelated / blurry once printed.

* To ensure a quality print, always send any print file with a resolution of 300 dpi at the FULL size of your desired print size.

* Depending on the art, 150 dpi may be acceptable with some print companies. This can vary depending on the media, press and content.

 

Common Dimensions

Business Card 3.5 x 2 in = 1050 x 600 px
Index Card 4 x 6 in = 1200 x 1800 px
Postcard 5 x 7 in = 1500 x 2100 px
Rackcard 4 x 9 in = 1200 x 2700 px
1/2 Letter 5.5 x 8.5 in = 1650 x 2550 px
Photo 8 x 10 in = 2400 x 3000 px
Letter 8.5 x 11 in = 2550 x 3300 px
Legal 8.5 x 14 in = 2550 x 4200 px
Tabloid 11 x 17 in = 3300 x 5100 px

 

Popular File Types

Best For Print

.pdf, .tiff, .eps, .ai (outlined), .jpg (press quality), .psd (in rare circumstances)

Best For Web

.jpg, .gif, .bmp, .png

Not Recommended

.docx, .pub, .pptx

Don’t see your file extension? Then you probably should not use it or at least be prepared to convert.

The infographic below shows the breakdown of common mistakes customer’s make when sending us their artwork. Please let us know if there are any other concerns you may have about submitting your art to us or any other commercial printer! Also, if you have concerns about color accuracy, please see the infographic we made called Converting RGB to CMYK. What’s The Big Deal?

 

print vs web graphics infographic