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I need to save an image from Illustrator at 150 LPI (lines per inch) for a printing vendor. How do I do this?

Bonus Question : Reccomended file format? (JPEG, TIFF, etc)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can't control the line screen within Illustrator. That's an output device option and not a creation software option. For example, your home/office printer may have an LPI setting in the print dialog window, but that controls the output device, and does not change the artwork.

DPI = 1.5 x LPI

That means you need a minimum of 225ppi for most presswork. Standard is merely to think 300ppi since it's a round number. In addition 300ppi is acceptable for 175lpi as well. And 175 line screens are fairly common.

However, Illustrator, being a vector application, is resolution independent and doesn't have resolution settings for files. This is the nature of vector drawing.

  • You should make certain the Document Raster Effects Settings (in the Effects menu) is set to High (300ppi). This ensures any raster effects, such as drop shadows, glows, filters, etc. you've used within Illustrator get output at the appropriate ppi.

  • In addition, you'll want to make certain any linked or embedded raster images are a minimum of 300ppi. Using a raster editing application such as Photoshop and then replace any images in Illustrator as needed. You can not alter a raster image's resolution from within Illustrator.

Beyond those two items there are no other resolution options within Illustrator for reasons already explained.

As for format, the native .ai files is good, as is a PDF/x-1a file. In a pinch, depending upon the artwork, an .eps file may also work.

If you are concerned about some appearance aspects of the artwork, then exporting as a .tiff at 300ppi is also appropriate.

In almost no instance is jpg (or png) a correct format to use.

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we used to go by the 2x rule (LPI X 2 = DPI needed). But that was likely a rule of thumb more than actual math. – DA01 Mar 25 '13 at 16:43
It is actually 2x and it comes from the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem. The actual "multiplier" can be different than 2x depending upon the image: screen doors vs. flat walls. You are trying to minimize aliasing by providing at least 2x the highest frequency. – horatio Mar 26 '13 at 14:38
coincidentally, I cam across a video which exploits temporal aliasing ( ). Notice that the sampling rate (24fps) is 1x the frequency (24hz) and later int he video, the signal is altered to 23hz and 25hz. – horatio Mar 26 '13 at 16:27

Actually, in terms of the file format, many service bureaus do in fact prefer JPG, depending on what workflow they are going to use. Otherwise, as a default, I would prepare a PDF, ensuring it is single layer and all fonts are embedded. The correct answer is: ask your vendor.

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