I want to send some artwork (signs) to a printing company - about 20 designs, with varying quantities printed.

Each sign is on it's own artboard in illustrator. What is the best way to clearly communicate the quantities of each sign to the printer?

My thoughts are there would be a way to create some sort of non-printable annotation on each artboard that expresses the desired quantity?


Send each print project separately. That means split your AI document into 1 artboard per project. And you can then designate the quantity desired for FileXXXX.pdf, etc.

With varying quantities, relying on any other method is a recipe for errors.

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NEVER EVER EVER EVER send an open file type for printing. Always send closed files like pdf, ps, eps, tiff, even jpg.

Prepare pdf of every artboard. Use free plugins and scripts or "save for screen".
Then send your order "artboard1- 20pcs. artboard2- 5 pcs" and so on.

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  • Why is PDF more closed than AI? I mean its more open it even embeds the fonts – joojaa Feb 23 '18 at 13:45
  • Let's assume you have two professional tools for edition. Illustrator and Acrobat. To edit file in illustrator you just need to open it. At start it ask "hey, this color gamut you know, is something else, want to switch to something different?". Then, the pictures are not embed, try printing it now. But you press print anyways. Did you checked the color management? Because there Illustrator choose the colors. Also the size of your print? Decided by driver. In Ai all options are open. in pdf you need to make much more steps to even change text. – SZCZERZO KŁY Feb 23 '18 at 14:14
  • Idont dispute it being more suited a s a print container. But its still just a open vector format you can open it justr as well in AI, hell unless you check ai compatibility when you export teh PDF is a AI file – joojaa Feb 23 '18 at 14:34
  • Yes and no. You can open pdf in AI even if it don't have capabilities checked and change it. But to open ai you use program that from start, open it for editing. Pdf is a format that can be viewed and send for printing without even preview. It's an EPS file. Also information in pdf, when prepared correctly, is limited to WYSWYG. You can't by accident move the photo inside frame and show that uncle in KKK uniform. – SZCZERZO KŁY Feb 23 '18 at 14:47
  • PDF is most definitely not a EPS file. As far as tech goes EPS is superior bit sadly neglected since its a danger to Adobe. Anyway you can make a AI just as uneditable as a PDF. – joojaa Feb 23 '18 at 15:22

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