I am making some illustrations to deliver to a client that is going to print on items like notebooks and cups. I'm working in Illustrator, but don't know which is the best format to deliver the work. He should be able to get:

  • images with background
  • images with transparent background
  • 1
    'Print' as in 'deliver it to a printing company that will use a printing press to produce it' or as in 'open it in some software and hit Ctrl+P and have their desktop appliance print it instantly'?
    – Vincent
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 13:24
  • The best way is really to ask the printer himself. I would ask the client to put you in touch with the printing company.
    – curious
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 13:58
  • Be sure that your written agreement states if he can or cannot make modified versions without paying to you. Highly compressed PDFs are virtually uneditable. Original Ai files are the opposite. In the middle there exists easy to edit PDF versions.
    – user82991
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 12:24

1 Answer 1


PDF/X-1a exports from Illustrator will generally work for most print purposes. Go to 'File → Save As', choose PDF, then in the dialog box choose 'PDF/X-1a' under the 'Preset' tab.

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