I drew a vibrant picture for a friend (3000x3000 300dpi), and I intend to email a file to them that they can print.

But I am not sure what file type to save it as. Google search says TIFF to retain quality. I drew it in RBG, after some google searching I found I should've drawn in CMYK?

So I converted the image to CMYK and saved as a TIFF, but the image then gets a hazy purple look to all the colors. If I save it as a CMYK JPEG the color remains the same. Would saving it as a CMYK JPEG be ok for printing? Or does it need to be a TIFF??

I'm totally lost, google search results just confused me more. Please help this ignorant fooooool.

Edit: I am working in Photoshop CC 2015, and I believe they are wanting to get it commercially printed.

Thank you for the quick and thorough answer!

closed as too broad by Scott, Ovaryraptor, Luciano, WELZ, Lucian Feb 26 at 6:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    QUOTE: "email a file to them that they can print." -- depends on how they intend to print it, on what type of device..... – Scott Feb 21 at 18:39
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. It's difficult to answer without knowing what specific print process is going to be used. Is it digital printing, offset lithography, screen printing, or what? There are many kinds of commercial printing. – Billy Kerr Feb 21 at 19:48

No. Do not convert it to CMYK. That is for a very specific type of printing; commercial offset print for example.

I am assuming you are using a paint program, probably Pshop, Krita, Corel Painter, Sai Tools, Gimp or whatever. They normally have a native file format.

To deliver just export a JPG image, maximum quality. It is most likely that your friend will simply use an Inkjet Printer, office laser print or a plotter to print the image.

If it is for commercial print, let the designer of the project do the conversions. In that case, an RGB TIFF File will work fine.

In general, making digital illustrations, like digital paint, the right way to do it is on RGB mode.


The reason the designer should handle the conversions is that he should use the specific Profile the project needs.

Yes, the colors will be duller than the viewed on screen because the range of colors a commercial printer can handle is less than your RGB monitor.

When making a digital Paint to be reproduced commercially, you should prepare your file in RGB mode, but simulating the duller colors of a CMYK print, this way you are still working with all the effects and blend modes you need, but with a more realistic view on the final result.

Also, you should have your monitor with a minimum calibration, at least. If you are doing this for a living, you should get something like this: http://colormunki.com/ or https://spyderx.datacolor.com/

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