Say you have a vector image you open up in both Photoshop and Illustrator in DINA3 and 300ppi, wanting to print it in 300dpi.

So when it comes to their pixel resolution, they're the same and all the general print settings are the same, too.

Does the sole factor of initiating the printing process using Illustrator have any effect on the quality of the print? My intuition tells me that it's going to be better since Illustrator uses lossless vectors, but since they use the same resolution and all, I'm kinda unsure whether this is true.

Any ideas?

  • Depends on how you are printing it. If it's a home/offcie inkjet printer, and the raster image is high enough resolution then probably little difference. If it's offset lithography, then probably yes.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 30, 2019 at 13:54
  • Mh so I guess it's generally a good idea to use Illustrator if possible to be on the safe side. Aug 30, 2019 at 15:15
  • Well, yes I suppose so. But in any case, printing directly from Illustrator is not something I'd generally do anyway. I'd be more likely convert it to PDF, then send it for print.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 30, 2019 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


Let me go step by step here.

Say you have a vector image you open up in both Photoshop and Illustrator in DINA3 and 300ppi.

A vector image will stay vector on Illustrator (1), this means that the 300PPI will have no effect. This setting on Illustrator is when it needs to actually rasterize something, some shadow for example. This means that if it is going to be printed it will be "sharper" when printed for example on a 2400dpi printer. But still, we have some more things to consider.

For maximum resolution, the shape to be printed needs to be black or pure 100% CMY. A color image needs to be "screened" or patterned somehow to simulate the gray or the lighter color.

Depending on how the image is "patterned" a vector image will have a little, tiny advantage, most noticeable on small texts.

Here I made a simulation on how a text with some aliasing (2) will be screened (4) vs a pure vector (1) text also screened but without "making a raster" transition first (3).

enter image description here

wanting to print it in 300dpi.

You normally do not print at 300dpi (congratulations on differentiating the units PPI and DPI tho :o) )

Normally the printer will be higher. 720'ish, 1400ish, 2400 or 3600 on commercial print.

This makes the difference in how many dots are used per pixel to screen the image.

Besides that, there is little difference for normal users printing from one program or another, as long as they use the proper color profiles.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.