Background done in Illustrator. Will Photoshop 300 ppi cmyk illustrated portrait be OK to use with background for printing onto metal?

Thank you for all the answers, very much appreciated and useful. I'm using a Chinese manufacturer, so difficult getting clear responses.
Printing onto Stainless Steel, They said to supply them AI or PDF files, but what I need to know is; Can the portrait be done in Photoshop and then image traced into Illustrator as a high quality photo, added to my background and keep the portrait quality for printing?

  • 2
    Hi. Welcome to GDSE. You should probably ask your print provider. Without knowing precisely what print method you will be employing, answering this would be a guess.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 10:21
  • 3
    Depends on the manufacturing method for some sublimation methods and most uv inkjets the answer is yes. However you may want to ask around as "metal" is a bit ambiguous. For some metals yes but for example anodized aluminium may require a extra step or 2 for doing stuff while steel might not or vice versa
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 18:59
  • Thank you Billy and joojaa for your reply. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Printing onto metal is often done using silkscreen methods/equipment. And that would often mean using spot colors, and possibly having to supply multicolor artwork as separated, positive, transparent layers.

The advice to "always ask your printing contractor first" is especially important in this case, because of the unusual material. Ink and screening requirements can differ significantly from regular old SWOP (standard web offset printing) specifications.

Don't be afraid to say to the printer, "I have no idea how to prepare the digital artwork file." Ask -- What ink colors should I use? Is there a recommended pixel resolution? How do I handle overprinting or other mechanical requirements -- bleeds, registration marks, etc.

  • It is great that you bring the color profile to the table. In this case that is a heck more important than some slight variation of a 300PPI file.
    – Rafael
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 20:55

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.