I've created a sticker design, entirely vector, made in illustrator. There are some gradients that blend to transparency.

I've set the Document Setup and all Raster Effect settings to 300 ppi, but my client opens it to "Medium" settings in Illustrator, set to 150 ppi.

Why does it change?

  • Are you both using the same version of AI? Feb 23 '16 at 17:25
  • As long as it is still an Illustrator file and nothing has been flattened or rasterized it doesn't matter. The only time that matters is when you are rasterizing anything.
    – Cai
    Feb 23 '16 at 17:25
  • I continue to flatten it as a PDF and I have Illustrator editing capabilities unchecked, but it remains editable for some reason. I don't know which version they're using, I'm on CC. Feb 23 '16 at 17:30

You have some conflicting info there (72ppi in title, 150 in body of question etc).


For PDF, I can reproduce this by selecting a different preset or manually setting the downsampling options. If you select "save as", choose PDF and pick the "Smallest File Size" preset, then all your raster art will downsample and the resultant PDF, when opened again in AI, will show less than 300ppi in the "Document Raster Effects..." dialog.

  • I'm using the "High Quality Print" preset, with some tweaks along the way, every place I see resolution, it's set to "high" or 300 ppi. The 72 in the title was a typo o.o Feb 23 '16 at 18:31
  • I missed the part about flattening. Are you flattening transparency (pdf 1.3)? I can reproduce what you describe by setting PDF 1.3 which does not preserve transparency. (Neither does EPS)
    – Yorik
    Feb 23 '16 at 18:41
  • Yes. It isn't actually transparent, and it doesn't need to be, since the sticker has a white background. But technically, the gradients are color > transparency. The problem is the resolution- every file the client gets is either 72 or 150 ppi instead of the 300 I've set in every single way I can think of (Raster Effects, Document Set Up, AND the PDF export window). Feb 23 '16 at 21:19
  • I set up an AI document, made a single gradient color-to-transparent. I exported PDF, it came back as expected. I exported a second PDF with for-print settings, but I set the PDF version to 1.3 to enable flattening options. No matter what DPI I set in all down-sampling options and in the separate transparency-flattening dialog, the result comes back 72 dpi.
    – Yorik
    Feb 23 '16 at 21:24
  • So it's not just me then. I guess I'll just have the printer change it on their end- I dunno why they couldn't have done that in the first place. Feb 23 '16 at 22:27

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