I have a 13.7 mb ai file I need to email (from my iMac) to a a few screen printing companies. Their minimum file sizes are 10 and 12 mb.

Can anyone recommend a good app for me to use to reduce or compress this file?

  • Hi! There's already some ways to reduce a file size from Illustrator and when possible, it's the safest way to do this! Can you tell us a bit more about your .ai file, what kind of image you placed in it and their resolution, the size, special effects, etc.? Also, does the printers also accept PDF? Sometimes it's the best way to send smaller size files and most printers are alright with them! – go-junta Mar 9 '16 at 18:55
  • Hi Sher, do they need the working file? Why not export as a PDF without Illustrator capabilities? You should also find out if the printing companies have an upload (FTP) service. It is hard to believe the only way they receive files is through email. – AndrewH Mar 9 '16 at 18:55
  • This file was given to me by my graphic designer. (I don't have illustrator.) The screen printer suggested sending the ai file to avoid a $30 set up fee and so that they can separate the colors better. It is a parrot with blue green iridescent feathers that change throughout his body. I can zip it on my mac to email it, but it is still 11mb after compression. – Sher Mar 9 '16 at 19:11
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    1) The thing you are writing on the comment, "Color separation" has nothing to do with the original question. Talk to your designer. He needs to do that! 2) A printing company that only accept emails has no sense. If it is your limitation use a big file transfer service. Google them, there are a ton of free pages. 3) The minimum file sizes? 10-12 and your file is 11? What is the problem? – Rafael Mar 9 '16 at 19:25
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    Thank You Rafael, I did find the answer to my question included in your snarky answer. @@ – Sher Mar 9 '16 at 19:35

I do not see why you cannot contact the screen printing companies to see if they have a form or repo you can submit your files to. If the printer is only taking email source files then that is an issue in itself. Some printers do have a minimum but what I've seen is around 2gb in size so I don't know if that is the issue you're facing. I would look into submitting a PDF but all this depends on the requirements of the screen printer.

After reading the comments I would suggest consulting with the designer about submitting a Printer PDF with the printer's specs. If you're having issues request the designer to consult with the printer. I do not see why that would be an issue but that depends on your relation with the designer and the designer's experience with the printing process.

In the end if this too much of a hassle you should contemplate is it really worth the setup fee VS the time invested to try to avoid it? Also, similar to embroidery, if you do pay a setup fee you can typically request the files they converted so that might be a route to take if you plan on using another printer so ask your printer on what their policy is.

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