I'm currently designing some prints in Illustrator. For example, I have a design on an artboard of 11 in x 14 in, 300 dpi and I can easily export it to jpeg/png.

But I want to take this print and scale it to different other sizes (16 in x 20 in, 20 in x 30 in, 8 in x 10 in etc) and then export it. To accomplish this, I currently have an Illustrator template with artboards of different sizes. I copy the design and paste and re-scale it on all those artboards. But I don't think this is to efficient. Can you please let me know if there an easier way?

I can use both Illustrator and Photoshop.

Thanks, Alex

4 Answers 4


You can place on illustrator file into another, just like you can with images. That way you can have a 'master' file with your design and a 'placement' file where the design is placed into artboards of various sizes for exporting.

Then if you change one thing in your 'master' file, the 'placement' file will also be updated.

  • Or use symbols.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 8:23
  • @Jeremy S. Thanks Jeremy! I think this is what I'm looking for. So basically I would be able to have that placement file defined in Photoshop with multiple artboards. I then place the same AI file multiple times and resize it accordingly to the artboards. Then, as soon as I update the AI file, I'll have the PSD updated as well with all the various sizes, just ready for export. I chose PSD as the placement file because I've seen that for large artboards (36 in x 54 in) Illustrator is not able to export them but Photoshop is.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 12:35
  • Basically correct. Only difference is that if you're placing into a PSD, you use smart objects instead of links like you do in illustrator. I usually like to place into indesign for export actually since it has a nice links interface.
    – Jeremy S.
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 16:59

The most universally useful way to handle any kind of print file would be to export as some kind of Vector file (.svg, .pdf, .eps, etc). This allows the file to be scaled to any size without losing quality.

For example, you could take your 11" x 14" file, export as a vector and then print it at 11' x 14' and it will look as perfectly crisp as the smaller size.

  • True. But I don't want to save it as a vector. I want to export it to jpeg files of those various sizes. I can then use those files and directly send them to the printing shop without them having to change/scale etc
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:12
  • @alex I've never heard of a print shop that prefers raster images to vectors. The whole reason for working in vectors in the first place is for scalability. It defeats the purpose to create a vector and then send a raster to print. Send the vector.
    – Manly
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:23
  • @Alex Any time i've worked with a print shop the interaction has been: "Hey I need this file printed at X" by Y"." Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:29
  • @Manly there are a few in my town and they are pretty basic or they charge for this service (rescale etc). anyway, that's another topic. another situation would be if I want to get these prints to a customer. I can't share with him/her the vector. So how would I easily transform one artbord at a specific size in multiple jpegs at various sizes. Thanks!
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:30
  • 1
    @Alex as far as I know, printing a vector file at X, Y, and Z sizes and re-scaling services are two separate things. One of the many advantages of vector files is that to resize there isn't any file manipulation going on. Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 20:58

If the larger versions are proportional to the original you can scale them up right in the save for web dialogue when exporting..

Enter a percentage to bring it to the scale factor you need here:

enter image description here

You can also enter new height or width directly, like "16 in" and it will scale proportionally if the chain link thing is checked.

As mentioned above, this works best with vector art. JPGs lose information every time they're saved (lossy) and look even worse when blown up.

If you want to re-proportion you art (that's not scaling, it's re-sizing, and the examples in your question do not have the same proportion) then you usually have to re-arrange the elements to fit in the new rectangle shape. I don't know any automatic workflow to do this.

If you don't care about proportion or distortion then uncheck the chain link thing and enter new values for height and width.


The problem here is that your ouputs have a different aspect ratio. So the computer does not know what is a good fit for each of those. When should it crop and when not?

If you have a new illustrator CC there is a the assets export panel. In essence you just drag the arwork to the panel and then specify any amount of exports you like. Its just nominaly geared toweards pixel size assets but there is no reason why you can not calculate the deired pixel amount yourself and be done with it. Or you can simply write a scipt to do this.

Another alternative with more control is a rehash of Jeremy S. post. Instead of linking files make multiple artboards in your template file with symbols centered. Then when done you drop your arwtrk to the symbols palette and override the temporary symbol. Then export all artboards. Its a bit of work but its one time work.


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.