I create business cards in illustrator, size 85mmx55mm.. (CMYK, 300dpi) I have always done this with no problem and either saved as PDF or JPG to flatten and print (especially if I have a gradient in the design). This has always worked perfectly and I have no problems with print quality.
However, today, following the exact same principle I have always used, when exporting as JPG, (tried PNG and TIFF). The quality was massively reduced. Not print quality at all. Even PDF, although looked fine in illustrator or Acrobat, the quality was massively reduced in photoshop. (I understand the vector/raster differences, but it still should not lose the quality it has done).
Has anything changed in any updates? Or how do I work around this if I want to save a JPG in Illustrator without losing quality? (I am exporting at 300dpi)
Screenshots below. Good quality is EPS, the bad quality is exported as JPG and the stripy gold is PDF
I don't see why you should be exporting as a JPEG when you want to print this. If you want good quality, export a vector file, such as a PDF. Why would you convert a PDF to JPG in order to print? That makes no sense at all. If your printing service doesn't take PDF, then dirch them and look for a better one. You want quality after all.
I am not converting PDF to JPG. I am working in Illustrator, save as EPS. Normlally save as PDF to print. However when saving anything with a graduated colour (this project has a gold graduated colour) the print is never right. (I have attached a screenshot of the saved PDF and the gold is stripy) So I export it as JPG to flatten the colour. That's just my workaround. This normally works very well. Just shouldn't lose this amount of quality exporting to JPG for illustrator, I never have before which is the confusing part.
EPS is last century. Why don't you save as AI?
If gradients are "stripy" (this is called banding), then contact the printing service about it. Probably their machines don't support Smooth Shades. Maybe in your recent files the type was larger?
Anyway: use a higher ppi setting when your raster file shows pixel steps.
Thank you. I don't know why I save as EPS, just always have done. I'm actually not sure of the difference between EPS and AI, but I will look into that. This is only local saving for myself.
But for the print shop, I save as PDF or JPG as that is what they ask for. So if I get the banding in the print, it's down to the printer, not me? Am I worrying too much about seeing banding on screen? If I open the PDF up in Acrobat, there is no banding
Banding can of course still happen, but the display on screen doesn't necessarily carry over to the print. It's a complex relationship between the devices, the colors involved, the length of the gradient: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/printing-gradients-meshes-color-blends.html
But yours doesn't look like it's asking for trouble. So if you are unsure, discuss this with your service provider. They should be able to give advice of what their tech is able to do.