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Text based projects in Photoshop and pixelation

Community Beginner ,
Nov 07, 2023 Nov 07, 2023

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I would like to create a piece of digital art with shapes and text to sell in standard sizes (11 x 14, 8 x 10, and 5 x 7) using Photoshop. While I know Illustrator or InDesign would be a far better choice, is it foolish to try to do that in Photoshop in terms of printing and pixelation? I have the skills to do what I want to do in Photoshop easily, but since it's not a vector, I'm worried about the end result for my customers. Is there a way to turn text to vectors in PS? I've turned it into a path to enlarge it, but it still seems pixelated compared to true vectors in Illustrator. Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 07, 2023 Nov 07, 2023

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Right click on Type layer then choose Convert to Shape. You are getting pixelated result at 100% view? Can you capture that and post here screenshot of entire window?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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You should test the following yourself to make sure I didn’t miss something, but it might work out OK if you specifically save a copy of the file with the Format set to Photoshop PDF.

 

In Photoshop PDF format, text layers are maintained as vector layers separate from the image layers, not rasterized to the Photoshop document image resolution.

 

The way I tested was to place both a layered Photoshop file and a layered Photoshop PDF file in InDesign, and zoom in. The text layer in the layered Photoshop file pixelated as expected, but in the layered Photoshop PDF file, the text layer stayed sharp, continuously rasterized to the display resolution as a vector would.

 

If you test this out and it works, you don’t need to make text un-editable by converting it to outlines.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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This is an interesting answer because I would like to leave the text editable. Most customers are going to use a CVS or Walgreens type store to print the artwork, and they don't want to print PDF files except as documents on standard paper. Do you know whether converting the Photoshop PDF after the fact to a PNG, would cause the loss of additional quality?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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@Elizabeth5C9F when selling templates or editable art - Photoshop is not the way to go.

Illustrator or InDesign will keep the text as live text that can be edited but most Etsy sellers will include a flattened PDF with the fonts outlined (most users wont have the same fonts you use and you cannot embed them and sell) and also include a .eps or other editable format.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

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I know...my skills are very lacking in InDesign and Illustrator in comparison, but I'm working on it!

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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quote

Do you know whether converting the Photoshop PDF after the fact to a PNG, would cause the loss of additional quality?

By @Elizabeth5C9F

 

Yes. The reason is how the different formats store the document:

 

Photoshop and PNG are both pixel-based documents, so their document size is strictly tied to a fixed pixel grid. This is why anything, including vector shape layers and type layers, pixelates as you zoom in.

 

PDF can handle many different types of data. For example, when you export an InDesign layout including graphics from Photoshop and Illustrator, PDF preserves each Photoshop image as an independent pixel object, and it also preserves each Illustrator graphic as a vector object. This is how saving in Photoshop PDF is able to maintain the device independence of vector text: It’s taking advantage of what PDF can do that pixel-only formats like PNG cannot do.

 

quote

This is an interesting answer because I would like to leave the text editable. Most customers are going to use a CVS or Walgreens type store to print the artwork, and they don't want to print PDF files except as documents on standard paper.

By @Elizabeth5C9F

 

Well, that changes the answer a little. The PDF answer works well when the document is going off to a commercial press. Printing the artwork at a CVS or Walgreens might mean it goes to a quick photo printer (if you’re going to order the prints on photo paper) or to an inkjet printer (if you order prints on fine art paper). In this case, they might not even accept PDF.

 

But you can just send a document with enough resolution that the text is sharp enough at the print size, when sent as a PNG or JPEG if that is what they ask for.

 

You could just send a very high resolution image, but that might be an unnecessarily huge file that could be difficult to work with (might use a lot of memory). I would recommend testing this so that you send enough resolution to them, but no more than that. First, send test images at 300 ppi. For example, 11 x 14 inches at 300 ppi, 8 x 10 inches at 300 ppi, and 5 x 7 inches at 300 ppi. When you get back the test prints, take a close look and see if the text and images look OK. If it does, send all jobs at 300 ppi. If the text looks less smooth/sharp than you want, try another round of tests at 450 ppi, and if necessary 600 ppi.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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@Conrad C I sell templates like this on Etsy. @Elizabeth5C9F I encourage you to review other sellers sites to see how they handle sending template files for sale.

A PDF created from InDesign and Illustrator would work - with the exception of the fonts. They error when opened to edit and would replace with a default font. It's up to the buyer to purchase or obtain the fonts you used if they wish to edit live text.

The other option is to sell a flattened/outlined font file that again, users can edit - but requires them to completely replace the text/font/etc themselves to edit completely.

You need to be clear with your directions and the expectations when selling files - be clear about font usages and that they are not included (you cannot resell fonts) in the files when editing.

As for the resolution of pixel graphics - 300 ppi at full size should suffice.

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New Here ,
Feb 10, 2024 Feb 10, 2024

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Hi.  I'm an artist with some photoshop experience and am trying to create cards to sell on Etsy as well.  I have created and saved files as pdf and jpg and sent to a local printing shop to see the quality with disappointing results.  I think there is something wrong with my work flow as the template lines and text instructions are crisp and clear but the art prints and lofo inside the template are a bit blurry and not as bright of colour as they should be.  What I have been doing is creating a 5x7 psd file for the art of the card, saving it in layers, flattening it and then dragging the flattened file over to the template.   The resolution is 300 dpi.  Is there something wrong in my steps?   

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Community Expert ,
Feb 11, 2024 Feb 11, 2024

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Could you please post screenshots taken at View > 100% with the pertinent Panels (Toolbar, Layers, Options Bar, …) visible? 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

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Thank you for the suggestions...I'm working on some of them to see how it turns out!

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