5 Reason Graphic Designers Love to Use PDF
Tired of projects not coming out as you expected? Do the prints never quite match the hues you spent hours musing over (or lifted from Photoshop)? How about adjusting the size of a design only to have it look like a House of Horrors fun mirror when you print it out?
PDF’s locked in formatting can solve all of those problems. Graphic designers use PDF and swear by the fidelity, flexibility, and convenience of PDF for their designs. Here are 5 reasons you should make the switch NOW.
Table of Contents
What is PDF Format?
Just so we’re on the same page…
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format, that promises documents will be displayed the same way, regardless of the software or hardware of the viewer. Basically, each page is a digital container storing all sorts of “assets”. This would be the text, images, links, custom fonts or anything else stored in the PDF.
You can think of the PDF format like a super secure document driven version of PowerPoint. Instead of preparing that great presentation for a live environment, you’d create it to send off to others to read on their own.
OK, now that you know what it is, let’s cover why your life as a designer has sucked without it.
5 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Use PDF
PDFs Are the Most Accurate Way to Retain Formatting
You’ve painstakingly chosen a layout, set the width to height ratio, and felt your way through a ton of mistakes to nail the balance PERFECTLY only to see that the final product……. is completely messed up.
HOW DID ALL THIS HAPPEN!?!?! Time to look at another reason graphic designers use PDF.
If you don’t use PDF, you could lose the formatting and aspect ratio you set in the original design. When you use PDF, the formatting options you set will be perfectly preserved.
The PDF format manages to create a sort of snapshot of the content of your page that displays the same no matter what. What you see on your printed page, 4K monitor or tiny out of date mobile phone will all maintain the same formatting you’ve put together.
Maintain Color Fidelity
Your customers expect (and you crave) color reproduction in anything they get their hands on. In general, predicting color accuracy is extremely difficult.
Using PDF in the print shop is hands down the best way to maintain color fidelity. If you use PDF, you can be certain the colors used in the PDF will match the colors when printed.
In most cases you can simply set the color code, picking exactly what you need to use.
Keep Fonts Even When Customers Don’t Have Them
“Hey, the font isn’t rendering. Are you sure you did this right?”
Custom typefaces and fonts are a designer’s secret weapon for setting their clients apart and making bold statements.
Except when your client doesn’t have them….
Don’t worry, PDF actually embeds the font in the file, maintaining custom fonts. So even if the client doesn’t own that super fancy (and pricey) font you prefer, they can still open and read your creation.
Problem solved. World saved. Another reason that graphic designers use PDFs explained.
PDF Gives You the Widest Range of Optimization Options
Here’s another awesome thing: PDF pages can be ANY size.
That means you have an infinite range of page size options. As a designer, this helps you keep clients happy by creating multiple versions of the same documents. You can play around with DPIs to get the perfect resolution or pitter-patter about to find the perfect page size for your client’s very specific requirements. And they’ll always look the same no matter the device.
Tip: If you make infographics, PDFs are a must. They allow your infographic to be ANY length and size (We’ve made some extremely extremely long infographics just to push it).
PDF Gives You More Markup, Security, and Sharing Options
One last thing to mention when looking at why graphic designers use PDF is the following list of fantastic, reliable tools:
- Page crop tools: Set bleed margins to get rid of any margins around your design or crop marks to let the printer know where to trim. Plus, you’ll get a ton of other publication settings. Click here to learn more.
- Security: Certain PDF tools (like this totally awesome one we know called Soda PDF) come with secure permissions as a feature. This allows you to put your design in cuffs so no one can come in and make it ugly. Remember, it’s not about what the customer wants; it’s about what you’ve cooked up in your lair.
- Markup: Annotate, highlight, edit, comment—the document is your oyster.
- Compression: If you need to make a presentation or send an email, you can easily compress PDFs for simplified sending or visualization.
- Make documents searchable: PDFs can be quickly searched and updated, unlike most other document formats.
Ready to take your graphic design skills to the next level and stop cringing at the final product every time you send a design to a client? Try your free trial of Soda PDF today and see for yourself why graphic designers use PDF.