File Formats & Compression

Supported Image Types

Zazzle supports images in JPEG, PNG, PDF, and Adobe Illustrator (AI) formats. These formats will produce great quality products as long as the resolution meets or exceeds our recommendations. We support full transparency for PNG, PDF and AI files. This can be especially useful if you are creating a design with multiple overlapping images such as borders to go around your design, or shapes with non-rectangular edges. For PDF and AI formats, we support vector output for most of our products. Please note that within the Zazzle Design Tool, a rasterized (bitmap) version of your vector-file will appear.

JPEG

  • The JPEG format supports millions of colors, which allows for great design flexibility.
  • The JPEG format compresses the image information, keeping file sizes small and reducing upload times.
  • Most digital cameras can save images in JPEG format.

PNG

  • PNG is a completely lossless compression format.
  • Most graphic design programs (e.g. Photoshop) can create PNG images.
  • The PNG format includes full alpha transparency support!

PDF and Adobe Illustrator (AI)

  • PDF and AI formats support both raster and vector graphic information and full alpha transparency.
  • PDF is a cross-platform open-standard and can be created from many digital design applications.
  • These are compact, high-quality image file formats.
  • We accept embedded fonts in PDF files if you own the embed rights. If you do not own embed rights for a font, please create outlines of the font in your design software before creating the PDF.
  • Please note that any low-resolution bitmaps in the PDF will still cause resolution warnings on Zazzle.
  • If you upload a multiple page PDF, only the first page will appear on your product. For products with multiple design areas (such as front and back), you will need to upload separate PDF files.

GIF and TIFF formats are also supported. Please make sure the quality of your image is high enough to print on a product.


Image size and resolution

To ensure your images are the correct size and resolution, we recommend starting with one of the Zazzle Guide Files. These guide files are the correct size and resolution required for great results. Higher resolutions will have even better results.

The general resolution requirements (in pixels per inch) are:

  • 150ppi for apparel, aprons, bags, hats, mousepads, and ties.
  • 200ppi for mugs, drinkware, calendars, cards, keychains, magnets, postcards, and all stickers.
  • 300ppi for custom postage
  • 100 ppi for photo enlargements/prints, and posters

If you have pre-existing artwork, see the complete list of image sizes and resolutions by product type.

To fill the full area on any product, we recommend that you use images that are equal to or larger than the recommended sizes. In the Design Tool, a resolution warning will appear for any images sized larger than the resolution of the image allows.

Suggested Color Profiles

We recommend using an sRGB color profile for images; however, we also support CMYK based images.

A Note About Using Images with the Color White

In any image, there are areas that you may want to be transparent (i.e. the area or background behind it shows through) or areas that you may want to be non-transparent. If you create PNG images with transparency, then those transparency settings will be obeyed. In photos, we would guess that no area should be transparent.

But if you have a JPEG image (or PNG image without transparency), you cannot specify which areas are to be treated as transparent. In that case, we let you specify all white in your image as transparent. To do this, under the "Customize It" tab, please check "show whites in image as transparent" on the image module.

"Show whites in image as transparent"

  • When checked: The background color, shirt color, or any objects behind your image will appear in place of any white in your image.
  • When unchecked: The white in your image will appear as you see it on screen.
PNG vs JPG Quality Here is an example of the difference in quality between a JPG and PNG file.

You can check your image quality by printing a real sized image from your printer and checking it for any fuzziness. If you do decide to use a JPG image, use the lowest compression factor available to decrease any distortion effects.

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