Saving good quality, small filesize PDF’s

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the safest, most compatible way to share a document. A PDF will embed fonts and images and preserve pixel and vector information. A PDF can be high quality for professional printing or a small file for sharing via email or uploading to the web. Below are the instructions to save a PDF that is looks great but is has the smallest file size.

  1. Save your document
  2. Then, Save As a PFD. Click Save (From InDesign choose File > Adobe PDF Preset > Smallest File Size
  3. Set the Adobe PDF Preset to Smallest File Size. (Check to View PDF after Saving to automatically open the file in your PDF viewer)
  4. IMPORTANT! Under Compression change Image Quality to High

That’s it! Be sure to check the PDF after saving to make sure everything is looking good. Check the file size (Right Click of the file then Get Info on a Mac or Properties on a PC). Depending on your file you may find it  to be a few hundred KB (less that a MB!) Never email a file over 5MG. It may not make it to the recipient.



Colour Modes: RGB vs CMYK

There are two key colour modes to be aware of in digital design; RGB & CMYK.

RGB: Red + Green + Blue

Use for: Screen (web, email, presentation, CD ROM, moving image).
Some high end photographic printers.

Pros: Produce a wide range of colours including very luminous hues.

Cons: Can’t send to offset print.
Difficult to colour manage.

RGB are referred to as additive colours as white is created by adding all these hues of light together.


CMYK: Cyan + Magenta + Yellow + Black (key)

Use for: Print (offset, laser, inkjet, digital).

Pros: This colour format is the most frequently used in variable colour printing. Print runs are typically cheap as machines are set and ready to go.

Cons: Difficult to colour manage.
Difficult to reproduce RGB colours.
Cannot produce metallic or fluorescent effects.
Larger file size.
Can’t display on screen.

CMYK are also referred to as subtractive colours as white is created by subtracting all coloured inks from the page. 

Free Magazine Mockups

Photoshop mockups are a great way to provide context to your designs when presenting.

Dowload the mockups here