Which file format is best for Printing Digital Art?

Computerization is the new normal. Everything around us, from entertainment to academics, has turned digital and is computerized to some extent. Then why should art stay behind? Digital Art has also emerged as a new normal in today’s age. People like the idea of conglomerating the two disciplines of art and information technology to create something that will stay forever. However, these files still need to be of excellent quality; hence in this article, we will talk about which file format is best for printing digital art.

 Which file format is best for printing digital art?

As a digital artist, you would want your art to look as pristine, precise, and accurate in print format as it does on your computer screen. Hence, to achieve that, you must only save them in the following formats:

  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
  • Photoshop PDF (Portable Document Format)
  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

The above-mentioned formats are the best formats in which you can save or export your digital art. But before we dive deep and understand why these formats are important, let’s understand digital art in brief.

This will give you a better outlook as to why you should prefer TIFF, Photoshop PDF, and JPEG file formats over the others.

What is digital art? Is it different from regular art?

In the past, art was something that brought forth ideas pertaining to different schools of thinking. From Expressionism to Surrealism, everything was portrayed through art. The only difference between then and now is the final outcome.

In the times of Van Goff and Picasso, art was tangible. Today it is digital, and we call it digital art. The work put in, the creator’s emotion, and the art’s value still remain the same.

To simplify things, Digital Art is work that is developed on computerized canvas and presented on digital technology as well. The term came into being long before many of us did. It was coined by the pioneer of this field Harold Cohen in the 1980s. 

Today it is applicable to various forms of art like simple illustrations or pencil drawings, animations and 3D sculptures, and many more. Hence, it is safe to say that Digital Art is authentic and carries the same importance as traditional art.

Now that we have established what Digital Art is and how it is essential, it is time to move toward the most critical question that we are here to answer: which file format is best for printing digital art?

The best file format for printing digital art?

Just like any form of art, Digital Art is also prestigious. Hence you would always want them to remain in their pristine condition. And to ensure that experts suggest you export them in TIFF format.

This doesn’t mean that the other formats don’t carry any importance. The other two formats have their own role and significance as well. So, without further ado, let’s understand how these formats are best for your digital art.


The Tagged Image File Format is the best format as advertised by the experts, and they certainly have reasons to believe that. TIFF is the best format for printing your Digital Art because it allows Lossless format saving. 

Meaning that it has the ability to save images without compressing them. Hence your images are saved in the best quality possible. Furthermore, TIFF makes the most of colors as well by using 1-48 bits per channel and therefore allows most shades.

It supports RGB, CMYK, LAB, and other index color modes. Therefore, TIFF is by far the best format for you to get your digital art printed in.

Photoshop PDF:

The Portable Document Format by Photoshop is another reliable file format for your digital art. Since it does not have a lossless format saving, it allows you the perfect balance between high-quality images and file size.

This feature of PDFs makes them the best formats to save your file in when you are looking to share them with someone. Since lossless format might save big files, PDFs compress them just enough to make them sharable with anyone.

Although this might hamper your work’s quality a little bit, so, you can use this format if you are looking to show someone a prototype of your art rather than the whole thing. 


The Joint Photographic Experts Group is the least advocated file format out there for printing a file that has a high quality of colors and details. This is an equivalent format to TIFF when it comes to digitally uploading your artwork. 

However, all the difference is made in printing in JPEG or JPG format. Unlike a TIFF file, a .JPG file will only support 8-16 bits per channel. Hence, it is sure to hamper the color quality of your artwork. But this is still better than any other format available.


Digital Artworks are very prestigious formats of art. Hence one should never use file formats that might eventually degrade the quality of the art. Always make sure that your artwork is printed in TIFF file format.

With several features on offer, TIFF has to be the best file format for printing digital art. It supports more colors and doesn’t add or take anything from your file.

Therefore, ensuring that a perfect portrait of your artwork is presented to the viewers in a tangible form.


Is Crypto art a form of Digital art?

Yes, Crypto Art or NFT (non-fungible tokens) is digital art and is treated as physical art because they have verified owners and creators like Da Vinci and Picasso artwork.

Can we print Digital Art?

Digital Art, in any form apart from animation, can be printed. Even 3D art models nowadays have the means of being printed by using 3D printers.