What is a digital download and how does it work? Read our FAQs.
Want to know what's a digital download and how it works? This info package will give you some tips & pointers and help you to get the most out of your digital downloads.
Nowadays online marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon are filled with digital downloads, instant downloads and printable PDF's, but what exactly are they and how do they work? This info package will get you familiar with digital downloads and will answer any questions you may have about purchasing digital items.
01 What is a digital download? >
02 How to download digital items >
03 How to unzip >
04 How to print >
05 Choosing a size >
06 Choosing the right paper >
07 Where to print digital art >
01 What is a digital download?
A digital download is a file or software that's available for you to purchase and download without receiving a physical copy. Digital downloads can be found on many E-commerce platforms such as Etsy, Amazon and Ebay. Most common examples of digital downloads include:
- Digital planners
- Digital graphics and wall art
Although digital downloads come in many forms, this article mainly focuses on digital download art. When purchasing digital pictures, you will immediately get a print-ready digital copy of the art sent to you. This means you only receive a digital version of the art and no physical item is shipped to you in the mail. So what are the benefits of buying a digital download? Digital downloads are more affordable than physical products and there are no customs fees. The delivery is instant and with a digital download you can print as many times as you need.
"A digital download is a file or software you can purchase and download without receiving a physical copy.
You can print your file at home using your desktop printer, upload it to a professional printing service online or take it to your local print shop on a hard drive. That means no paying for shipping and no waiting for your order to get delivered to you – pretty cool, right?
02 How to download digital items
In most cases, right after your payment has been confirmed, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided at checkout. That's why it's important to double check your email address for mistakes before placing your order. Also be sure to use your current email address because using an old email you no longer have access to might result in you not being able to download your files.
The confirmation email will contain a link for you to download your order. Click the link to download your files. You can download using your desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. Please note that if you don't get the email confirmation within a reasonable amount of time (~30 minutes), you should also check your spam folder and promotions tab just in case.
03 What's a zip file? How do I unzip?
After having downloaded your order, you'll notice it's contained inside a file with the extension ".zip". A zip file, like other archive file formats, is simply a collection of one or more files that are compressed into a single file for easy transportation.
Before being able to view your print-ready JPG and PDF files, you'll need to extract the zip file first. This process is called unzipping or extracting. Unzipping can be done directly on your desktop computer as well as on a mobile device. If you're unsure on how unzipping works on your device, you can also use this free site for unzipping (instructions below).
"A zip file is simply a collection of one or more files that are compressed into a single file for easy transportation.
The easiest way to unzip:
- Unzip the files directly on your desktop device. This can usually be done simply by double-clicking the file. If that doesn't work, try right-clicking the file and selecting "extract".
If the above is not available to you, you can also:
- Go to files2zip.com and click Select files
- Locate your Downloads folder from your phone or computer. Upload the file(s) to the site and unzip.
- Once finished, click on the unzipped JPG and PDF files and download them to your device
04 How do I print my files?
After having unzipped your files, it's time to print! Printing your files is easy with any of these three options:
- Print at home: Print the files directly from your office printer by using your phone or a desktop computer
- Send to an online printing service: Upload the files to an online printing service directly from your device
- Deliver to a print shop: If you'd rather take your files to a print shop in person, you can put your files on a USB hard drive and leave it to a professional
05 Which size should I choose?
There are many printing sizes to choose from, so which one should you pick? If you already have a frame picked out for your poster, you’ll obviously want to select the size to match your frame. However if you don't have a frame picked out yet, you may want to have a look at the most common frame sizes and choose your printing size accordingly. Planning ahead will prevent you having to search high and low for the perfect frame for your print.
If you're thinking between a large and small size, with digital downloads it's always smarter to get the bigger one. A bigger file size can always be scaled down, while still keeping the quality of the image intact. A smaller size on the other hand cannot be enlarged without losing image quality in case you change your mind later.
"Hot tip: If you're thinking in between a larger and smaller size, always get the bigger one.
06 Which paper is the best?
When printing at home, you're pretty much restricted to the paper used by your desktop printer. To get a more high-end result, we recommend sending your files over to your local print shop or uploading them to an online site. When printing posters and wall art, high-quality matte card stock is the most recommended paper type. Most professional print shops already have this option as a default when ordering prints, so you might not even need to worry about choosing the right paper quality.
07 Where to print digital art?
The only question remaining is: where to print your digital artwork? If you want the quickest & easiest option, places like Target, Walgreens, Fedex, OfficeDepot and Shutterfly have easy-to-use online photo printing services. However if you want to print somewhere closer to you, you can look up places in your area by googling "photo printing services". Also remember to check if your local department store has a printing service, there's a good chance they might.
Have another question?
In case you still have questions about our products that weren't answered here, we'd love to help! You can contact us here.
Please note: Before printing your files, be sure to consult a printing professional for the result you're looking for. Any of our suggestions on sizing, printing or paper type are recommendations only.