What's a digital download? and other frequently asked questions
Are you wondering what's the deal with digital downloads? This article will explain just that and help you to get the most out of your printable files!
If you've ever come across terms like digital download, instant download or printable art, chances are you're not exactly sure what any of them mean. This article will explain what printable art is and answer any questions you may have about digital downloads!
What's a digital download?
A digital download (also called instant download or printable art) can be a poster, card, planner, invitation, sticker or anything in between. What makes any item an instant download, is the way it's delivered to you. A digital download is any file or software you can purchase and download without a physical copy. When you purchase an instant download, you will be emailed a print-ready digital copy of the item. That means you will receive a digital file only, and no physical item will be shipped to you in the mail.
"A digital download is any file or software you can purchase and download without 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?
How do I download my digital files?
Right after your payment has been confirmed, you will receive an email with a download link. Open the email and click the link to download your files to your phone or computer. If you don't see an email soon, remember to check your spam folder and promotions tab.
What's a zip file? How do I unzip?
After having downloaded your files, you may notice they are contained inside a file that has an extension called "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 or print your JPG's and PDF's, you will need to extract them from the zip file. This process is called unzipping. You can unzip directly on your phone or computer, but if you're unsure on how to, 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.
Here's how to unzip in a few easy steps:
- Unzip directly on your device
- Go to files2zip.com and click Select files
- Locate the Downloads folder from your phone or computer. Upload your zip file to the site and unzip.
- Once finished, click on the unzipped JPG and PDF files and download to your device
How do I print my files?
After having unzipped your files, it's time to print! Printing your files is easy using these three options:
- Print at home: Print the files directly from your phone or computer using a desktop printer
- 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 for transportation
What’s the best place for printing?
Places like Target, Walgreens, Fedex, OfficeDepot and Shutterfly have easy-to-use photo printing services. You can look up more printing services in your area by googling "online photo printing services". Also remember to check your local department store for a printing service, they might have one!
Which size should I choose?
There are dozens of printing sizes to choose from, so which is the best one? If you already have a frame picked out for your poster, you’ll obviously want to select a size that best matches the 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.
Hot tip: If you're thinking in between a larger and smaller size, always get the bigger one. A bigger file size can always be scaled down while keeping the quality of the image intact. A smaller size cannot be enlarged without losing quality if you later change your mind.
"Hot tip: If you're thinking in between a larger and smaller size, always get the bigger one.
Which paper is the best?
When printing at home, you're pretty much restricted to the paper your desktop printer uses. If you’re looking for a more high-end result, you should send the files over to your local print shop for professional printing. 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.
Have another question?
If you have a question that's not listed on this page, please don't hesitate to contact us here.
Please note: Any recommendations on sizing, framing, printing or paper type are suggestions only. To have the printing result you're looking for, always consult a printing professional before printing your files.