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Designing for large format print

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by Phamous, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Phamous

    Phamous Junior Member

    Hello all!

    I'm new to the forum (but have a feeling I'm about to become a very persistant regular!)

    I'm luckjy enought to have got an amazing new full-time design job and I can cope with most of what needs to be done. However - one area I'm pretty inexperienced in is designing for large format printing.

    This week I was asked to design a 3.8 metre wide pop-up stand. I have the spec and have designed to the dimensions stated. However - not having designed at this size before, I was wondering if anyone has any advice of what I should be aware of? Am terrified it will print and there may be mistakes it's impossible to hide from at that size!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Firstly, ello.

    Secondly, as everyone here will tell you, talk to your printer. They're the experts so will be able to foresee any pitfalls in your ideas/designs.

    A lot of printers like to work 1/2 size with large format to keep file sizes down. So for example if you need a 5ft banner design it 300dpi on a 2.5ft canvas to be printed at 150dpi. Oh and don't worry bout a low dpi, most large format is viewed at a distance so 150 is ample.
  3. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Tom Sound is the man to talk to about printing on a large scale.
  4. nolgeordie

    nolgeordie Member

    I agree - talk to your printer, be careful to leave enough bleed at the top and bottom of the banner.
  5. Nick M

    Nick M Junior Member

    If banners are being printed digitally they often don't require bleed.

    I have done a fair few stands and have worked to 10% @ 300dpi on one particularly photoshop dependant design but most commonly I work at 25% @ 300dpi - this will give you no worries over quality.

    Of course, having a vector based design is the best way to guarantee large format printing ;)
  6. rach27

    rach27 Member

    I usually set the artwork to 50% at 300dpi with bleed, making sure I've got enough bleed at the bottom for pop-ups. The required bleed should be indicated on the spec. Vector designs do make things easier, but if you are using images just make sure that you are using the biggest file size possible.
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Member

    I second those, and please keep in mind that to high-quality serifed fonts there exist special versions for display (headlines and such) ... While they are made for sizes about 36pt, it is always better to use them than fonts made for text sizes; they have finer details around the serifs, are adjusted in weight and do look better in big sizes. Text sizes blown up tend to look chubby and too rough ...
  8. Minimalist

    Minimalist Member

    Also only use highest quality photographs! Those pesky jpeg-artifacts tend to look ugly to the max when blown up to a bigger size ... No mobile phone camera-pictures here ...! ;)
  9. PrintingUK

    PrintingUK Junior Member

    Dave is completely correct, we often receive files this way for printing, the files tend to be created as an eps or similar which we can work with and return a quality printed banner or whatever;)
  10. PrintingUK

    PrintingUK Junior Member

    this is true and bear in mind, low quality JPGs are pants they really look bad. Use the right program to design the artwork, select the right font, if you just have PS, then select the text as crisp and your good to go
  11. mcskillz

    mcskillz Member

    Something I've not seen mentioned that should be considered is viewing distance. If the print isn't going to be viewed any closer than say 100ft for example then the resolution doesn't need to be as high as say a rollup banner viewed at 2ft away.
  12. Nick4u1

    Nick4u1 New Member

    I would have to agree, distance should decide resolution. If you look at billboard closely you can see just how crude the resolution is/
  13. antastic

    antastic Junior Member

    talk to your printer in regards to file formats etc most lfp's like eps files as we can then edit and adjust ourselves. also printers use a variety of different popup stands ask you printer if they have a template to design to as this will help aswell.

    if giving original artwork to printer make sure to embed all fonts or convert them to curves.
    and yep vector is the way forward saves us a lot of exporting/ripping time
  14. johnmcrin

    johnmcrin Junior Member

    There are three primary things to remember when designing for large format: All images should be at 180 dpi.
  15. Rogue

    Rogue Junior Member

    Can't say I've ever worked in large format but this has been a most helpful topic... Thanks ... :)
  16. Printed_com

    Printed_com New Member

    From a printers side of things, we have a guide to large format printing.

    Hope its helpful.

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