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Setting up large format artwork


Senior Member
Ive got to the stage on a job where I need to set up the artwork for a full bus wrap and I need to know if I have to set this up to be 100% full sized artwork or if I can get away with doing it at 50% or 25% to save processing time on my slow mac.

I have asked the printer to supply me with artwork details but they are so slow getting back to me I am wasting time sitting round waiting for them. I did a bit of research on the net and it some sites recommend setting the artwork up full size but at 75 or 100dpi.

Does anyone have any experience of setting up artwork to this size? Any tips would be gratefully received!


I would only go as small as 50% the actual size (if possible) and I would always make the file at 300dpi or larger for printing (as they will have to enlarge it for printing).

I used to print massive banners (14meters long etc) for events.

Tom Sound

Active Member
davewill said:
thanks chris,
the printer just emailed me to say it would be fine at 25% and at 100dpi. It sounds quite low to me but I guess he is the expert!

Set it up at 1/4 size at 300dpi minimum, this will give you 75 dpi at full size when scaled up, which will be jubbley for a bus wrap. All other big stuff should ideally scale to 100dpi at full size.

It does depend on the artwork though. If it's got loads of detail then follow ^^

If it's more of a massive logo set on a background colour, or a close up of a blancmange where it's not got much sharp detail then you can drop to 50dpi or less as your expert has said.

Working to scale won't necessarily make your mac work quicker as the dpi should scale with the size so the file size will be the same (very similar). Work with vectors as much as possible. If you're doing it as a raster image save it as an eps with jpeg maximum quality compression, this (almost) lossless compression will shrink the file size when you need to send it on.

good luck! :up: