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How should I design for large scale printing size?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
How big should my image be if Im desining for a large banner?

the size of the banner is EQS2 - 39.4" w x 79" h

Im not sure what the font size or pixel size or dpi should be so when it is printed it is correct.. Also what color should I use for a black background?

im good with photoshop just never designed something for large scale printing..

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Most Valuable Expert 2013


I strongly suggest asking your printer what they need in terms of file formats and dpi. Typically, the black background will be produced by the media they print onto, so they should be able to answer that question for you as well.

Beyond that, go with scalable (vector) art if you can, rather than a raster image. Typically large banners are not viewed at the same distance as a smaller image, so the dpi won't be as critical as it would be for other printing.

Most large format printers use 1440 dpi (dots per inch NOT pixels per inch) just like any reasonably good low cost laser printer - only difference is that the size of each 'dot' is much bigger.

To get maximum sharpness in the printed banner, your photoshop image resolutions in dpi should ideally be a multiple of the printer's resolution.

For most jobs, creating your photoshop artwork at 720 dpi  with canvas size in proportionate size is sufficient. I have obtained perfect print out for a vinyl hoarding 60 ft (720") x 20 ft (240") from a potoshop file of 6" (inch) x 2" (inch) in 720 dpi.

As already pointed out by LHerrou, banners and hoardings are meant to be viewed from at least a few feet away so the difference in the sizes of the dots used by the large format printer does not make any visible difference to the viewer.

For your job, creating a 3.94" x 7.9" artwork in 720 dpi in photoshop would be sufficient and should give you an exact reproduction with no re-sizing called for at the printer's end.

Good Luck!

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39.4 x79

The size indicated was not a mistake. It will not be necessary to make your photoshop artwork in the full banner size at 720 dpi - the file will be too big and dfficult to process even on a fast computer.

A 3.94" x 7.9" artwork at 720 dpi is quite sufficient to make a banner of 39.4" x 79" size using a large format printer :-)

Good Luck!
Most Valuable Expert 2013

I reiterate: I strongly suggest asking your printer what they need in terms of file formats and dpi - no point in investing a lot of effort before you've done that. If you don't know who will be printing it, find a couple of places that have the capability, and ask them as if you were going to use them.


Thanks again for all of your postings..I really appreciate the quick response..
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