Large format printing is an excellent way to get your business noticed by the public. Whether the large format graphics are featured in your business, spotlighted at an event or on a billboard, bigger can often be the best choice when it comes to getting your brand in the public eye. Quality images can make the difference in bringing large format prints to life but they do need to be high resolution so they are vibrant and clear. Be sure to remember that “going bigger” also means any mistakes are much more visible.
Let us show you how to prepare your images so the results provide the large format printing resolution you envisioned and the images get the attention they deserve.
Optimize the Images for Viewing Distance
Depending on the location and nature of each large format graphic, the people viewing the images will see them from different distances and angles. In other words, there are some people who will view it quite closely (just like a phone screen) while others will view it from a farther distance (much like a TV screen).
The necessary viewing distance and audience proximity are important to keep in mind for large format graphics because a greater viewing distance will require larger images. Unfortunately, as images are enlarged, their resolution will decrease as the size increases.
In general, a large format print requires you to consider your images and the area or distance where the target audience will be located while viewing them. How far away will people be from the print and what sections of the message do you want to ensure stand out to the crowd?
The images will need to appear sharp from the perspective of the audience so take this into consideration when planning the DPI (dots per inch) ratio.
Choose the Right Color for Large Format Graphics
While this might seem like an odd way to consider how color works, think of your color as paint buckets. The two color models that are used the most in printing are CMYK and Pantone.
CMYK is known as a combination of the four colors that are mixed together to create your one desired color. You can think of Pantone as one premixed color used to ensure your color remains the same at all times. It is also important to remember that RGB is a mixture of the red, green, and blue used for the web.
CMYK colors are made up of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black and they are combined to create your desired color. CMYK colors are used for printing because the ink in printers are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Whenever you want to create a print from a digital file, send your file to the printer in CMYK.
On the other hand, Pantone (PMS) allows you the ability to have one true, specific color. Pantone colors are often used in design and printing for corporate branding as they give companies the ability to enjoy recognizable branding that is also consistent. Corporations can choose Pantone colors to ensure consistency and brand recognition in all prints.
Use the Correct File Type for Large Format Printing
When it is time to pick a file format, remember that the resolution is what determines the overall print quality. You need to have a high resolution image to ensure your art will print at a good quality. Your photos are made up of pixels and there is a set number of pixels in each image. Adding pixels to your image does not improve its quality and the act of dramatically resizing an image can result in compromised quality. (FYI: 300 PPI is the general industry standard)
PDF or TIFF files are the best file formats for large format printing. PDF files are versatile and can manage image compression very well while TIFF files are compatible enough to be opened with almost any software.
Are you using a graphics program to create your image? If so, save your file as a vector file made up of data points and lines (instead of pixels). The points and lines in a vector file allow for dramatic resizing of the image without sacrificing quality. Vector images use mathematical formulas to construct images which makes them more flexible in scaling for size with no loss of quality in the process.
Once your images are ready for a large format printing project, contact our experienced printing team.