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FACTS > DESIGN TIPS FOR LARGE FORMAT

Use the correct file type.

As suggested in the breakdown of programs, Vector files, which are produced using Illustrator are the best format to use on large-scale graphics. A .EPS vector file works on mathematical principles of scale and is completely resolution independent. Because of this it can be scaled up dramatically while still maintaining its original clarity.

If scaling up non-vector images like a TIFF or JPEG in Illustrator to massive sizes they will likely become extremely blurry, pixelated and distorted. For this reason, Vector files are preferable. However, not all images and graphics can be vectored and sometimes you need to import pixel or raster based artwork into your designs from Photoshop. If you do this you need to keep proper resolution in mind to avoid that loss of quality. While you may be able to get away with lower resolutions on large banners that hang far away, best practice is to have a resolution between 100-300 to ensure it looks crisp from any distance.


Fonts and Design Features

Not all design elements that work well in small-scale design are going to translate well to large scale. Consider that small-scale design on brochures, business cards or sell sheets will be seen at a close range. Large-scale graphics are unique in that they will be viewed both from far away and up close. You must create images and designs that are easily visible from both distances.

When submitting your final graphics file, it is good practice to set your type to “outlines” before saving your file. When type is changed to an outline then it becomes part of the art and not a font.

Remember that your audience will likely see your banners or large format graphics from

far away. So, design using images that don’t completely lose their legibility from a far.

Here are a few tips.

• Keep images and text well-spaced.

• Use easy to read fonts and change to outline before sending the file.

• Keep text to a minimum. No one will stand a read a lot of text.

• Use high contrasting colors between backgrounds and overlay imagery or text to maintain visibility.

• Don’t focus on tiny details, instead be focused on the design as a whole.

• Be sure your file and all elements within are at a high resolution. 300 ppi is preferable.


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