Large Format Printing Quick Guide: The File Prep Basics

Large format printing is a marketing solution that has increasingly grown in popularity. The main goal is supporting maximum print roll width as its name suggests. The uniqueness of this printing technology is that it gives you the luxury of working with a larger area. At 4OVER4.COM, large format printing consists of car magnets, yard signs, oversized vinyl banners, see-through window vinyl, mesh banners, pre-designed banners, white window cling, fabric banners, aluminum signs and PVC rigid plastic. These coveted large-scale prints are suitable for materials that have visual or graphic-heavy designs. Their wide texts and images make large format prints highly-effective advertising mediums. Rather than printing on individual sheets, roll prints are used in this cutting-edge technique. Creating more impact, these prints, also know as grand printing or wide-format printing, attract many more customers than standard ones.

Understanding Large Format Printing File Prep

To help you better understand this technique, we’ve come up with a quick guide for large format printing: from file prep to final printing. Now you’ll be able to showcase your business in style! File Prep In order to prep a file for output to a large format printer, the rules of standard printing don’t apply, so special considerations must be made. With the correct file prep, printing will go smoother. It’s vital to establish the correct proportions and size at the beginning. Ensure all your photos are CMYK. You must also consider bleeds –the standard bleed for wide format printing is 0.125 inches. If you're finishing your mesh banner with grommets for effective mounting, we suggest leaving two inches between your live area and the trim. file prep Resolution When it comes to resolution, you must take into account that your signs, banners and other large printing formats will be viewed from far away. In other words, the viewing distance of each print is important when considering resolution. One way to measure resolution is dots per inch (DPI.) Dots per inch is just the exact number of individual dots that fit in one inch of a large format print. For dynamic prints with crystal clear reproduction, we suggest using high-resolution digital images with a 300 DPI. Simplicity and clarity are imperative for getting your message out. Keep in mind that, if you don’t have your own photos, be sure to use well-established websites when looking for images for your prints. This way, you won’t infringe on any copyright laws. large format resolution Design Requirements When designing your large format print, whether it’s a car magnet or an aluminum sign, you must meet the following design requirements, ensuring your print has the impact you’re going for:
  • Easy-to-read fonts. Even if font styles vary, when designing a banner, sign or other large format print, it’s imperative to use fonts that are large enough to be seen from a distance and extremely easy to read. Use only one or two types of font on a large format print design. Don’t forget that straightforward and simple is better than curvy and complex.
  • Attention-grabbing colors. Certain colors like yellow and red grab attention faster. For large format prints, work with basic white and black with red or yellow. Always use bold colors instead of pastel colors for most signage.
    • Here at 4OVER4.COM, our staff of print experts can help you make the most dynamic selection.
  • Uncluttered look. Since they are specifically designed to be eye-catching, large signs should not be overly wordy. Use headers and bullets to help clarify your message. Even if you’re using vivid colors, it’s imperative to include enough white space in the design to ultimately avoid a cluttered look. 
large format file prep Dimension Requirements Scale it down to print large. Dimension requirements will fluctuate according to the program you choose to use. Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to use a vector program that lets you work at a smaller scale and later allow the printer to scale it up. We suggest printing a smaller scaled version prior to sending your final product to the online printer for best results. This will automatically let you catch any issues before it’s too late!   large format prints Final Printing Once your design is ready, save the file in PDF or EPS format. We recommend PDF for the image in addition to vector based designs, as both image compressions and vector quality can be handled more effectively. Before you upload your design file using our Instant Price Calculator, open the file you just saved. Review all the text and graphics one more time, ensuring the dimensions are exactly what you expect. Upload the file and get ready for final printing! outdoor prints

File Prep is Easy With 4OVER4.COM's Help

We hope this information comes in handy, and that this large format printing file prep quick guide ensures a successful outcome for your print project.  As you can see, designing a large banner or sign for a convention, conference, tradeshow or corporate event can be an intimidating experience, but not when you have all the valuable information you need at your fingertips. Have you taken advantage of large format printing in the past? We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights. Please feel free to kindly leave a comment below. Now it's time to sign up to get 30% OFF your first order with 4OVER4.COM! Our dedicated customer service team can help you create your own print ready, high quality products with our wide variety of printing services.

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