Artwork Setup and General Guidelines
One of the most confusing things to do is setting up artwork for large format printing. Most designers assume that the art files should be set up the same way offset printing projects should be done. While there are similarities, there some major differences to ensure that your output comes out as expected. Below is our general guidelines for setting up art files for our printers. Feel free to contact us with questions prior to starting your artwork so we can help save you both time and money.
- Setup All BitMapped or Photographic art at a Resolution of 150dpi at its final size. If your artwork is being designed at a smaller size, then you will need to figure out the enlargement percentage and multiply that by 150 to determine your resolution. i.e. 1/2 size would be 300 dpi.
- Bleed – Please make sure you have bleed on any of your art, especially if there are any overlapping panels. 1/2″ on all sides will work perfect.
- Do not save any files in jpg format. Jpg’s are meant for the web, not for printing. If you need to reduce the file size for electronic transfer, we suggest saving your files with lzw compression in photoshop.
- RGB or CMYK. Leave your images in whatever color space they are in now, if you convert RGB to CMYK it will clip out colors that our equipment might be able to reproduce. When in doubt leave it alone and let us do any color conversions for you,
- PANTONE. When at all possible please design with PMS colors. Our equipment has built in color look up tables that help match PMS colors in the final print. Also it gives us a guideline on what you are expecting. Blue can be many shades, but PMS Reflex Blue should be the same everywhere.
- Native files or PDFs. While some shops prefer PDF’s we would much rather have the native files that the art was created in. This gives us a better chance to do any editing we might need to, to ensure that your final output is a nice as possible.
- Links. Please include all links and fonts that were used on the project. Most major layout software give you the ability to package the file up to send to a service provider. Use this feature and you can guarantee you won’t get the dreaded email that we are missing files.