News & Insights

3 Large Format Design Tips

01 June 2017
By Kim Sullivan

Sometimes you need to go big. You might need:

  • Roller banners, media walls or other display panels for an event or exhibition.
  • Indoor or outdoor signage.
  • Posters, hanging banners, window clings or other large prints.
  • Aluminum Signs for your business.

Whether it’s an event launch, sponsorship promotion, exhibition or opening night, making use of large format printed materials can help to add that extra special something to the way you and your brand are perceived by your target audience or market.

Whatever the reason, taking a few things into consideration during the design phase will ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible.

Here are our top 3 design tips for large format printing.

1. Make use of vectors

If you need to have something enormous, vectors make life a lot easier throughout the whole process. Vectors differ from your normal image in that they record geometric instructions as opposed to pixels. What this means is that your designs & logos can be scaled up or down with no loss of quality. This also means you can avoid working with image files so large they require off shore data storage to contain them!

A secondary benefit to this is that you can work small and scale up, which makes a lot more sense for proofing and printing samples to make sure things come out okay before committing to the final print.

2. Think about contrast & distance

The way images play out on a computer monitor will never match the way things look at a distance. If it’s hard to read the text from 20 feet away from your desk, is it going to be large enough to work in large format at a distance?

Another common downfall of a large format project is including too much detail which gets lost in printing or lots of text in the design. Keeping things as simple as possible will help to convey the bigger picture (no pun intended).

In terms of the image quality, think of this in terms of viewing distance.

If your audience are going to be standing many meters away (for example for a banner displayed behind a speaker at a conference) then you don’t really need to go above 75 DPI. However for an exhibition panel or similar (where the audience could get up close to the printed material) then 200 DPI, or even more, would probably work out.

3. Take bleed into account

Before finalising any design (irrespective of format or size) it’s important to allow for “bleed”, or free space that allows a small margin around the edge of the printed image. This allows us to account for things like paper movement and lets the guillotining process to take place whilst retaining a true “margin to margin” print.

Failure to do this can result in the insertion of a white border around the image or the image being cropped. So if commissioning a design for print, always take this into account before signing off on it.

About Positive

At Positive we provide the full range of large format products including:-

  • Event Displays (roller banners, media walls, literature stands, media stands & more).
  • Indoor Use (foamex boards, posters, static banners, digital wallpaper, floor graphics & more).
  • Outdoor Use (hanging banners, dibond signage, light box posters, flags & more).
  • Glass & window (window clings & contravision).

We utilise specialist Roland large format presses to ensure that your brand colour palette will always be printed consistently and to the highest quality.

For further information call us on 020 8544 5500 or contact us.

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