When you’re printing a billboard poster, a giant banner, a tradeshow backdrop… the stakes are high – and the challenges to get that large format print perfect can be big. Not all files are suitable for large print, and even the smallest mistake can become a very expensive problem. More often than not, large format prints are printed on pricy materials such as vinyl or plastic and require special, costly ink that is able to withstand inclement weather.
Here are a few tips to get your large format print right the first time, every time.
1. Get your settings right
If you’re planning on turning a photograph into a large format print, it is wise to change your camera’s settings to the largest image size and highest resolution possible before shooting, and shoot your pictures in RAW format instead of JPG.
2. Do the math
You should also know that, no matter how good it may appear onscreen, it is impossible to predict how an image will translate to print merely by looking at it. To calculate an image’s maximum print size, divide the width and height dimensions (in pixels) by 300. For example, an image of 4800 x 2700 pixels will result in a 16 x 9 inch print.
Did you know? 300 is the minimum number of pixels per inch (ppi) required for high-quality printing, especially if you’re planning to print large format.
3. Don’t scale up images
Never rely on photo editing software to resize an image. Using the resizing feature to make an image larger tends to result in heavy pixilation.
4. Vector graphics for the win
Contrary to JPG, JPEG and BMP images, vector graphics are made up of so-called ‘paths’ instead of pixels. While blowing up regular images often leads to blocky, pixelated prints, vector images can be easily scaled to extremely large – or small – sizes without any loss of image quality.
5. Find & fix errors automatically
Instead of spending hours checking your large format file for errors, manually measuring the size of a print and drawing grommet holes, selecting the right press, … why not invest in software that does these things for you with the click of a button? PitStop Pro 13 update 1 is the latest advancement in preflight software – software that automatically detects and fixes potential printing errors – so by using it you can rest assured your large format print will look picture perfect every time.
Did you know? PitStop 13 update 1 can even automatically add grommet holes.