Thursday February 11, 2016

5 tips for efficient large format printing

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.

Time to embrace efficiency

Many large format printers are unaware that investing in software is not only cheaper than investing in hardware, but also a sure way to increase their profitability tremendously. Calculate how much money you can save by investing in Enfocus software.

Calculate savings


About Andrew Bailes-Collins

PitStop Pro 2018

Andrew Bailes-Collins is Senior Product Manager at Enfocus.

He graduated from what is now the London College of Communications and went on to serve an apprenticeship as a compositor. He has worked for a number of vendors in the printing and publishing sector, including Scangraphic, Apple and DuPont/Crosfield.

Andrew has been Prepress Manager for several high-quality printing companies in London, managing the change from conventional production techniques to digital. An early adopter of computer-to-plate and PDF workflow, Andrew then worked at OneVision Software for ten years. Initially based in the UK, before rising through the company to become Head of Product Management Europe at their head office near Munich in Germany.

Andrew joined Enfocus and moved to Belgium in 2011 and is the Senior Product Manager responsible for the PitStop family of products. He is also the Technical Officer for the Ghent Workgroup and Co-Chair of the GWG specifications sub-committee.

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