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Tips for Designing Large Format Graphics

Designing Large Format Graphics can be tricky. If you’ve ever seen a sign or banner and don’t get the message and want to avoid that issue in your graphics this blog is for you.

Signs, banners, or posters: whichever type of large ­scale print you’re making, it’s important to ensure that it stands out from the crowd—and not in a negative way. To create a print that makes people take notice, you’ll need to choose the right images, colors, and fonts—and you’ll need to fit everything in a balanced design. It’s also helpful to understand the difference between vector images and bitmaps, CMYK versus RGB colors, and more.


1) Keep it Simple

A large canvas means things can get cluttered and overwhelming for the viewer pretty easily. The bigger the banner or the poster, the more complicated things can get. The graphics should be carefully selected such that when they are printed on a big canvas, it still solves the design purpose. Don’t forget your logo, company name, or any brand-identifying element that tells the viewer who the message is from. Establish your messaging clearly, since everything hinges upon your main statement.


2) Scale your images

Your large banner could be massive once it’s finished, and this can be cumbersome to work with at full-size, on a 13-inch screen. Consider scaling down your image to anywhere from ¼ to ⅙ of its size while working with it on a computer to make it more manageable.
You’ll still want to use a fairly high resolution at these smaller sizes so that when it scales you don’t have to make any further adjustments. Once you choose your large format printing service, make sure you let your printer know at what scale you were working with on your image so they can properly scale it to size.

3) Choose Your Fonts Wisely

Most large ­scale graphics are meant to be viewed from a distance, which means you’ll need to choose fonts not only for style but also for readability. Many people find script styles and serif fonts more difficult to read, but some sans serif fonts pose readability challenges, too.
For example:
Sans serif fonts with wide spacing between letters make the gaps between words less obvious. Fonts that crowd the letters together make it harder for people to distinguish between individual letters. Fonts that are too bold tend to look crowded. Fonts made with very thin lines tend not to stand out from the background.
If you want to test a font for readability, back away from your computer’s monitor and read the text from a distance. Better yet, have someone who is unfamiliar with what you’ve written do the reading to see if he or she has trouble with the text.


4) Use The Best Software For The Job

Photoshop is generally the first program anyone opens when he/she sits down at their computer. It is definitely a great piece of software to work on. But we present you some best alternatives to use when designing large format graphics.

Photoshop is ideal for editing imagery, as it has unique tools that are unavailable on other platforms. But it doesn’t automatically set up for print, making color management and managing vectors a little difficult. Illustrator and Indesign programs carry a lot of server space and can handle large files. These programs seamlessly integrate vector and raster imagery and use RGB and CMYK color modes alongside each other. They also set the graphic up for print – one less thing for you to worry about.

There is nothing wrong with using different software to complete different tasks. Some are just better at certain things than others. It is your understanding of these programs, as well as your own skill level, that will help you choose the right one.

5) Extra caution

Below are some minute things you might want to take care of:

  • Be mindful of human error. It happens to the best of us but it can easily be avoided by double-checking your calculations and having a second person proof your work.
  • Remember, large format printing is expensive. Any error on your part is going to cost you a significant amount.
  • You also want to avoid any communication errors with your printer. Large format printers run powerful software. They are designed to take your artwork and scale it up. All you have to do is give them the right scale to work with.
  • Finally, double-check your large graphic in its final size. You can do this by exporting the artwork as a PDF and then zooming in by 400%. This can take a little bit of time given the size of computer monitors, but it’s worth doing – especially if you catch an error.

Great designers will give their professional opinion, and suggest best practices for making your graphic really pop. We specialize in a range of creative marketing services ensuring that your reputation helps grow your business. From brand building to all your sales & marketing campaign needs, we provide you with the required expertise in one place.
This leads to the last step.

6) The Printer

CityBlue is here to assist not only as a printer platform but as a designer for your large format images to help you with all your large format printing projects.
And we’re here with the highest-quality printers in Illinois to make your image as sharp as it can be. If you want a printer that won’t just spit out paper, but guide your graphic concept to its best possible representation, reach out to us.

About CityBlue

CBT specializes in a range of creative marketing services ensuring that your reputation helps grow your business. From brand building to all your sales & marketing campaign needs, we provide you with the required expertise in one place. Let the CityBlue experts align your brand strategy to help increase your brand value in the market and create a positive impact on your customers


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