Large Format Printing: File Formatting Basics
Monday, February 5, 2018
You know you’ve achieved perfection in design, not when you had nothing more to add, but when you had nothing more to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Today, it is impossible for businesses to survive without marketing; and marketing to survive without outdoor advertising. Although social media, search engine marketing, and digital marketing in general has broken a substantial chunk of the traditional marketing industry, it is still not a lost trade. Many companies still believe that investing in these mediums is beneficial. Therefore, in one form or the other, large format printing is employed in advertising brands, products, services or organizations even in a world dominated by cost-effective digital advertising.
Developing content for large format printing and outdoor advertising can be quite tricky because there are a number of factors that a business and the designer need to incorporate in order for the end product to be flawless. To make things easier, this post lists down few essential elements that should be a part of all files intended for large format printing.
Choose your tools wisely
It is important to start with the most important bits because they are obviously the most crucial. Always use authentic and tested softwares for designing content for your large format printing designs. Tools like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and one of the most versatile softwares on the block. They offer an enormous number of features, allowing you to really bring out the creative being hidden in you and churn out some amazing graphics and content.
Using online tools or other free ones might not give you access to the plethora of features and furthermore, will also mess up the end-product in terms of poor quality or watermarks.
Include bleeds and use good quality images
Bleeds are the borders left around an image or banner design so that there is room left for adjustments when the final product comes out of the printer and has to be installed at its destined spot.
Images are the elements that cause the most headaches during large format printing. Make sure to use high quality images in the proper format that don’t decimate into separate pixels when they are expanded to be printed in a large size. Furthermore, it is also important to focus on making the overall design as simple, aesthetically appealing, and beautifully symmetrical as possible because a messy poster is a huge throw off for the customer.
Format the files in CMYK and not RGB
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black) or CMYK are the spectrum of colors used in a printer. They are combined and used to generate any other color that might be needed in your design. On the other hand, Red, Green and Blue or RGB are good for content that goes on digital platforms. For printing make sure to convert the file to CMYK or else the final product might not be as expected.
Using a genuine tool like the ones from the Adobe family, formatting and incorporating a minimalistic design and then sending a file to print are some of the most important aspects that one should consider if they wish to have an attractive print result to woo their audiences with or else you might end up with a huge ‘boo’!
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