Large printed banner

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by guitargoddsjm, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. guitargoddsjm macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    Hey guys, I may be designing a banner for a school event. The banner size will be 6ft x 12ft (72" tall x 144" wide). At 300dpi, this is a HUGE file, and after everything is said done, the size will be in the gigabytes. The publisher prefers vector files, but will accept .ai, .psd, and .pdf; however, I'm most comfortable using Photoshop rather than Illustrator.

    Would I be better off using a different size? Should I suck it up and use Illustrator instead?
  2. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    300 dpi is overkill for a banner of that size, and moving the file around would be extremely painful.
    I would say produce your banner at 1/4 size (so 18" x 36") at 300dpi and have the printer output it at 400%. This should give you more than acceptable resolution.
  3. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    It's worth considering what your content will be. If it's purely vector based stuff, then Illustrator will produce a much smaller file. I've recently done an A0 poster (about 33" × 47") from pure vector elements in Illustrator and the resulting Press Quality PDF was only 2.8MB.

    Obviously if you're using photographs etc. in the design then you lose this advantage, but covisio is right; 300dpi is overkill. Your printer should be able to suggest an appropriate resolution or scaling to work to.
  4. kevingaffney macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2008
    We print stuff like this all the time. 300 dpi at quarter size or 75dpi at full size works perfect
  5. H00513R macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2010
    Depends on your content. If you are not using photos then use Illustrator. If you are using both then why not import your photos into illustrator and do the rest of your design in there?
  6. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Size matters

    The printer (person who outputs your file) is the best one to answer your question. Here's why: Optimum file pixels per inch (ppi) depends upon equipment resolution, media texture, and viewing distance. The same file can look quite different when printed on equipment with a maximum resolution of 600 dpi vs. 2400 dpi. The poster rasterization software also has a bearing on output quality. The printers I use are optimized for resolution of 100 to 240 ppi. Billboards that are viewed hundreds of feet away can get by with lower resolution; Giclée prints benefit from higher.

    For posters that combine vector and raster images, I recommend a page layout application like Adobe InDesign (or QuarkXPress) before exporting PDF. This way, even if low-resolution photos are a bit soft, vector graphics and text will output at the maximum printer resolution. The file size is also smaller than one prepared totally within Photoshop. All-vector banner art can be prepared within Adobe Illustrator and saved as an editable PDF.

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