6 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Large Format Visuals

Nothing makes an impact like large format printing. Designing graphics on a larger scale can seem daunting, but with these handy tips and our online print services, you'll soon be designing your posters and banners like a pro.

What is large format printing?

Let's start by defining what large format printing is all about. Advances in modern print technology mean that standard print sizes need no longer constrain your creativity. If you need to create a 5m long outdoor banner in one piece, our specialist equipment is up to the task.

Large format signage is familiar from billboards, exhibition signage, outsize posters and much more. The advantage of modern print technology is that you can depend on high-resolution graphics and vibrant, true-to-life colours, whatever the size of the finished product.

What are the advantages of large format printing for my business?

Visual

Graphics are always front and centre in any successful marketing campaign. Large format print stretches the boundaries of what is visually possible, rendering your brand colours and logo with 100% accuracy.

Practical

As specialists in large format printing, we offer a fast turnaround so you can sleep easy knowing your prints will be with you when you need them. That speed and efficiency doesn't compromise on quality and delivers opportunity costs that let you get on with generating profits.

Brand building

It's a fact that we process pictures much faster than text - it takes just 13 milliseconds to process an image. The advantage for your business is that your large format graphics will help promote brand recognition at a glance, encapsulating the heart of your brand message in a heartbeat. 

6 tips to help you optimise your large format visuals

Designing for large format printing is quite different to small format artwork. Here's how to produce brand consistent and eye-catching graphics that can stand up to large format printing.

1. Use the correct file

If you're used to working with BMP, PNG, GIF, and other bitmap formats, prepare to change your perspective. Check our artwork requirements for acceptable formats like EPS, PDF and JPEG for high-resolution images. 

EPS and PDF are vector-based formats that replace pixels with mathematical formulas. The result? Graphics that scale faultlessly, giving unparalleled sharpness and clarity when printed out on that wall monsoon. Pixel-based formats aren't capable of the same precision.

For the very best results, we recommend PDF files as they're compatible with our state of the art printing technology and produce the best high-resolution results.

2. Work to a smaller scale

Trying to design your outdoor A banner on a standard laptop screen is asking for trouble. We suggest you work at a half or quarter scale to keep your file size small and manageable. If you know the proportions of the finished product, bear those in mind while you're designing.


Another good tip is to step back between 10-20 feet from your computer. Does the design look cohesive? Is the text easy to read? Does it make enough of an impact? Ask the rest of the team for feedback before you finalise your design.

3. Choose the right colours

We ask you to submit your files in CMYK colour mode. CMYK refers to the four colour inks - cyan, magenta, yellow and key, where key means black. If you wish to specify Pantone colours, you'll need to include them with your file. Printers universally use CMYK, and using this colour model will ensure that your finished poster will match the display on your screen.

Using your established colours will provide consistency across your branding. Using fewer colours will also help your designs to have a more significant impact. CMYK delivers a wide range of colours with deep contrast to create the effect you need.

4. Make it legible and readable

Large scale signage makes an impact because we view it from a distance. That means the fonts you use need to be legible and easy to read. We require you to convert all fonts to shapes, curves and outlines, so it makes sense to use simple and highly readable sans serif typefaces. 

As a business, you want to communicate your message as efficiently as possible. Choose fonts that handle spacing well at large sizes so you can distinguish each word from the next. We suggest picking a font that accurately displays on both Windows and Mac iOS and integrates seamlessly with the overall design.

5. Balance and contrast

Keeping it simple doesn't mean making it dull. Using simple design tricks like high contract and balancing design elements will help you create a bold yet creative design that's eye-catching and professional.

You'll need to create a 5mm bleed in your artwork so we can trim it to size without a white edge showing. When you're designing roller banners, use the supplied template. We've set it up at the correct proportions, so your graphics will then display perfectly.

Print a sample and check your file

When you're happy with your design, print a small scale sample before sending it to us for printing. We don't provide proofs, and large format printing can be an expensive business. A sample print at scale will help you to pick up on any issues, including spelling errors, print misalignments and more.

When you've taken the time and trouble to get everything right, an unseen error can undo all your hard work. Other things to check for in your final artwork are:

  • Bleed and crop marks
  • File name including description and dimensions
  • All images are embedded
  • Visible in-canvas template marks removed

Understanding these basic concepts would make building your large format graphics a breeze. Your business relies on successful high-quality advertising, and these tips should help ensure your files translate into large format printing to impress.

At Display01, we use the best equipment for the best results. When you need top-quality large format printing with beautiful and speedy results, get in touch with us, and the team will be happy to help.