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How to design for large format print.

Written by:
Mike Coughlan

A huge part of design is considering the who, where and why of the artwork. User experience should be front of mind for both digital and print. But what should you consider for user experience when designing for large format?

We’ve got you covered with these tips for designing for large format:

Contrast and Visibility.

Make sure there is enough contrast between text and background colours to improve readability. Test your design at different sizes to ensure all elements remain visible from different viewing distances.

Simple Design.

Keep your design clean and uncluttered, especially if it will be viewed from a distance. Too many elements can be overwhelming. Consider hierarchy - what is the most important part of the message.

Check your design from a distance.

Try standing around 10 -20 feet away from your screen and check that the main aspects of your artwork still work well together. Does it still have the intended impact?

Consider location.

Where will your artwork be shown? Will it be standalone or beside other printed materials? Perhaps there are other competing visuals in that area. How will it be consumed, quickly or do people have time to read it? Is the area flat or will it be curved etc.

High Resolution Graphics.

Ensure all images and graphics are of high resolution (at least 300 DPI) to maintain quality when scaled up for large prints. Low-resolution images can appear pixelated or blurry when printed at large scale.

Vector Graphics.

Whenever possible, use vector graphics instead of raster images. Vector graphics can be scaled infinitely without losing quality since they are based on mathematical equations rather than fixed pixels. An example of a vector file is an EPS.

File Formats.

Save your design files in a format that supports large format printing, such as PDF or TIFF. These formats preserve image quality and are widely accepted by print service providers.

Don't just take our word for it.

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