5 Tips for Preparing Large Format Files

Did you know that there are many constraints in printing to create large format files? Also, if you do not want to pay DTP fees to a printer for posters, PVC panels or kakemonos, good file preparation is essential. 

 Here are 5 tips to apply to perfectly prepare your large format files for printing. 

1. Opt for Good File Resolution 

When a graphic designer prepares large format files, he can deliver them to the printer at 100% scale, that is, their actual size. Their resolution should be 150 DPI for optimal print quality. But the graphic designer also has the possibility of providing files in reduced size and in this case, he must adapt the resolution to ensure optimum print quality. 

The principle is simple and is based on a rule of proportionality. Indeed, if it is recommended to opt for a 150 DPI resolution for a scaled file, the resolution should be 300 DPI for a 50% file or 600 DPI for a 25% file. Note that not respecting these resolutions can cause rather “ugly” pixelization on the printed product. Also, make sure your files meet the size and resolution criteria before delivering them to your printer.  

2. Do Not Plan for Bleeds and Crop Marks 

When a graphic designer is used to making small format files, he knows how important it is to provide for bleeds and also for crop marks. Well, for large format files, these elements are not necessary. No need to plan for it during your graphic design work. 

3. Provide A Technical Margin 

If there is no point in providing for bleeds for a large format file, it is however essential to maintain a technical margin of 5 mm. And this on the 4 sides of the document you are creating (top, bottom, left and right). 

In the margin, decorative elements (such as a background colour) may be present. On the other hand, no important element should appear there. In other words, the logo or the text of your poster, banner must not overlap within this margin. Respecting this technical margin is essential since it is intended to prevent a key element of your visual from being “cut” during production. 

4. Anticipate the Possible Presence of Carnations 

It can make you smile. However, taking into account the location of the holes or eyelets intended for the installation of your communication medium is essential. Indeed, imagine that the key data of your banner are found “in holes”, it would be a disaster. 

Therefore, in order not to experience such a mishap, allow a margin of up to 50 mm (to be discussed directly with your printer for the precise margin to be observed) on all 4 sides. 

  5. Make the Right Colour Choices 

In order to benefit from a good colour reproduction, it is strongly recommended to use only CMYK colours. Indeed, the RGB format is not at all suitable for printing documents, whatever they are. 

 Even by adopting the right colour mode, you will probably have difficulty choosing the right colours: several factors will influence the rendering of your print. 

 For example: your computer screen, the printing medium (depending on its material and quality), the type of ink or even the printheads. 

 This is why the final rendering of your communication medium will never correspond perfectly to what you hoped for. However, a good selection of colours should guarantee you get as close as possible to your expectations. 


Note that if you are using black, you will need to opt for a CMYK value that offers true beautiful black in printing (example: C = 30, M = 30, J = 30 and N = 100). Many values ​​tend your black to grey, which can be problematic in certain graphic compositions … 

Claire Lee