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8 Tips for Large Format Sign Printing to Get High-End Projects

Businesses need to get noticed to survive and thrive, and nothing grabs people’s attention more effectively than a large, custom-made banner sign. With today’s technology, there is no limit to what you can do with a sign like this.

Creating one for your next big project might be the best way to get the exposure you need, but how should you do it? We’ve created a list of 8 tips for large sign printing to help you in this process, with four technical and four design-related guidelines. With both sets to guide you, you should have no trouble creating large-scale signs that make the unforgettable impact you’ve been hoping for.

4 Technical Tips for Large Format Sign Printing

Use Vector Images Whenever You Can

Most graphics used on signs in Toronto will need to be scaled up before being incorporated into a design. The trouble is that unless you take specific precautions, you might turn those graphics into a pixelated mess in the process.

Using vector images eliminates this problem. Instead of discrete pixels, vector images are made of layered shapes, lines, and curves controlled by mathematical formulas. Vectors are engineered to easily scale up or down as needed, so they look great at any size.

Some common vector file types include:

  • EPS
  • AI
  • SVG
  • CGM
  • CDR

Some PDFs are also considered vector files.

Use EPS Files for Optimal Quality

EPS files are the most common type of vector file used for commercial printing applications. These files produce crystal-clear high-resolution graphics that are compatible with multiple operating systems. This allows them to be easily transferred between different team members and other stakeholders without requiring multiple file conversions along the way.

These advantages have led to EPS files becoming the industry standard for most large custom banners and signs.

Use Bitmap or Raster Files for Long-Distance Viewing

Unlike vector images, bitmap and raster files use thousands of tiny, coloured pixels to create one cohesive image. These images can reproduce more photorealistic detail than vectors, and any slight distortions will not be noticeable when viewed from far away.

Bitmap and raster file types include:

  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • TIFF
  • PSD

When you print these files, the pixels are converted to dots that the printer can apply to paper, fabric, or other materials. The file’s DPI (dots per inch) determines how sharp and well-defined the final printed image will be when it appears.

Files with a very high DPI will take a long time to load and print, so be realistic about how much detail you need. Experts recommend that long-distance signs be printed at no more than 600 DPI. However, 300 DPI will often be more than enough to create a crisp, high-quality image that can be easily seen from far away.

Use the Right Colour Code

Digital colour print work uses the CMYK colour code. This method combines different levels of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to create a wide range of distinct shades of colours with excellent contrast. By adding precise levels of each of the four inks, it is possible to create over 16,000 different colours using this method.

Since printers operate in CMYK, it is best to use the CMYK colour code in your design as well. This will ensure that the sign is true to the colour you imagined. While many may be tempted to use Pantone, or RGB colour codes in their designs, this can cause problems during printing.

If your image uses other colour codes, such as RGB or Pantone, conversions will need to be done to find the equivalent CMYK option if one exists. Although a matching tool can be used, some Pantone or RGB colours cannot be replicated in the CMYK process, which may make your design unprintable.

4 Design Tips for Large Format Sign Printing

Getting your sign design right is more important than ever when your work will be displayed at such a large scale. These four tips will help you create sign designs that take advantage of the strengths of large format sign printing.

Select Fonts for Readability

If no one can read your sign, it may as well not be there at all. Fonts that are too bold or ornate can be distracting and difficult to interpret at first glance. You should also avoid using thin lettering on signs with a lot of background space, as it may diminish the impact and fail to grab people’s attention.

Sans-serif fonts offer a balance of style and function, making them a good choice for most large-scale sign projects. If you don’t know where to start with your font selection, choose one of those and see how it looks. You might like the effect more than you expected to.

Choose Your Colours Wisely

Excessive colour usage can make a sign too busy and confusing to be effective, but too few colours can make your sign seem dull or one-note.

Some of the most effective signs use just two contrasting colours: one light and one dark. This contrast allows all the elements of the sign to shine without any of them becoming too overpowering. It also ensures the sign will read well from a distance.

Balance Impact and Simplicity

Large signs need to make an impression, but they also can’t be too distracting or hard to understand. Most people will see them while driving, cycling, or walking to some other destination. This means that your sign needs to draw their attention and communicate something of value in just a few seconds.

To make the most of the limited time you have, you’ll want to keep things direct and to the point. Use short, snappy sentences and standalone graphics to make a clear statement. Logos work very well for this purpose because they’re designed to get a lot of information across in a simple format.

Send the Right Message

Your sign should do more than just advertise your business; it should also help your audience understand why your business is relevant to their life. Honing your sign’s message is crucial to achieving this goal.

Think about what your business has to offer your target demographics and what makes you different from your competitors. Do your best to distill this message into just a few words. Consider also adding your web address, street address, phone number, or other contact information, so interested people can quickly translate their thoughts into actions.

Get Large Format Signs from Your Number-One Sign Company in Toronto

Eager to order a large format sign of your own? Instead of searching for a sign company near you, consider ordering from the Sign & Graphics Manufaktur.

Our large format signs are designed with both impact and readability in mind, and they are always just as beautifully crisp and colourful when printed out as they are on your computer screen. We know you’ll love what we come up with! Contact us today at 905-670-0797 and request a quote for a large sign to promote your business.

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