Advice for non-graphic designers
What do we mean by“Pixilation? Why we want to avoid “Pixilation? "
Pixels are the tiny dots that make up pictures on a computer screen. Each pixel has 3 colored dots (red, green and blue. Web graphics are created at 72 DPI (Dots per inch) while print ready graphics are made at 300 DPI or more.
So what happens when we try to print an image large that was created to display small, such as a picture or logo taken from the internet, or a picture photographed at a low resolution setting? Answer: When we use a small graphic and try to scale it up so that it prints large, it ends up appearing blurry and jagged. This is called pixilation, the file is too small, it lacks an adequate amount of information or dots.
How to avoid pixilation of photographic images
We recommend setting your camera to high resolution. The files will be larger, but that is what we want. More dots, more information. The more we have to work with, the larger the image can be printed without distortion. We can always scale down (make the image smaller) but we can’t make a small image larger without making it blurry or jagged.
Yes, Photoshop will allow you to take a small image and make it bigger, but in order to accomplish this task it will compensate for missing data by replacing existing data. The end result is always a jagged blurry image. (please do not try this at home)
Logos and text created in Adobe Illustrator (not Photoshop) are ‘Vector Graphics” They can be printed beautifully and infinitely large. The file format contains a file extension of .AI or .EPS at the end. It is definitely worth your while to locate and send in .AI (Adobe Illustrator) or .EPS (Encapsulated Post Scrip File.) You may need to go to the graphic designer who created the logo and request it.
If you cannot locate either an .AI or .EPS file, see if you have a TIF file. Sometimes an EPS or AI file is exported into a TIF format for printing purposes.
If you cannot locate one of the above, we might be able to recreate the logo. It will take designer time but it is an investment that you need if you ever want to print your logo onto anything larger than letter size paper. A proper formatted logo is necessary for any type of sign.
The same is true with text as with logos. We realize that there are many “desktop” software programs where you could theoretically design your own sign or banner. These programs are great for putting your ideas down on paper, but not so good for outputting vector graphics for large signs, banners and displays.
For Graphic Designers
Adobe Illustrator (.ai) - our preferred format, saved as an .eps or in its native .ai format . If you are creating your files in CorelDRAW convert all fonts to curves and export the file as .ai
Raster - 100 DPI at 100% Output Size
Adobe Photoshop - .tif format
Explanation of File Types
There are two types of art files on the computer: Vector (also known as line
art) and Raster (also
known as bitmap art).
VECTOR: Vector art is made up of lines and curves defined by mathematical objects called vectors. Vector art is resolution independent; therefore, it can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.
IMPORTANT: Text should be converted to outlines, paths or curves.
This way, the font suitcase and printer fonts do not need to be sent in order for us to print the art.
RASTER: Raster art is created using a program such as Adobe Photoshop, or scanned art such as a photographic image. A raster image consists of a grid, or bitmap, of small squares known as pixels. Raster images are resolution dependent (set at a fixed resolution).
IMPORTANT: Raster art should be 100 dpi at 100% output size.
Instructions for Submitting Art
The quality of the image on your poster is directly related to the quality of image we receive from you. Don't worry, we will tell you when an image doesn't meet our standard.
You may send your images by CD or better yet, use our easy Upload Link:
File Upload Link