How to Prepare Files for Large Format Printing in 5 Easy Steps

Making large format prints can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it can be a breeze. This article will discuss the steps to take when preparing files for large format printing, including CMYK and Rich Black, optimizing viewing distance, and choosing a printing company. With these tips, you'll be able to create stunning large-scale prints with ease!


When creating large format prints, it's important to use the CMYK color mode rather than RGB. This color mode provides a much higher level of color variation and can produce better looking images. In addition, CMYK is easier to work with on a large format printer. Before you start the printing process, convert your artwork to CMYK and adjust the style to suit your needs. Adobe Photoshop has CMYK support, but Microsoft Word does not.

The CMYK color model uses four different colors - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black - to create an image. It works by selectively absorbing some colors of light, while allowing the rest of the light to reflect back to the viewer's eye. It is possible to add additional CMYK colorants to the black areas of an image to create the desired effect.

Rich Black

When printing large-format prints, Rich Black is essential. The amount of ink needed to achieve a rich black color depends on the surface tension and energy of the material. Dyne testing is one way to determine this. When the dyne value is low, the ink spreads well, while a high dyne value forms droplets. Use a high-quality paper that can handle the high volume of ink and avoid using this ink on thin lines or objects.

Optimizing Viewing Distance

The viewing distance is an important factor when making large format prints. The distance from the viewer to the artwork determines how clear it will appear. This distance also influences the resolution of the image. Generally, higher DPI values are better for close-up viewing, while lower DPI values are better for viewing at a distance. If you are using a large format printer, make sure you follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer for the viewing distance.

Formatting Printing Files

File preparation for large format printing is similar to the process for offset printing. One important difference is the size of the images. Because they're printed so large, errors on large formats are more noticeable. Therefore, it's vital to optimize images for viewing distance. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your files for large format printing:

  • Convert files to a format that is suited for printing large areas (e.g., vector images).
  • Ensure that images match the correct specifications and options that the printing solution provider needs.
  • Calibrate your screens.
  • Use Photoshop software or other illustrator.
  • Use a resolution of 300 DPI for wide-format prints.

Choosing a Printing Company

When you're choosing a printing company to create large-format prints, it's important to find one that offers a wide range of services and has clear communication lines. You'll also want to make sure that they have an in-house installation team and can offer innovative solutions. Check their image quality before making your decision.

For larger prints that are farther away, you can use a lower resolution than you would normally. This is because the human eye will see more of the image than is actually there.

By following these steps and choosing a reliable printing company, you'll be able to create stunning large-format prints with ease!

Eric Zaremski
Eric Zaremski

Incurable pop culture guru. Typical bacon evangelist. Hipster-friendly zombie enthusiast. General travel lover. Hardcore zombie guru.