Acceptable File Types
– Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) – preferred
– Adobe Creative Cloud (.ai, indd, .eps, .psd)
– Raster Image Files (.jpg, .tiff)
We can accept other file types…like Microsoft Publisher, Word, PowerPoint, etc. However, those files are not suited for large format digital printing and may require additional setup/conversion fees.
Vector vs. Raster Images
Whenever possible, send original vector graphics (aka line art). Vector graphics are composed points and lines. They allow unlimited scaling without loss of print quality and can have transparent background. Raster images (aka pictures) are composed of individual pixels and must be of a sufficient resolution (ppi or pixels per inch) to produce quality prints. Vector graphics are typically (but not always) found in .eps, .ai, .pdf files. Raster graphics are typically delivered in .jpg, .tiff or .psd files. Read below for more information regarding minimum resolution requirements for raster images. Visit noJPEG.org for an in-depth comparison of vector vs raster images.
Whether or not a given raster image is going to a produce quality print is dependent on three things: 1) the resolution of the original image, 2) the size at which the image will printed and, 3) the distance at which the final print will be viewed. As a general rule of thumb, anything viewed up close should be a minimum of 150ppi AT FULL SIZE. If your file is 1/4″ scale, then the ppi needs to be 4 times the desired output resolution. Banners, vehicle wraps and wall murals that are viewed at distance (over 10′ away) can be 75ppi or lower.
For large images that will be viewed up close, we have special programs that will upscale the resolution allowing us to produce quality prints without pixelation or artifacts. If your artwork is a mixture of vectors (like text) and raster images that will be out printed at very large sizes, the preferred file type is composite PDF. If you fall into this category and are unsure how to create a composite PDF, feel free to call us.
Bleeds, Crop Marks and Scaling
Bleeds are encouraged on most files. 1/4″ bleeds are usually sufficient. If possible, please do not include crop marks. To avoid confusion, please indicate the final output size (excluding bleeds) as well as the scale (for example, 1/4 scale) if the files are not at full size.