Certain scenarios call for printed materials in a larger-than-normal format.
Whether you are designing a backdrop for your tradeshow booth or large posters for your store windows, large-format printing can be a wonderful way to grab people’s attention and to solidify your brand in the minds of your customers and clients.
The key is to come up with a design that is not only eye-catching and instantly recognizable but that also looks good when scaled up to a larger size.
Although you may be anxious to get your marketing campaign underway, it is beneficial to take a little bit of extra time to learn about design before you begin. Understanding how to develop a good design can make a big difference in how effective your marketing materials are. It can also help you create designs that look beautiful when they are scaled up to a larger format.
These five helpful tips for designing large-format projects should help you get beautiful printing results every time:
1. Select The Right Format For The File
In the world of graphic design, bitmaps are some of the most commonly used file types. Some of the formats that you see most frequently include standard bitmaps (BMP), Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG), Portable Network Graphics (PNG), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), and Tag Image File Format (TIFF).
Different scenarios call for different file formats. For instance, because of the way JPEG compression works, it is a good choice for saving photographs. While bitmap formats are useful, they can be problematic when you scale your work up to a larger size.
Bitmap images are composed of tiny pixels. Each pixel is assigned a color and a location. When you blow images like these up to a larger size, they can look pixelated, which means that you can see the individual color blocks that make up the image. No matter how good your software is, if you save your files in a bitmap format, this type of pixelation is likely to occur when the images are enlarged.
Vector images, on the other hand, don’t rely on pixels. Instead, the images are based on mathematic equations. As a result, they can be scaled up or down to any size without losing quality. The edges of the image are always crisp and no pixelation occurs. Vector images also have smaller file sizes, which usually allows them to print more quickly.
2. Choose The Right Colors
When deciding on colors for your image, it is important to design a palette that works well together. Usually, the best option is to limit the number of colors that you use. Sticking to just a few different colors will make it easier to create an impactful design. It also helps from a branding standpoint. Of course, there are situations where you will need to use more colors. For instance, if you are designing a poster for an upcoming event, increasing the number of colors in the design may be necessary.
When designing for print, you should stick to CMYK color mode. Even though there are more colors available in RGB mode, printers use CMYK. By designing in this color mode to begin with, you can be sure that the colors you choose will print out the same way that you see them on your screen.
3. Choose A Font That Is Easy To Read
Make sure that the fonts that you choose for your design are easy to read at a glance, even if people are viewing the printed material from far away. While script lettering and serif fonts are beautiful to look at, they typically are harder to read than sans serif fonts. Your goal is to communicate your message to viewers as efficiently as possible. Because of that, you should opt for the easiest-to-read fonts that you can find.
Along with the font’s overall appearance, you also need to make sure that it handles spacing well. There should be enough room between words to easily distinguish where one word ends and another begins. Bold fonts can easily overwhelm your design. On the other hand, lightweight fonts tend to get lost in all of the other visual design elements. When choosing a color for your font, make sure that it stands out from the background of the image.
You also need to think about how the font will display on different platforms. Ideally, you should opt for one that works well on both Windows and Mac OS. That way, if the print shop uses a different computer system than you do, you won’t have to worry about them having to substitute a font. Some basic fonts that can be found on both platforms include Veranda, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Arial.
4. Keep Your Design Simple
Cluttered, overworked designs usually don’t make much of an impact. To create a more effective design, try to keep it as simple as possible. Avoid using too much text. In terms of the design itself, choose bold elements with clean, simple lines. Leave a little bit of room around the edge of your design, as well. This will help account for “page bleed”, which is a problem where the outer edges of the design get lost during printing. Chose the right material to print your design onto choosing Display printing will prove to be a great decision.
5. View Your Design From Far Away
Large-scale designs are usually designed to be viewed from far away. Try stepping back from your computer to see how your designs look from a distance.
Usually, moving back anywhere from about 10 to 20 feet from your computer is more than adequate. View the design as a whole. Do all of the parts work with one another? Does the design make enough of an impact? Do the design elements and colors work well together? Is the text easy to read? Consider asking someone else to view your design, as well, so that they can provide you with their own feedback.
Coming up with a design for large format printing can be challenging. There are many different factors that you need to take into account to create a high-impact design. If you need help coming up with a design, consider reaching out to a company that specializes in large-format printing like Cestrian. Their experts are always willing to walk you through the process of developing a good design.