I want a backdrop with an image on it – but I don’t have the image. What are my options?
Often we meet clients who have a vision for a backdrop image – but they don’t physically have the image itself as a digital file. Unlike a painted backdrop – where a sketch and some artistic licence leaves the finished product in the hands of your artist – today’s “wide format digital printing” methods are a different approach to customized backdrops and require some high-tech image delivery methods.
Some benefits of digital printing include short turnaround times, photo finish quality, the ability to regenerate a backdrop with “exactly” the art or design you had hoped for – and simple and accurate replication of logos and branding in a large scale.
The downside however is that you get “out” of the printer” what you put “in” to the printer. In other words – the quality of the printed output is directly in relation to the quality and resolution of the file that you provide to us at the time you order your digitally printed backdrop.
Here are some tips and tricks when providing – or building – your digital printing file.
- Whenever possible provide a file that is a vector based file. Vector art can be scaled endlessly – therefore a vector file will always look clean and crisp even when enlarged to grand format sizing. You may hear it called “line art” or “vector art” – most professional graphic designers will be able to produce vector art for you, especially if your file is a logo.
- If you are buying photos or images to reproduce, check first that the file size will be adequate. Ideally we like to print at around 72 dpi MINIMUM when we print a backdrop – so that means that when the art is scaled smaller in dimensions for delivery, the dpi must be exponentially higher…. so that when enlarged to full size the file is at a minimum of 72 dpi.
- Try to avoid at all costs “up-ressing” your art files or “unnaturally forcing” dots per inch into the file. Some programs such as Photoshop allow you to take a low res image and then tell it to “have more dots per inch”. The problem is that the file then becomes muddy and blurry – it’s really not ideal and won’t lead to a great output. Try to start with a file that is the right size.
- When building art (for ANY of your promotional materials), ask your graphic artist to create the logos in a way that they will be scale-able for many different uses – for example if you create your CD cover art as vector art – then you would be able to print the file as a backdrop, too! BUT if you build your CD art to scale at 6″ x 6″ (the size of the CD Cover) and if you build it as a flattened jpeg – then no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to print a good looking backdrop from the file.
- If you want it done professionally – and your artist isn’t familiar with wide format printing requirements – then consider contracting directly with one of our preferred graphic artists. Sometimes it is just easier and faster to go straight to the right resource!
There’s plenty more to it – and many more details on our website, on our Digital Printing page, as well as on the pdf version of our File Preparation Guidelines. This is just a little starter tips and tricks for you to get the conversation rolling – let us know how we can help!
If you want some inspiration then check out our Digital Printing Portfolio………..if you can dream it, we can print it! LARGER THAN LIFE BACKDROPS by Sew What? Inc.