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Billboard Document Setup in Ai

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  • Billboard Document Setup in Ai

    Hi, i have to design a billboard (6m wide by 1m tall).

    What size should i create artboard?

    My photos are 72 dpi. How to handle them?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If I was limited to one piece of advice, it would be CONTACT THE PRINTER. This can't be over-emphasized. In one minute on the phone, you'll get more definitive instructions for this than you will in a week of Internet "research" on the subject. All the time you spend looking for advice on how to do this, other than talking to the printer, is wasted effort.

    That said, I'll add some general info:
    1. In case I forgot to mention it, the first thing to do is CONTACT THE PRINTER
    2. If you have InDesign, it's a better tool for layouts where you'll be placing raster images than is Illustrator
    3. Just knowing your images are 72 ppi (not dpi) isn't sufficient; the dimensions are critical...the printer will specify a minimum effective resolution at print size; if your images aren't large enough to meet it, you'll need new/different images. See item #1.
    4. Page size: work at a reduced scale, mathematically accounting for final size and resolution; for specific recommendations, see item #1.
    5. Don't forget about bleeds & safeties; for the minimum/preferred sizes, see item #1.
    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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    • #3
      Can you calculate the reduced scale for me? My images are 2000 by 2000

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi MIBCD and welcome to GDF.

        We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
        Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MIBCD View Post
          Can you calculate the reduced scale for me?
          Really?

          You'd have to choose a scale first. And again, the printer may have a preferred scale. Make the phone call.

          Example:
          To work in 1/2-scale, you'd set up a page/artboard at half the final size: 300 cm x 50 cm + bleeds.
          (The printer will specify a minimum bleed size. Make the phone call.)

          Then you'd have to size your placed raster images at 2x the targeted minimum final resolution.
          (The printer will specify a minimum final resolution. Make the phone call.)

          Images that are 2000 X 2000 @ 72 ppi will print at roughly 70.5 cm x 70.5 cm, un-scaled. If you place them in your 1/2-scale layout, and leave them at their original size, their final output size will be 141 cm x 141 cm @ 36 ppi. (Double-size at half-resolution.)

          Get it?
          I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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          • #6
            Standard billboard scale is 1:10 at 300ppi.
            BUT CALL THE PRINTER! That could vary. Especially if you aren't in the US.

            You need to know your bleed and safeties. If you forget either of them, you will be out a bit of money because your client expects you to do this right and will make YOU pay for it if it is wrong. This is small for a billboard. It isn't the print that'll cost you, it's the lost board rental time and whatever the client deems as lost revenue from not hitting that slot (ie a promotion timed to a specific date.)

            Billboard vinyl can stretch or shrink by inches when printed. The PRINTER will know what you need to add for bleed and safeties so your main message stays on the billboard, words don't get cut off and you don't get weird color breaks on the wrap edge.

            Illustrator sucks at wide format large imagery. While Indesign is better, ASK THE PRINTER. They may not want InDesign files or may have a preference one way or the other.

            What is their preferred Handoff Method? Don't assume it is a PDF. A lot of wide format places want native files (hence the preference) If it is a PDF, make sure your PDF includes your bleed (ie doesn't chop it off at the artboard edge, ie all your design including bleed and crops might have to be on the artboard. CALL THE PRINTER.)




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            • HotButton
              HotButton commented
              Editing a comment
              Right. I didn't mention the 1:10 thing, since that would put the working page size at only 10 cm high, which to me would feel weird...at 60 cm wide. I'd say this is more of a banner than a billboard, but that's just semantics. Dimensions are dimensions, of course.

          • #7
            Some printers don't like 1:10 because some of the older rips only did a 400% enlargement.
            That's why it's important to ask.
            On this little one, half scale would work. I think. If the printer wants a PDF it has to be under 200". I hate that little speed bump in acrobat.

            I just personally prefer 1:10 because I don't have to do any math.

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