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DPI for digital signage??

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  • DPI for digital signage??

    I use a large scale solvent baseddigital printer in my position and I was wondering if anyone could tell if me there is a rule for what DPI an image set up in photoshop etc should be in relation to the average distance the print/sign will be viewed at?? I have searched a little and cannot seem to find any info on this topic.

    Also if anyone could reccomend some good/free digital printing websites that I could use to increase my knowledge in this industry?

    Sorry if these seem to be basic questions, but i do not have a mentor in my current position to ask these questions, and a lot of what im doing has to be self taught in this regard, and as much as im trying, i find there is some questions i cannot find the answer to on the interent.
    Thanking you in advance

    Kindest regards,


    Post Edited (Pauly) : 4/12/2005 6:47:53 AM GMT

  • #2
    hi Pauly, welcome to the forum! We have a few large format gurus around here... I'm certain that someone will be by to give you a hand before long.

    We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed. ~ Frederick Douglass
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


    • #3
      Great, thankyou! :-)

      I felt a little weird joining and posting straight away, but i will endeavour to help anyone i come across in an area i have some knowledge in




      • #4
        I wouldn't worry... we're a pretty friendly bunch [img]/DesktopModules/dotNetBB/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

        here is an article that MIGHT help you get started:

        unfortunately, large format is still a foreign language to me, too!

        We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed. ~ Frederick Douglass
        "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


        • #5
          There is no rule of thumb on resolution.
          The fun with large solvent inkjets is finding a happy medium between speed and quality (and rip server time)

          Some of the newer models have 8 color heads and print 720dpi but at that rate you would be there from now to Christmas waiting for a little poster to print after it took an hour or more to rip.

          So, that being said, it really depends on what you have for a printer, what your clientele expects, how informed they are when viewing proofs, and how much time you have to print it, etc.

          It's all about that happy medium. I've seen billboards printed at anywhere from 18 to 35 dpi at final on almost the fastest print speed setting and you can get away with that at 30 yards at 60mph. Even stage scenery printed at 35dpi at the slower production speeds is ok from 20 feet. But for an office wall mural you might want to shoot higher, say in the 50 to 100dpi range (file size permitting of course) and print it slower. Depending on the printhead res, you may even go from 150 to 200dpi for a high quality (for a solvent printer) poster or trade show graphic, but at some point higher resolution becomes a waste of time and that is machine dependant.

          And charge accordingly. But be very careful of your quality. It's easy to fall into the trap of running it fast and trying to sell it on viewing distance. I don't buy that and I bet a lot of your clients won't either.

          You have to educate your clients not to look at proofs while holding them in their hand. Have them tack it to a wall and view it under conditional light at viewing distance before they throw it back at you for being too rasty.

          You also shouldn't be running a solvent printer untaught. You'll waste a lot of money and possibly brain cells. Most of the big ones have support and training websites that are only for purchasers of the machine. If you aren't into one of those, find out why from your boss. There's oodles of info to be had on materials and profiles as well as tech support for questions. You may easily save what you pay for access on wasted material alone. Material can have an impact on your printing too. Things may look better printed on paper than they do on say, banner vinyl. Not that one can replace the other but you may be able to use lower res images on certain products...

          Far more info than you wanted to know and not enough either. I don't actually run the machines so I really can't help you out much more than that.

          PD is a grande format digital print dude. His advice/opinions may not apply to the 4color/offset/web world of printing


          • #6

            PrintDriver pegged it.

            There really is no rule of thumb. I do almost all my design in PS6 (have PS7 but not to keen on it) and your viewing distance is primarily what regulates your dpi. If I'm designing a poster for example, I'll usually go with 200 dpi at half size of the finished piece. Any images used are high resolution. Any editing to the image is done independant of the design, saved at the original resolution and then dragged into the design piece (I hope that made sense).

            Now if your designing a piece to be viewed at say 200-300 feet then bring the dpi way down (40-50) and maybe size at 25% finished piece. It also depends on what your computer can handle. This type of design can create some huge files.

            It's a lot of trial and error. Good luck to ya.



            • #7
              Thanks for all your answers, they have been helpful indeed :-)

              The reason I have no formal training in this area is because i'm located in Brisbane, Australia and training for these machines is not the easiest thing to come by and we were offered only minimal training by the supplier of the machine, this is why i'm keen if anyone knows any websites where I can try to increase my knowledge by reading articles etc?? Can anyone help?

              Can anyone suggest topics I should be fairly knowledgable on to run this machine and supply a quality finished product to the client? And possibly where I might come across the information I will need to educate myself in these areas?

              Thanks again for your help




              • #8
                What is the name of the machine and how wide.
                Try the corporate website first and see if they have a Users Only section.

                You REALLY need to know about color issues and color management. That is THE biggest issue in printing inkjet.
                Every color will print differently on every substrate, no matter what the ICC profile tells you. If you aren't color managed, go to and find their support site. Download the color chart pdf's and start printing your own equivalent charts. It's a pain in the ass when reapplying colors to client files but at least you'll be able to match your client's wishes. Better is to loan your clients the charts and let them put the colors in

                Check out the Adobe support website. You will have to create an account to ask questions but it is free and harmless. Check links on these pages:

                Good luck.

                PD is a grande format digital print dude. His advice/opinions may not apply to the 4color/offset/web world of printing


                • #9
                  Thankyou very much Printdriver!

                  I have Pantone charts plastered over the walls in my office to help with colour managment and im doing what i can to keep clients happy!

                  The machine is an Infinity YF6250SL.

                  As far as im aware the machine is not a quality machine, we have had quite a few problems with it that even the supplier is having issues with fixing. Its been (at times)a long and lonely few months since it went in and the manufacturer site leaves a lot to be desired. Im doing whatever i can to self educate and this forum im sure will provide a wealth of knowledge to help my job and its goals.

                  Again, thanks for your help, its very much appreciated! :-)


                  Post Edited (Pauly) : 4/12/2005 6:54:18 AM GMT






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