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  • Creating billboards

    I'm fairly new to graphic design (been a web designer for 15 years). I've designed ads and brochures etc. but now have some billboards to do and i'm a little stumped as to which program i should use to create them.

    Should i create them at the size they will be? any help is appreciated.

  • #2
    You'd be best off talking to whoever will be handling the printing of the billboard itself. Different large-format printers will all have different specs they go by and prefer. Any advice we give you might apply to the vendors we use, but could be useless to you.
    ___________
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    • #3
      Most billboard companies will prefer Illustrator or InDesign (and possibly even Photoshop) but you need to contact them because, like Virgo says, they all have different ways for you to work at resolution to scale. They prefer the files at scale.

      But remember: Use the measurement palette when aligning objects at scale. Don't trust Snap and certainly don't trust your eye, even if magnified to the highest the program can go. The difference of 0.05" at 1:10 is a whole 1/2" at full size.

      And don't forget to ask what they need for bleed AND SUPPLY IT!!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Virgo Nightingale
        You'd be best off talking to whoever will be handling the printing of the billboard itself. Different large-format printers will all have different specs they go by and prefer. Any advice we give you might apply to the vendors we use, but could be useless to you.
        Yep. But around these parts they're typically produced as 48 or 96 sheet jobs done in Illustrator at quarter size artwork. That may or may not be helpful to you.

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        • #5
          Most billboards around here are done as single piece stretched vinyl. Sheet jobs are getting fewer and farther between these days. All the boards around here (Boston) have been sheet-metaled for stretch applications. Or worse, they are tri-spins.

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          • #6
            When I printed them we did 1 sheets (vinyl). Average size was 14'x48'. If you asked us, we even supplied you a template file in what ever program you wanted to design it in!
            Professional Pixel Pusher — Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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            • #7
              I saw a tri-spin once where the designer had FAILed big time. The letters were in a thin Rotis-like font and fell through the gaps. I took my camera next day to shoot it, it was so bad it needed to be captured, but they had taken it off. Bet the designer was fired, not paid, or had to pay for a new print. $$$

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              • #8
                It's been a long time since I actually did one. But, ink traps in typefaces? Still an issue?

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                • #9
                  I haven't used traps in 10 years.
                  Don't need to on the massive inkjet printers they use to make these things. Picture your desktop inkjet with a 16' throat.

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                  • #10
                    I got you beat... One time the printer crapped out in the middle of a 1 sheet print. No biggie, we just use the seamer machine to seam the two pieces together (melts the vinyl together). We would do it all the time, you couldn't tell once hung up. Anywho, the printer craps out and we seam this billboard together and ship it out. 3 days later we get a phone call form the installer asking why the bill board was too long and had to scrunch it up to get it to fit.

                    Turned out the printer crapped out in the middle of "VILLAGE" and when we seamed it together we seamed it so it said "VILLLAGE"... oops! There was about an extra 5 feet on the billboard.

                    We paid for the reprint and fixed it, but man that was a huge mess up on our part!
                    Professional Pixel Pusher — Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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                    • #11
                      Mess ups are always HUGE in billboards.

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                      • #12
                        nyuck nyuck nyuck...
                        Professional Pixel Pusher — Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PrintDriver
                          I haven't used traps in 10 years.
                          Don't need to on the massive inkjet printers they use to make these things. Picture your desktop inkjet with a 16' throat.
                          Anything with 16' throat scares Jonski.

                          *Jonski goes away to the corner and whimpers biting his knuckle - not nice!!*

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                          • #14
                            LOL. Sounds like Jonski needs to get out more. These machines are rather overwhelming the first time you are in the room with one. But once you get past the solvent high you notice it is a really BIG machine.

                            <actually most of these things are vented pretty darn good. They still stink though.>

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                            • #15
                              PrintDriver, thanks for sharing all of your Grande Format experience. I was just given a billboard to fix. The agency that produced it didn't pay attention to the size of the logos (too small and unreadable), and the Administration blew a gasket when they saw it. I insisted on direct contact with the fabricator before I started, and boy, would I have screwed up if I hadn't!

                              This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                              "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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