What Art Resolution Do I Need For Banner Printing?

Your brand is HUGE. Your event is important.

The question is, how do you make sure your banners are printed at the best quality?

Here’s what you need to know about artwork banner resolution.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is The Best Resolution Required For Banner Printing?

For raster type files, such as Photoshop, PNG, JPG, TIFF, the minimum and ideal resolution for banner printing is 150 dpi.

In fact, most printers won’t print large format banners at more than 100 dpi, but at 150 dpi you will certainly be safe and your design will be sharp.

However, that’s 150 dpi at full print size; if your banner is going to be printed at a larger size than the actual file you submit, you’ll need to adjust the resolution accordingly.

For example:

If your banner is going to printed at 10 ft x 10 ft, your art should be 120″ tall x 120″ wide at 150 dpi.

But if the art you submit is only sized at 5 ft x 5 ft (60″ x 60″), then your art should be at 300 dpi. That way, when the printer enlarges it to fit the 10 ft canvas, your art will still look sharp.

What Size Should My Art Graphic Be For Vector Format?

Every printer loves vector.

Vector format graphics can be ANY size. That’s because vector graphics can be enlarged to unlimited sizes without losing resolution.

Vector graphics are the purest form of design for printing, and your printer will love you for it!

What Types Of Files Are Vector Format?

Vector format graphic files include EPS, AI, PDF and SVG as the most common file types.

What Is The Difference Between Raster And Vector?

Raster files are made up of pixels and are resolution-dependent, meaning that if you enlarge a raster image beyond a certain size, it will look pixelated or blurry.

Vector files are made up of mathematical formulas and paths which can be scaled to any size without losing resolution.

They are terrific for large format banners because you don’t have to worry about the artwork looking blurry at huge sizes – a 2 inch x 2 inch vector file can be blown up to 20 ft x 20 ft, with zero impact on the quality.

What Types Of Files Do Printers Accept For Printing?

We accept all types of files, as long as they are high enough quality.

We accept files from both Mac and Windows platforms and most graphics software. Files can be saved in the following formats:

  • EPS – Encapsulated PostScript- of any type
  • PSD – Adobe PhotoShop
  • AI – Adobe Illustrator
  • PDF – Portable Document Format
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • TIFF

We can take other file formats, and even a grainy, low quality image – we’ll validate the quality before we print. If it’s not printable, we can help with a special vectorization process that produces incredible results.

What Is The Best File Format For Printing?

Vector formats are always best for any type of printing. Vector file types are: AI, EPS, PDF and SVG.

Because vector files are based on lines, rather than pixels like raster-based files, they are scalable without losing resolution. Therefore, the artwork will not become pixilated and jagged when it is enlarged, so the most critical element with vector files is that they are setup proportionately to the final output size.

We highly recommend using vector-based artwork and text on larger graphics whenever possible for optimum results and easier file management. If raster-based photos or images are to be used within the vector artwork, please refer to the raster file guidelines below.

Raster Files: For banners and signs designed to be viewed at less than 24″, your resolution should be 150 dpi at final size.

For designs that are to be viewed beyond 24″, we also recommend a resolution of 150 dpi at final size. For very large stage banners, signs, and displays that are going to be viewed from a distance, even 100 dpi resolution is perfectly fine and will make it easier to work with the files.

Vector graphics are resolution-independent, meaning that they can be scaled up and down to any size without losing sharpness or quality. That makes them perfect for large format printing!

Some types of printing, such as plastic roll banners, T-Shirts, and car wraps will require vector graphics in order to print these types of products.

If you only have a small JPG, don’t sweat it. Our graphics team will validate every inch of your file before we print, and alert you if there’s any issues.

What Is The Best DPI For Banner Printing?

The best resolution for banner printing is 150 dpi at full print size. At this resolution, the graphics and text on your banners will look sharp and clear.

Raising your dpi on raster images to 300 or 600 dpi won’t improve clarity. It will only increase the file size. Since banner printers mostly print at 150 dpi, or even 100 dpi, you are 100% safe at 150 dpi.

It also makes file handling easier for the printer, which can speed up the process of proofing and preparing your artwork in pre-flight before we print.

Should I Compress My Files Before Submitting Them?

Do not compress the files or use any type of compressed format, such as JPEG, unless that’s the only option you have for your original images.

Can I Print Scanned Files?

Scanned images should have a resolution of no less than 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 1/4 size of the final printed piece.

Remember that resolution decreases by the same factor as the enlargement you request.

A 300 dpi original enlarged to four times the original size will have a finished resolution of 75 dpi.

Can You Fix A Graphic File That Is Too Small Or Blurry?

Yes, we can fix your graphics using a process called vectorization.

This is a technically advanced process where one of our graphic designers carefully recreates your artwork using vector-based software such as Illustrator.

The result is a vector file with no loss in quality or change in your design. The only difference is the sharpness and clarity in your newly remastered graphics!

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Low Quality Images?

The cost to fix blurry, small images is typically not terribly high – many jobs can be fixed up for $30 – $60.

Designs that are very intricate or have elements that are complex with more gradients and blended colors can cost $100 or more.

We always provide our customers with a clear cost quote before we begin the vectorization process, so feel free to upload your artwork today to get a quote. Please note, this service is only offer to customers that are also buying banners with NorthCoast Banners.

How To Check Your Art File Quality Before Submitting It

If you are working in Photoshop, and your final design is going to be a 10’x10′ banner, set up your canvas for a 120 in x 120 in:

Then, click on View –> Print Size:

Scroll around the file to find blurry elements or edges. Look closely at elements that meet up – the outside edge of a logo, the edge of text, or the edges of a key design element. That’s where blurriness and low quality issues show up most.

You can also go to Window –> Navigator to add the Navigator tool to help you move around your image. View the screenshot above to see the Navigator in action!

How To Check The Resolution Of An Image In Photoshop

To check the resolution of an image in Photoshop, follow these easy steps.

  1. Open Photoshop
  2. Click File –> Open
  3. Once your file is opened, click on Image –> Image Size
  4. You’ll see your file resolution in this window.

Still confused?

Customers love NorthCoast Banners because we’re no online shop that is quick to take your money – we are real deal service type people who love to talk with our customers and help you look amazing at your event.

Send us your files today and we’ll be glad to help!