Large-format signage is a cornerstone of any business’ marketing plan. From the window signs that announce your next sale, to the trade show banners displaying your company branding, going big with your print materials means getting noticed when it matters most.
But just because you make a message bigger doesn’t mean you’re making it more effective. In fact, large-format signage comes with its own special set of rules and guidelines to ensure its effectiveness. Take a look at a few essential aspects to remember when you’re designing bigger print pieces and why they’re so important:
If you’re using photos, text or anything else outside of a vector graphic to design a large-print piece of collateral, be mindful of the resolution you’re using. Many people make the mistake of designing a large-print document that’s not quite true-to-size and when the time comes to print, they’re left with blurriness or distortion that sullies the entire piece of signage.
The solution to preventing resolution issues is to design with the appropriate dimensions and resolution, right from the outset. Remember that programs like Photoshop allow you to scale your document to your needs—take the time to adjust the height, width and resolution to be conducive to your print needs.
Use vector images and text
Vectoring all of the images and text on your large-format design is imperative to a crisp, clean finished piece of collateral. Vectoring—as done by programs like Adobe Illustrator—allows the program to render shapes at any size or resolution properly, via the use of geometric equations. Simply put, if your dimensions need to be changed or altered for print, you can rely on vectored graphics to automatically adjust, without compromising resolution.
De-clutter and focus
More space doesn’t mean more room for eccentricities on your large-format items. The more items you try to cram onto a poster or banner, the harder it’s going to be to discern the message of that banner. Keep it simple and focused, and leverage your extra space to reinforce the core message.
On this same token, make sure you’re accounting for all of the essential components of a good design, including branding elements, a clear call to action, and inspiring content.
Large-format printing has a unique feature that must be considered for success: depth. People seeing your message from far away might not have the same experience as someone looking at it up close, which means they could be getting a different visual message. Make sure you consider the design of your larger signage at varying distances. For example, have a mockup printed and stand 3 feet away from it, then 10 feet, then 20 feet—at each distance, pay attention to what features of the signage stand out and which ones are lost with depth.
Print large, print loud!
Large-format print can be a critical and highly effective part of your business’ marketing efforts… when it’s designed properly. Remember to take into account the above tips that are unique to larger designs. Or, to make sure your large-format signage is perfect the first time around, get in touch with your local AlphaGraphics large-print experts today!