How do I set up files for very large prints or wall murals?

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Wall Mural File Setup

Trim Bleed

If you are installing any of these murals flush to any edges or corners of walls, floor, or ceiling. You will want to add at least 2″-4″ of extra design on each side that may be touching an edge or corner. This allows for the print to be installed with the excess and then trimmed off after installation. This is to accommodate for uneven walls left to right or top to bottom.

For example, if your wall is 120″ x 96″. Make your final dimensions for this design 124″ x 100″. If the extra bleed has been applied, be sure to let us know what the actual wall dimensions are before bleed.

Panels

For large murals, we provide the prints in multiple panels to create the overall dimensions. Our software will automatically add the overlaps and sections. By default, we set up your final prints with a 1″ overlap at the seams to help with installation. The panels can be provided as long vertical panels (similar to wallpaper) or long horizontal panels. These parameters can be customized if need be for your prints.

File Scale

We require that you design your large-scale graphics be set up to a scale. This is mainly due to file sizes for very large layouts. You may select any scale just indicate this in your order notes or in the file.

Common scales to design to are: 1/2 Scale, 1/4 Scale, 1/10 Scale or 1/12 Scale. If your print will be viewed up close (office, lobby, etc.) you will want to design to the smallest scale and high dpi setting. For wall graphics that are viewed at distances greater than 10 feet you will be fine designing to a smaller scale, and will most likely get away with a very low dpi setting. DPI settings should be 300dpi or above. If your file is viewed from a distance you may go lower.

If you are working with vector graphics or low-resolution raster graphics. We will accept full-scale designs.

Why do we design to a scale?

The main reason we do this is due to the file size. With a smaller file size, it will be easier to make edits to your file and not overload your computer. Also, sending us your file will be a lot easier with a manageable file size.

The other reason is due to how the human eye perceives these graphics. For example, when you look at a billboard as you’re driving you would think that the print is perfect. In reality, if you were to walk up to a billboard graphic you would notice heavy pixelation (unless the design is completely vector). When viewed from a distance the human eye will not notice the pixelation. This same thing applies to wall graphics that are viewed at even a closer distance than billboard graphics.

If your design is completely made up of vector graphics. You are safe to design at any scale.

DPI for large-scale wall graphics/murals

After you have chosen the appropriate scale you can then choose your project’s resolution. With large prints, you will want to choose a dpi that is below 300 dpi. This may sound crazy considering most graphics are printed at 300-600 dpi. The reason we choose a lower dpi is for the same reasons stated above. Manageable files and how the human eye perceives large scale prints.

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