Workflows that need large canvas / artboard

Adobe Employee ,
Apr 18, 2017

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Illustrator supports maximum artboard size of 227 x 227 inches / 577 x 577 cm.  In which workflows you would use canvas / artboard size greater than 227 x 227 inches / 577 x 577 cm?

Those who create design for billboard and large format printing, would you prefer design in actual size instead of scaled design (1/10 or reduced proportion of actual size)

-Rama

Illustrator Team

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2017

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Working on a scale is the best for me.

What about people who need to print fabrics? Do you have contact with some?

It seems to me that it is a workflow that has special needs.

Best Regards

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2017

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Working at actual size would be easiest as you do not need to recalculate items but enter the actual amounts. For example at the tradeshow entranceway to the Pennsylvania Convention center, they have an arched bridge that we put a vinyl banner across. To make the die for the banner we need to take one measurements for the width, and atleast 6 for the height(s). We then draw a rectangle and apple an arc, but expand the path and modify to meet the various heights.

Other items such as wooden or metal structures have more detail, so if you do enough of them you eventually will make a calculation or entry or transposition error when you have to scale every dimension.

Even if the max was to increase to 500" that would allow many more projects to be done at actual scale, or at worst 1/2 scale for a large bus graphics.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2017

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Rama,

I tried to private message you but the system would not let me:

I am please Adobe is asking questions. As a 30-year user I have a question. It is posted here and in multiple other posts and "feature requests". This simple loss if AI functionality means I can no longer work effectively with the pencil tool. Please read it and, if you do not understand my frustration please ask questions. I feel this is a terribly overlooked flaw in the current versions of Illustrator.

Why does Illustrator change what works?

​Thank you,

​Ray Craighead

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rama_ai AUTHOR
Adobe Employee ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Hi Ray,

I read your post on issue with pencil tool, I will forward this to right person in the team.

-Rama

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Thanks, Rama. I am ready and willing to talk with someone at Adobe about this.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2017

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Hello Rama,

Currently, am working on wall maps/artwork which are various sizes but include:

- 2700 x 2100 mm

- 2970 x 2128 mm

and

- 86000 x 2700 mm

---

Our work-flow changes depending on the artwork, but goes something like this:

- Export from QGIS / ArcGIS / Other GIS Software

- Import files and re-size to fit area

- Mix hand-drawn / Illustrator / Photoshop to create artwork in multiple layers (20-30) - reduced scale 1:10 say

- Create layers again in Photoshop to 1:1 scale, 300dpi

- Output as flat Large PSD file

We are working on the over 8m one now and developing a style guide to help list all the style features/swatches/line thickness etc, so any mods to Illustrator to work 1:1 scale in Illustrator rather than having to convert would be really, really helpful.

Look forward to hearing from you soon, Rama.

Best wishes,
Caroline

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Valorous Hero ,
Apr 19, 2017

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I mainly use CD for large format because of size limitations in Illy and other software.

However, working at a 1:1 scale over 200" really doesn't mean a lot if you cannot get the Acrobat people on-board and lift the 200" PDF viewable (and artificial) limitation. I can produce PDFs that are viewable in Acrobat larger than that (>400" isn't uncommon for me). But it would be better if I didn't have to do what I do.

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 19, 2017

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I design signs, billboards and other kinds of large format graphics. I prefer working at full size whenever possible. A lot of the work I produce gets exported to other applications (Flexi, EnRoute, Onyx, Roland VersaWorks) used by other people. If the art is sized at a certain scale that creates a chance a co-worker may not scale it up properly before printing, cutting or routing. Setting the artwork at full size removes the chance for errors.

Quite a few sign designs can fit within the current 227" X 227" limit. But other types of designs won't fit. I have to work at reduced scale for most billboard designs, high rise pylon sign designs, building signs that incorporate much or all of the building elevation and larger vehicle graphics designs. It can be a tight squeeze fitting all sides of a vehicle wrap design within Illustrator's art board limits.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2017

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Hi.

I work for a company that produce adverts, vinyl wrapping  and interior decor. Sizes could be often enormous.

I find myself shifting between scales from 100% to 1:10 and so on. Working 1:10 might be fairly reasonably because when I outputting to print I could just set it to 1000% to get the right size. However, I have experienced that having to scale might sometimes mess with stroke width and perhaps miss alignment in text and lines that may seems like little details at first but when finally outputted might be a massive mistake.

My colleges and some clients work in several other programs where they can use 100% sizes and at times it could be a bit messy when importing files to illustrator

The possibility to work in real size may reduce error that can happen while scaling from one size to other.  I am using artboards to export parts on a canvas on their own file to fit into the media output for print and cut where I need precision. 0,01 mm in 1:10 could be 10 mm off the cutting edge and miss alignments for the cutting machine just to name an example. Also if you export an artboard 1:10 with trim marks would end with giant marks, it could be advantageous that since we need to work in scales because of the canvas limitation, it would be great to be able to put trim marks or crops mark in scale. I often find my self creating them and placing them one by one increasing the possibility of errors.

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Guide ,
Apr 20, 2017

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I too often work on trailer/bus wraps, billboards and similar large graphics. The ability to finally work at 1:1 scale would be a great relief and a major help in alleviating many of the common scaling errors and problems already mentioned in this thread.

--OB

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2017

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I work for a large wholesale manufacturer of fabric displays and exhibition systems. A good majority of our artwork will exceed the allowable 577cm. Sometimes when we receive art there will be excess hidden artwork outside the canvas which can prevent the artwork from being moved or scaled. Because we work with a lot of different fabrics this can also be an issue when we need to apply certain shrinkage or stretch rates to the fabric.

I find that 'copy and paste' vs 'copy and paste in place' to new document can throw errors with some larger artworks. The ability to define a canvas size when creating a new document could be helpful in lowering some of my frustrations.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 28, 2017

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SAME BOAT!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 28, 2017

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I work at a large format printer and run into this problem constantly. Whether for a 70' banner to hang, or fabric wall coverings muraled I have fought this sooo many times. I would love to create at size, no scaling allowing me to focus more on the creative elements and not having to break out the calculator for conversions on my larger scale projects... It is not uncommon for me to have to do a 6'X100' or 30'x60' paneled mural piece. I would so love expanded canvas..

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 28, 2017

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There are a few reasons I'd like to see a larger (or even limitless) canvas for Illustrator:

  1. I occasionally work on wall-sized murals and designs. The latest one was on a wall with dimension of 753" x 40". This is not possible in Illustrator, so I had to reduce it to 25%. It's annoying to have to work this way and do calculations on a piece of paper because my software can't manage it.
  2. I would like to be able to use Illustrator for things like floor-plans and other really large scale designs. The reasoning comes back to the use of scale measurements, like drawing out a scale 120ft yacht with rulers and grids that support feet / meters. Sometimes to illustrate an image to be printed on a standard poster-size, it is still helpful to create at real-world scale. I envision my 3-D tools that have limitless scale grids.
  3. Like many web/mobile app designers, I use the multi-artboard feature in Illustrator to create all of the high-fidelity screens in the products we develop. There can be a LOT of screens. Currently the canvass can run out of space for some projects. This process also highlights the deficiencies in managing artboards on the canvass - how they are initially centered and as you add artboards, you run into the canvas edge and need to move all of them. I feel like there is room for improvement here.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2017

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You may also want to look at increasing the bleed amount as that is limited to 1 inch and those who work in large scale graphics  routinely need more. 

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Explorer ,
May 04, 2017

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I agree with Mike. The 1 inch bleed is extremely limiting for any kind of large scale production.

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Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2017

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I agree with everyone who needs to work in a 1: 1 scale. It is very unreliable with this limitation of canvas to 577 cm! I need a new program.

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New Here ,
May 09, 2017

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We do sublimated clothing design and production. The canvas size limitation in Illustrator is a big problem, we have to split print files into 2 separate files for the sublimation which takes extra time and is a pain when proofing.

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2017

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We save all of our artwork as PDF to our RIP. I believe there is a certain limitation to PDF files - somewhere around 5 meters I think... if we work at 100% on artwork over 5 meters would we still not need to scale the artwork down to under 5 meters to save successfully as a PDF?

Dimnsions Out.PNG

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Valorous Hero ,
May 11, 2017

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capture-003281.png

PDFs themselves can go much larger. The 200" x 200" limit was lifted with PDF 1.6 if I recall. It was raised to 15,000,000 inches...also if I recall. It's just that Acrobat was never updated to display such a thing without a bodge.

Which is why I posted above that the Illy team needs to get the Acrobat team on-board and raise this artifical limitation of Acrobat for viewing. Most other decent PDF viewers do not have this limitation. They just don't work properly in a press-workflow and are in no way a replacement for Acrobat. The above PDF is 400" by 100" and is viewable in Acrobat. but it is a bodge, though some RIPS will accept it.

So what I do in CorelDraw when I don't know where it will be printed, is design at 100% scale, then group everything and scale down and change the page size that an unknown RIP can handle along with instructions to scale up X percentage.

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LEGEND ,
May 12, 2017

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It's not just about the overall finished size of a single large display graphic. Even if the final size of a particular project is within the current pasteboard limitations, it is common practice to separate the elements of different vinyl colors on individual Artboards, so that the pieces of each particular color can then be re-arranged and nested so as to maximize vinyl usage, before sending the file to the cutting program. So room for multiple large Artboards at 100% is needed. Doing this, one often has to resort to multiple documents, which is cumbersome.

Of course, the problem of having to work any project of any type at reduced scale is exacerbated by the fact that Illustrator does not provide for user-defined ruler scales.

JET

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New Here ,
May 24, 2017

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Yep, to me being able to work to scale is a no brainer. Working 1:1 with limitless scaling would make working with large format graphics significantly easier. This is one of the reasons I prefer CorelDraw for large format, but I would much rather work in Illustrator!

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Explorer ,
Jul 12, 2017

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Rama,

PLEASE increase the canvas size. This is very annoying that Illustrator does not allow you to go beyond 227x227. I run into this restriction many times in our builds. CorelDraw has huge canvas sizes available, the user can type in whatever size art board they want. I do not understand why this is even a restriction, I would think this would be an easy option to add.

Working 1:1 only makes for an easier workflow and less chance of a mistake...and when working on projects larger than 227" mistakes are extremely costly.

On a totally unrelated note please add a dimension function to Illustrator so shop drawings can be dimensioned in Illustrator without having to use a 3rd party add-on

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Advocate ,
Jul 12, 2017

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Please submit that via the Adobe Feature Request form. That will make sure the Illustrator product team sees it. Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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