We just started getting more into banner and sign printing. I have since learned that InDesign has a max size limit of 216 inches. I prefer Indesign over Illustrator but I tried with that also and that gives me a limit of 227 inches. I need to go bigger than this and it will probably be a regular problem. Is there a way to trick ID or AI to go larger?
Having done artwork for many banners over the years, the usual way of working is to do them at 25% or 50% of the actual size, not 100%. Sign and banner printers here in the UK are well used to receiving artwork at a quarter or half size. Try to keep to 25% or 50%, or even 10%. It's easier to do the calculations then when printing them.
Scale it down. If you need 800 inches set the document up as 200 and
make sure any graphics have 4x the resolution.
That makes sense, dont know why I didnt think of that myself. I personally hate scaling stuff, I prefer making everything the size it has to be so I dont have to worry about math and ratios :-P. This should be ok to get by with though when this problem comes up
If not wanting to use Scale except for the largest of large, use CorelDraw with its limitations of 150 feet by 150 feet.
Having used CD for such work since the early 1990s--I still use scale. Depending upon the average viewing distance, any bitmaps or bitmap effects may not need to be some arbitrary 300 dpi. Might be more, might be less.
If anyone wants a spreadsheet I wrote that uses a common formula for scaling the page and images/bitmap effects for large format printing, I can upload it.
Take care, Mike
Can you please share your spreadsheet?
CorelDRAW has two advantages: it's cheap, and it's bundled with every piece of output equipment most retail shops lease, because it's what Grand Format printers etc. are optimized to work with and the basics can be taught to new lessors in a 2-day session.
It hasn't been anything I'd recommend to any better-skilled, more general designer for... probably two decades.
The really simple method for scaling is 1 pica to 1 inch; that gives you a six to one scale that will accommodate billboard-sized output. And requires no math, calculations, spreadsheets, etc.
The only hurdle is that raster graphics, if you use them, must be very high resolution to result in an acceptable output resolution... but then, most large-format output is done at fairly low effective rez anyway (100-120dpi).
@ Bob Levine This does not work if you are required to send to the service bureau or printer a file at 100% scale. There is also not an option in Illustrator to save/export the document at a larger scale. Nor is there any way to scale a .pdf in Acrobat to a larger size (unless I am mistaken). Very frustrating as I have a 260" banner to create with vector art that I will have to rasterize in Photoshop and downsample due to file size - resulting in a loss of quality.
If the service bureau cannot take a half-size PDF and scale it up on output they shouldn't be in the banner business and you should run as fast as you can and find someone who knows how to print banners.
As Peter says, either you misunderstood the requirements or that printer is incompetent. Pick up the phone and confirm.
If they confirm the need for 100% run like the wind to another printer.
Most large-format printers — and far too many retail printers — are "entrepreneurs" who looked around for a franchise or "print money" machine lease. They know what they got from the brochures, the sales meeting and two days of training in Boca Raton. They have a fixed checklist of the simplest process (probably using CorelDRAW presets) and get either confused or surly when asked to vary their process.
A large format printer insisting on 1:1 layout is likely one of these.
Even 100 ppi is more than required for many large prints designed to be viewed from more than a few feet -- the eye simply casnnot resolve the details over a long distance. A billboard menat to be viewed at 1000 feet or more problably needs less than 10 ppi. (I used to work in a large format service bureau so I have some experience with what is really necessary).
See Distance-Resolution Formula for how to calculate the required resoultion based on the intended vieing distance.
Oh, sure. I was accommodating moderate-sized poster and vinyl output, but for really big stuff, very low effective rez can be used.
No quibble here, just pointing out that there is no "rule of thumb" for required resolution on large format output as there is for "arm's length" stuff like books or magazines. A service bureau that insists on 150 ppi regardlesss of viewing distance doesn't really know their stuff.
ppl at adobe must be joking. just remove those restrictions. it is in their hands to adjust that lousy variable in code... ridiculous
The reason is quite simple.
Computer resources. The larger the file and the images the larger the file and larger the resources the computer needs.
Working at 10% size has worked since the 1990s or even before that. That's over 30 years ago of industry standard practice.
Why fix it if it's not broken?
If you're working at 10% of the size - and your image is 3000 ppi - then you will have 300 ppi in output - which is still way too large for a banner of large sizes.
You could work at 10% of the size with an image at 300ppi giving output of 30ppi - which would would be absolutely fine for banners.
However, you should always check with your print provider, and confirm specs/sizes and resoltuion requirements before beginning.
if one dimension is still okay, you can set your pages up as a spread.
What about high quality prints on a whole roll of plotter printer?
Hi @MartinDedron , The original post is 10 years old, so you might want to start a new thread, but nothing has changed—InDesign has a 216" limit and PDF has a 200" limit.
Bob’s answer is still correct—if you need to output an 800" print, the setup would be a 200" ID doc with the effective Resolution of the placed images’ Effective Resolutions at 4x the desired output resolution, and the Print>Setup>Scale options set to 400%. If you want an output resolution of 200ppi the image Effective Resolution needs to be 800ppi—see Link Info with the image selected.
In the end it was just easier to split the document for me.
However, regarding the computer capacities nowadays, I wonder about the point of keeping those limits instead of permitting a 1:1 scaling.
Another thing to consider is the printer's capacities (for a Canon 4100s Pro, about three meters, so definitly not the whole paper roll...), and to adjust from that.