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How To Design a Large File Using Photoshop
Even for an experienced Photoshop user such as yourself, there are some important things you need to know when designing a large file for a sign or banner. Using the right file type, resolution, size, color, etc., will make both the design and the printing process much more efficient. At Signazon.com, our main goal is to provide you with the highest-quality print work possible. To do so, however, we must first have the right components.


I need a very large sign/banner (i.e. 4’ x 8’). Does the design file I’m creating have to be the same size?

No. By using a vector-based file (which is scalable), you can create a smaller design that is easier to work with and can then be printed in a larger size.


Photoshop keeps crashing because my file is too large. How do I fix this?
  1. Design at ¼ or ½ of the final print size—this reduces the pixels being saved (reducing file size).
  2. Use 300 dpi for the best quality—this maintains resolution for the full-size print.
  3. Flatten the file—this merges all individual layers into one, saving upload time.
  4. Save the design as a .PDF document—this file type saves the settings, further reduces file size and keeps the design crisp.

It seems Photoshop is not the ideal application—what program do you recommend that I use for design instead?

We recommend that you design your print-ready file in Illustrator if possible. Illustrator is far superior to any other design application in terms of producing quality print files. Illustrator is natively vector-based and has much better memory management when dealing with large designs. Photoshop, which is predominantly raster-based, frequently gets bogged down when trying to design artwork that is over 2’ x 2’ in size because it maintains memory for each individual pixel in the design. Thus, file upload speed is slowed tremendously with Photoshop files (or .PSD). Follow the steps outlined above for the best print-ready file and we will enlarge the artwork to fit the final print.
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