Wide Format Print File Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Wide Format Print File Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Wide format printing is a great way to achieve crisp, clear, and attractive images for your design work. However, it can be tough knowing what kind of files you should give your local print shop. In order to avoid a situation in which you give your printing company an incompatible wide format file, you simply need to follow a few simple tips.

Here at iTek, we are a Concord, NC print shop with a wide variety of advanced wide format printers. We occasionally receive files from designers that are incompatible. Here are some of the issues with wide format printing files and ways that they can be avoided. 


Not Enough Bleed Areas Included

One of the most common mistakes made by designers when wide format printing is not allowing enough bleed in the design. The bleed is the artwork which goes past the document edges. You should allow at least three millimeters for bleed, and if you have large format items, leave even more space.


Images that Do Not Convert to CMYK

When building out your designs, make sure to build them in CMYK mode first, not RGB. Ensure that any images placed in the file are also in CMYK format, because RGB is not ideal for color matching. If you are not sure what is required or how to use CMYK colors, our professional printing shop will help you. 


Incorrectly Positioned Borders

One of the most common wide format printing issues created by designers is not using quiet borders. Quiet borders are similar to buffer zones, and they should be a minimum of five millimeters away from the document edge. No additional text or defined elements should be placed in a quiet border. 


Art Board Size Doesn’t Match Size of Design

When creating your print file on an art board or canvas, it must match up with the edges of your print design. Doing so makes it easier for professional printing services to add printer marks. To avoid this issue, start with a template file or set up your document so that it matches the dimensions of your design. 


Using the Wrong File Formats for Printing

Another important consideration when wide format printing is which file formats are used. This is an area where many mistakes occur, and print projects should avoid using the .png and .gif file formats for wide format printing. These two formats are screen-only and thus do not translate to the print process. For crisp images, use a format with a higher ppi. 


Low Resolution Files

If you use an image with a low resolution, your images will not be crisp, even if they are printed with wide format printers. Look to use a resolution of 300 to 400 ppi at a minimum. 


Work With a Local Print Shop

Trust our printing company with your next wide format printing project. With a highly experienced team of professionals, the latest in printing equipment, and a dedication to customer service, iTek looks forward to partnering with your company. 

To learn more about our wide format printing services, contact us at (704) 457-7687.