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  4. How to Prepare Wide Format Printing Files – Guide
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  3. Makerspace Guides
  4. How to Prepare Wide Format Printing Files – Guide

How to Prepare Wide Format Printing Files – Guide

1. Prepare

Prepare your file. One of the main issues seen in print files is when they are not the correct resolution or sizing. This should be set from the very start of your project, once you get into the hang of doing this properly, you should never have to worry about it again.

The minimum recommended print resolution is 300dpi (dots per inch).

To check the resolution and size of your file in Photoshop: CMD + ALT + i or Image > Image Size

As our printers are able to achieve 600dpi printing, one might consider creating their files at this size, please note that the file sizes will be much larger.

Generally, a good balance between file size and print quality will be achieved through the following settings:

Resolution: 300dpi | 8 bit colour | Colour Profile: sRGB | File Type: .PDF

The maximum print quality will generally be achieved through the following settings:

Resolution: 600dpi | 16 bit colour | Colour Profile: ProPhoto RGB | File Type: .PDF

Please note, these settings are for the maximum possible print quality, lower values will still produce printable work

These settings may differ depending on the desired outcome, such as design work that has been created specifically in CMYK. Your prints do not have to be CMYK as the 12 ink printers have a wider colour gamut available. Talk to your technical officers for more information.

See further reading for more information on colour gamuts and spaces

Save your file as a flattened .PDF somewhere you can find it easily.

2. Upload & Pay

Submit your files via the print submit forms (buttons below). Accept the terms and conditions. Check pricing and pay for your prints, uploading the receipt then press submit.

Print Submit Forms:

Paper types explained briefly:

  • Lightweight Matte – Cheap and versatile presentation paper
  • Smooth Heavyweight Matte – Archival grade illustration, photography and design paper
  • Pearl Lustre – Archival quality photography & design paper
  • Photo Satin – Affordable high quality photography & design paper

    Additional information can be found under Further Reading below

These files are sent and logged to our print computer from which we can send off the print jobs. We will send you an email if your print file is inadequate.

3. Pick-Up

Pick-up your print 10 – 11am & 3 – 4pm from the Makerspace Print Lab (UNHG07), see Technical Staff (UNHG03) for more assistance or more information.

Efficient Printing (Save Money!)

As three of our wide-format printers don’t print ‘A’ sizes by default and not all of your prints are going to be ‘A’ sizing, we offer a per centimetre print cost for each of our paper types.

When used effectively, this can save you a lot of money – particularly on the more expensive papers. The principle is simple: align your artworks to minimise gaps, and fill any blank spaces with smaller artworks.

To do this in Photoshop you will need to use the canvas/crop tool (keyboard shortcut C) or in Illustrator adjust your Artboard (Shift + O) to the width of our paper rolls (see below) and use whatever height fits your artwork best.

An example of efficient print layout in Photoshop. Artworks by alumni Rachel Klyve & Lila Raymond (2020)

If you lay your artwork out on the width of the roll – in the most efficient way possible – it will not only save you money, but it will also save paper and our time!

The Print Media Payment Portal has the current pricing of all offered materials

If your artworks have white backgrounds, make sure you add a 1 pixel, 10% opacity stroke for a cut line!

Custom Orders

Custom paper requests (e.g. canvas, film or art papers) will be assessed on a case-by-case basis please contact your technical officers (G03) for more information.

Custom Sizing – per metre pricing will be used for custom size prints

Further Reading

Updated on August 4, 2023

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