Signage Artwork Files and Formats

In a previous blog article we discussed the importance of good design for business signs. The key difference between working on artwork design for your business signage compared to other design projects is scale.

Think Big

Your signs need to be designed for maximum impact, people will often only have a few seconds to read and understand your sign so your artwork needs to work on a big scale.
For this reason we prefer vector graphics because you can blow them up to any scale without losing image quality. You can recognise a vector graphic from its file extension - SVG, EPS and PDF. 

Raster-Man

You will notice the difference between vector graphics and the more traditional raster graphics format if you zoom in, they will start to become pixelated and blurred. Common file extensions for these types of graphics are BMP, JPEG and PNG.

Bitmaps and jpegs are great for when you need a small file size such as on a website. The small file size means that the images load quickly. If you have ever waited for a slow website to load you will know how annoying it can be.
So whatever you do, don’t copy an image from your website if you want it to be used on a sign. As you increase the size of the image all that happens is that you increase the size of the pixels which makes it look grainy and blurred.
Instead ask your graphic designer to supply a file of at least 300dpi (which stands for dots per inch). At this resolution images can be blown up without noticeable loss of quality.

Go Vector

Ideally though, go vector. Vector files don’t use pixels they use lines, arcs, and shading which don’t suffer the same problem. You can blow them up to any size and they will stay sharp as a button.
So as you can see, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to understand the fundamentals of artwork files and formats. We hope that this blog post gives you the confidence to ask the right questions when speaking to your designer or sign company.
We would be delighted to answer any questions you have about your next sign project. Drop us a line or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.

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