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I need to create a large image (for print) at 24X36 inches. It is a seating chart poster for a wedding. What settings in Photoshop would I set for an image this size (DPI, etc.)? I would need it to remain sharp when printing so suggesting some Export options would be great too.

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Don't use Photoshop for this. Use InDesign or Illustrator. A 24x36 image at 300 dpi is going to be 200+ MB. InDesign and Illustrator will give you clean lines at any size when used properly. –  Philip Regan Jun 23 '11 at 13:02
    
Linked: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/487/… –  e100 Feb 20 '12 at 18:23

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It will be inkjet printed, so 300 ppi will give you plenty of quality. If the file size on disk gets excessive, 150 ppi would also be fine, but for a seating chart that's unlikely to be an issue.

Export to ("Save As...") PDF using "High Quality Print" as the preset, and you'll be fine for printing at your local FedEx/Kinko, etc., or on a desktop printer if you have one that will print 24" paper. Uncheck "Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities" to keep the file size down (but don't save over your PSD, just in case!).

If you're taking it to a digital print shop, ask them if they prefer the PDF in RGB or CMYK. If they say CMYK, use "PDF/X-1a:2001" as your PDF export preset. Otherwise use "High Quality Print."

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What about Color Mode and bitrate? –  Brian David Berman Jun 21 '11 at 22:41
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For a seating chart, even with a beautiful background and so on, which I guess you're planning, the color mode can be RGB or CMYK so long as whoever will print it knows what they're doing (and you should ask which will reproduce better on their equipment). By "bitrate" I think you mean "bit depth." 8-bit is fine. You won't run into a printer that can reproduce 16-bit color, so it's not anything to be concerned about. –  Alan Gilbertson Jun 22 '11 at 0:41

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