# Should I use Photoshop or Illustrator for a large print design? [duplicate]

I'm new to this site and am taking on some graphics work that requires a big print out. I have never worked on such a large scale and was wondering if you guys could answer some basic questions for me.

I pretty much want to create something like the image below with a chalkboard and chalk lettering effect. I know how to do this in photoshop, but I don't know if the text and images will be blurry if scaled up?

The dimensions are 5' Wide and 7' Tall. I don't know what print company they are using or what the PPI needs to be.

So my questions are: Am I better of trying to create a similar effect in Adobe Illustrator since it's a vector based program? If not, can you explain how I can set it up in photoshop to be printable at that size?

Thank you very much if you read all this. I hope you can help :)

• I, personally, would use Illustrator and create it as vector. But really, as long as you adhere to the technical aspects necessary, it doesn't matter what you use. Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 21:19

If it must resemble chalkboard drawing, it surely is easiest to make in Photoshop.

See this discussion about watching distances, needed printing resolutions and what image pixel resolution is needed to utilize the available printing resolution.

What resolution should a large format artwork for print be?

The printer surely tells how many pixels he can print per inch in such sizes. Actually printing resolution isn't pixels per inch, but lines per inch. He converts the lines per inch for you to pixels per inch with some marginal to get from you some extra sharpness to be lost in the printing process.

Let's assume he wants 50 px/inch to make as sharp prints as he can. Then a six feet wide image seen at distance = six feet will look out as sharp as an one foot wide image seen at distance = 1 ft and printed using 300 pixels per inch. It's scaled proportionally.

A 6 ft wide image at 50 px/inch resolution must be in Photoshop 6*12*50 = 3600 pixels wide. That's not impossible, today high resolution photos have much more.

Be sure you see beforehand a sample of what quality the printer produces bitmap images in that size and negotiate all needed details. If they do not want to guide you in technical details, walk to elsewhere.

NOTE: The drawing must be created in the needed final pixel dimensions. Enlargening a low resolution image is possible with special image resizing software, but it still is worse than having the right resolution in the beginning. Enlargening for ex. to 500% pixel dimensions in Photoshop only creates a mess.

Here's your sliced cow enlargened only to show what kind of effect special enlargening software create:

Words Fore and Brisket needed manual fixing due the unsharpness of the original

• Thank you for your answer. I guess I maybe should edit my question. I'm working on a mac and not sure what canvas size I should use? I obviously can't work on that big of a file do to slow processing power of my laptop. Would you know what dimensions I should start working on if the final outcome will be 7' by 5'? Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 1:11
• @acarver12344 canvas dimensions in inches or feet is not important, only the dimensions in pixels are important. If you set the canvas size to 5 x 7 feet you of course can see the final sizes of the drawn shapes right in the rulers, but the benefit is marginal. In a complex composition work the final canvas size can be useful, when you place the image to Indesign, for example. Ask also, if the printer wants it. 5x7 feet with 50px/inch isn't much in pixels.
– user82991
Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 1:27