I'm creating a 4 x 6 meter (~13 x 20 feet) outdoor billboard advertisement that includes an image and vector logo (rasterized) in Photoshop. I was working using a smaller size for design purposes, but now the client has approved a final design and wants to go to print. I need to know what DPI/PPI I should export it as.

Additionally, I was given advice by a friend to make it at 30 DPI and work in centimeters (so 400 x 600 cm) then let the print house blow it up to 4 x 6 meters, is this true?

  • Related information: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/1454/… Sep 11, 2011 at 10:56
  • i make billboards all the time using photoshop … and follow the 1to1 rule…one inch equals one foot…with a very high DPI… the last one i made was 10 x 20 foot billboard…..my photshop file is 10inx20 yusing 1200 dpi resolution…..sharpening the final prioduct willelimate any blur or pixelation found on detail pics….(the Indesign idea is a good one as well) …a Mac PC will help as well
    – user19238
    May 7, 2014 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


Well, where I come from 400x600cm is 4x6 meters. :-)

30 dpi for final output is more than enough for a billboard of that size. It's not unusual for final output to be 12-15 dpi in this context.

The usual professional billboard workflow in Photoshop is to build the image at a small scale with high ppi (e.g., 4x6cm @ 300 ppi), but in this case you can work full scale because you're not exceeding any of Photoshop dimension limits.

What you really must do, though, is to contact the billboard company. Either their website or their production department will give you their exact requirements for file size and format. They will have Photoshop and/or InDesign templates that not only give you the dimensions you need, but the correct color profile. Use the template.

Added note: I've moved my billboard workflow to InDesign these days, and send to the provider as PDF. If you have ID CS5 I highly recommend that, for speed of production, accuracy and vastly better typographic control.

  • Thankyou alan, yes I realized 4x6m is 400x600cm, I had a slight brain freeze for a moment there out of frustration hehe... Your feedback is helpful, will get in contact with the print house..
    – Malouk87
    Sep 10, 2011 at 23:18
  • but does indesign allow for files to be created as large as 4x6m? I have ID CS5...
    – Malouk87
    Sep 10, 2011 at 23:19
  • When I'm doing a "goalpost" (18 ft high by 48 ft wide with a "bleed" of 18 inches), the company's Photoshop template is 5292x2052 pixels, 17.64x6.84 inches @ 300ppi including bleed. That's 8.7 ppi at full size. The InDesign document is simpler. I did some very simple math and made it 72x27 inches, 1/8th scale. In both cases, the document uses the color profile of their Fuji vinyl printer. I keep image effective resolution over 75 ppi and we're good to go. Sep 11, 2011 at 0:58

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