I am designing a Banner Flex of big size. 6mx8ft. I built this using illustrator, as it has specific tools for vector graphics. Such big document size cannot be created on illustrator or any other adobe product. SO i created a document size on ratio of 1:10. Now when I am trying to export it, either the image will be rasterised which would kill the vector part or another send the source. And if i send them the source file, it has a big risk of being abused. So i need a solution for this.

How to do this or what is best way to do so?

  • 3
    If it's a huge banner, low resolution raster might be just fine--especially if its being viewed from a distance. As for 'file abuse' I assume you mean it will be stolen? Most files (even PDF) can be reverse engineered. The solution there is to not give the file to a place you don't trust.
    – DA01
    Jan 23, 2012 at 2:38
  • can you explain what scenarios you are thinking about when you say "abused" and "moved around"?
    – horatio
    Jan 24, 2012 at 15:42
  • @horatio, by abused, i meant reverse engineered.
    – Starx
    Jan 26, 2012 at 7:42

3 Answers 3


Illustrator can save an .ai file as Adobe PDF.

Check with the company who will produce the banner what type of PDF, RGB or CMYK, will work best for them, and their preferred color profile.

File>Save as... Adobe PDF (pdf). Choose an appropriate Adobe PDF preset, such as [High Quality Print] for RGB or PDF/X-1a for CMYK.

Be sure to uncheck "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities".

The Vector data will be saved within the pdf, and will be printable and resizable.

  • Your answer was correct, so I didn't want to add one of my own, but I have expanded yours a little to make it more generally useful. Jan 22, 2012 at 23:07
  • I know about this, even with the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capablities unchecked, the item could be move around. so, it was not secured.
    – Starx
    Jan 23, 2012 at 5:43
  • @Starx, then just rasterize the file and that's it, but you won't be able to preserve the vector data, and I do not recommend doing that, best way is in the answer above, and to add some extra security to it, when you save as PDF you could also add a password to the file(check the PDF options) but the printer will surely ask for it, cause they generally need it, depending on the situation, I also reccomend this short and informative reading here : andrewkelsall.com/printing-mistakes-errors-need-avoid Jan 23, 2012 at 12:34
  • @FlaviusFrantz, the link was good reference. But rasterizing the layers are not going to preserve the vector.
    – Starx
    Jan 26, 2012 at 7:43
  • @Starx thats what i said :) Jan 27, 2012 at 14:07

Adobe InDesign has a maximum dimension of 216 inches / 15552 pts / 5486.4 mm (18 feet). You should be able to just drop the vector object in InDesign and scale it to the size you want.

Not sure what you mean by "abused" though. The printer may need to make corrections to the image, such as modifying the bleed, changing the color profile, fixing typos, flatten layers, etc.

If you want to add extra protection against accidental changes, just lock your layers. This way, the printer can still go in and make changes if needed, but won't do it on accident. And if you're asking for a proof before the run as you ought to be doing, then there shouldn't be any problems.


Thanks for the very nice replies, but none of them solved my problem. So here is a little trick i used.

Although, software like illustrator, in-design restrict the maximum document size, Photoshop on the other hand does not. So, here is what i did.

  • Created the 100% document size of actual print requirements.
  • Imported the illustrator source file as a smart layer.
  • Re sized it to the fit the document.
  • Flattened the layers
  • Exported the image as TIFF format.

The file size was exceptionally big, but i got the job done.

  • This should not be marked as a solution because it does not preserve the vector
    – etuardu
    May 29, 2016 at 12:27
  • @etuardu, I don't think you have read either the question or this answer probably. I recommend to do so first.
    – Starx
    May 30, 2016 at 8:39
  • Of course I did. The question is about finding a way to export a design in a vectorial printing format, though the answer states to export in TIFF, which is a raster format. Obviously this is not an option.
    – etuardu
    May 30, 2016 at 12:14
  • @etuardu, Fair enough, but the intention behind the question was to give full printable access and restrict any other access to the design which I found had no ways to restrict it completely. Any design could be reversed engineered, so the solution was to get the print size create a tiff image of print size and give to them.
    – Starx
    Jun 2, 2016 at 7:46

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