I want to place a board on the side of the road where people are about 5/10 meters away when viewing.

example of board

The board is going to be 2 meters by 3 meters.

I was wondering which resolution photo do I need for it to still be sharp when viewing from about that distance.

Also, what size does the text need to be to be readable?

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    Hi Jo, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your question. The brunt of your question is answered in this question, but it doesn't answer your question about the text legibility. Would you be ok with editing this question so it only tackles that second issue? If you have any questions, have a look at the help center of feel free to ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation allows you to go there (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Oct 13 '15 at 17:27

Generally a billboard type print that size will be 50-100dpi depending on the printer, I would therefore recommend a resolution of no less than 5900 x 3900 (Aprox)

Text I would have no smaller than aprox 1.5 inches (about 4cm) font height to remain perfectly readable.


1) You are asking about the photo.

Take a look at this graph. You can see that you can have one resolution and as you move further away you can use the same photo at bigger size.

You can get away with a photo of 6Mpx which is a small one for current standards. A 10Mpx photo is ok.

2) This aplies to your file too. But on texts you probably want sharper ones. So you can make your file at 6,000 x 4,000 px. and that will look good at that distance.

3) But the best is that you use a good photo inside a vector file sofware. In this case your texts are resolution-independent, and they will look sharper inclusive at close range.

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    I don’t understand the X-axis in that graph. How can the axis represent maximum (?!?) size divided by minimum viewing distance? What even is the maximum size (and what is it the maximum size of?)? Isn’t it just giving the minimum viewing distance in metres? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 13 '15 at 23:34
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I don't like it either, very confusing, it's using 3 different units (meters, pixel-per-inch, pixels....?) and I don't agree with the data on it either. If someone can print a 200ppi that will be viewed at 5m, why not; there's no maximum besides the printer's requirements and time to process the layout, there's only minimum. Some projects are meant to be viewed from 1m to 5m too (eg. pull-up banners, posters). I don't think "size" when speaking of printing should be in pixels; pixels are imprecise information that need to be converted in imperial or metric units + resolution – go-junta Oct 14 '15 at 0:22
  • LOL is this a engineerimg site. I think once your graph has a relative axis to be computed yoi probably lose many graphics designers outright. But yes the graph is in itself fine the labels on it though are conflicting. The graph would be much better without the second legend line (Offset, reco...) and the pixel sizes in parens and names. Just say Small, ideal and art. Thatway it would make more sense. – joojaa Oct 14 '15 at 1:04
  • @joojaa Just so you know, graphic designers can actually read graphs! No need to be an engineer to see that mixing meters with inches with pixels with ppi isn't quite right. "Small, ideal, art" means nothing in this case; small usually refer to a dimension. A better way would be to use "low quality", "standard quality" and "high quality", mention that this info is relative to printing process and use, etc. etc. If that's supposed to be complicated to compute then engineering is way less challenging than I thought -coughs- – go-junta Oct 14 '15 at 1:58
  • @go-meek engineering is only as challenging as the job at hand needs. In many cases any person could do it. In other cases not so much, the hardness comes from having to be prepared to any challenge one might encounter. So if your tool does not work then be prepared to make a new one. Its like a graphic designer would be educated to reprogram illustrator should the need to do so arise. There allways needs to be that one person who can. Like i said the graph itself is fine but the labels are not, without the labeling it would actually make sense. Some GD's are art types – joojaa Oct 14 '15 at 2:19

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