Our Designer will be out for the next couple days so I was given the task of getting her project started since I have the next most experience with this stuff. Unfortunately I can't contact our designer as she will be predisposed for a while.

The project I've been tasked to do is for a large poster. The specs I was given are:

  • 10'5" x 22'8"
  • Layout size: 1/2" = 1'
  • Live Area: 5.25" H x 11.375" W
  • Bleed: No Bleed Necessary

300 dpi minimum (600 dpi preferred) at 1/2" scale. Keep all critical elements 1/4" away from all sides.

enter image description here

I need to know if i set things up correctly in photoshop. The client wants the poster to be landscape, so I made the document 62.5 inches wide, 136 inches tall, Resolution 600 pixels/inch. Is this correct? It's awful large, and PS gave me a warning about certain versions not being able to support that large of a document. I clicked ok and I can still work on it so...the critical area stuff is melting my brain lol

enter image description here

  • What are you guys printing that requires that size and that dpi? Even billboards aren't made this large.
    – Hanna
    Nov 12, 2015 at 23:34
  • @Johannes Unless I made a mistake, the resolution requirement seems alright. It's about 15 to 25ppi at real size. Their requirements are a bit confusing. They wrote "1/2 inches scale" and we quickly read it "1/2 scale". You're right it would be crazy at 1/2 scale (5.25 x 11.4 feet @ 300-600ppi), if that's what you meant!
    – go-junta
    Nov 13, 2015 at 3:07

3 Answers 3


The 1/2" = 1' is simply suggesting you to change the document dimension to that scale IF you want but to double the ppi if you can. A lot of software cannot handle huge dimension as you see and a lot of printer will offer you to work on a smaller template instead of the real live size. If the resolution (ppi) is doubled, it doesn't change the print quality. The instructions are a bit confusing, I got caught too in not reading them well.

That means you could do your poster at 5.25" x 11.375" @ 300ppi, up to 600ppi.

If your computer can't manage such a large file, you can lower a bit the ppi but if you can do it at 600ppi, use this value. The more ppi you have, the more mb the file will be! But the more ppi you'll have, the better the quality too, so don't go below 300ppi.

Keep your important elements within the dotted line shown on the white template (1/4" from all edges) or it might be trimmed off. You can add colors and images there but avoid texts or logo in that 1/4" area.

Also, make sure to verify if the printer wants a CMYK or a RGB color mode! I see your screenshot is using RGB and the print standard is usually CMYK. It's better to change it now if you have to or you'll have some color nightmares too!

In doubt, wait for your designer or ask the printer to review your file or to send you a template to work with!


Live Area: 5.25" H x 11.375" W -- No you haven't.

Total dimensions of 10'5"x 22'8"

Taking into consideration 1/2"=1', that translates to 5.25"x11.375", the "live area" indicated.

You've got your document set up at 62.5"x136". I see what you did -- converted to inches (125x227") then divided by 2, but that's not correct.

They cite 1/2" = 1 FOOT not 1/2" = 1 Inch.

10 Feet = 5 Inches
22 Feet = 11 Inches

They provided you with the actual measurement to use. You don't need to do any conversion. They've provided you with final size.

enter image description here

  • Any idea why they seem to be saying that 22.8 / 2 = 11.375 rather than 11.4? Nov 14, 2015 at 9:55
  • My guess is they'd rather you err on the small side.
    – Scott
    Nov 14, 2015 at 9:56

If large poster you can reduce your resolution up to 72 ppi since large poster usually we see from long distance. Its like we see a banner in website we not see the banner by zoom in. If we zoom in absolutely the quality will be not good.

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