I work for a charity a few mornings a week and am designing a few flag banners for them (3m in height). I've found a supplier and received my PDF artwork template from them. I use Gimp as far as graphic design software goes - can anyone offer advice for setting up and creating artwork for this design? Should I download a layout based software to assist?

It's going to be very simple - white, just the logo at the top and website URL down the bottom, so not a complex design.

I've worked in teams with designers before but never done the whole print process on my own from top to bottom. I'm very wary that resolution needs to be high, some elements need to vectorised and suit the specs from the printer. The charity doesn't have a lot of money so I don't want to make a costly mistake!

Thanks in advance! Cheers from Australia

  • Hi Jess, have you tried using Adobe Indesign ? Feb 19, 2016 at 7:01
  • Hi Alex, yes I've used InDesign before in previous jobs I've had, predominantly for small scale print or digital design work. I haven't created large scale items with it before which is where I'm getting caught at the moment - I'm not sure how best to set up the artwork file so I can ensure good resolution, whether with InDesign or another free software
    – Jess
    Feb 20, 2016 at 2:16
  • you dont need to have the exact canvas size as 3 meters. Especially if is only type and vector. Feb 20, 2016 at 5:50
  • possibly related and a good read: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/487/…
    – Vincent
    Mar 4, 2016 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


Download Inkscape for starters, better way to handle vector documents than GIMP and as far as I read, the supplier is expecting this kind of file (vector one).

The template helps you to know exactly the proportion and guidelines (not the final dimensions) of the content and where can you put your info without taking any risk. If you were to use a bitmap format inside your design (JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc...) then you should indeed be careful about resolution and such, but since I read you will vectorise everything (which sounds logical) you really don't need to worry about resolution. You can end up with a file 30cm tall and it will print perfectly on a 3m or 30m banner.

Open the template in Inkscape, work on it, after finished, delete any guides or content that came with the template, export it to PDF and you're ready to go.

NOTE: MAKE SURE you are using pure vectors, if you need to vectorise bitmaps before, do it, theres a nice tutorial on how to do it using Gimp and Inkscape here: https://i.stack.imgur.com/hfnHI.jpg

Hope it helps mate. Cheers.

  • Thanks so much Sam! This is really helpful advice. I'll give Inkscape a go and follow you instructions and let you know how I go! Cheers mate
    – Jess
    Feb 20, 2016 at 2:19
  • Always a pleasure, don't forget to convert your text (if any) to path (a.k.a. curves) before sending your file to the supplier. To do so in Inkscape, you just need to select your editable text, go to the main top menu and select Path > Object to Path , that's always a good thing to do since your supplier could not have the font you're using and end up with a different one by default.
    – Sam
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:46
  • Hi Sam, thanks for your help with this! I wondered if you also knew how to export this design in CMYK format in Inkscape? Is that possible? Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer! Cheers
    – Jess
    Feb 28, 2016 at 23:53
  • Actually CMYK is just a color mode, not a file format! Your screen uses RGB mode (Red, Green Blue), printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK). Sadly... Inkscape has no native support, all of your work is treated as RGB. There are plugins that help you export your file (PDF normally) in CMYK ... The best way I know of is actually documented here in SO, they use an extra piece of software to make it happen, called Scribus, it works like a charm. stackoverflow.com/questions/29013254/… Hope it helps, mate.
    – Sam
    Mar 1, 2016 at 3:48

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