I was asked to do a large banner with the size of 46in x 81in and the only other information I was given with this project is that it would be printed at 300dpi.

  1. What size and resolution document should I produce and how did you calculate this?

  2. What type of information should I request the next time I am designing for a large print?

  3. This image will include a collection of multiple smaller raster images, whats a good way to make them look good blown up?

Edit: I apologize for not being very clear. I guess my question is if I am producing an image that needs to fit on a 46x81 space should I be designing an image that is 46x81 or a smaller image that matches same aspect ratio?

  • Please make an edit to go into detail what your goal is. At this time several, like myself, are unsure if you're asking for resolution or how physical and pixel dimensions work together. This is a question that gets asked often so if you can make an edit with more detail we can either point you to a Q&A that already exists or reopen your question.
    – user9447
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 16:23
  • I am sorry for the confusion for I am quite confused myself, I am not sure what information I should be handling here and how to apply it to the project. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 17:25
  • If they asked you for a 300dpi image, then you should be designing one at those dimensions @ 300dpi (13800 x 24300 pixels), not a smaller one. Our confusion comes from the fact that banners are usually seen from the distance, so they can be printed at lower resolutions than artwork that will be inspected from close (like magazines.. The fact that they have requested the artwork at 300dpi is unusual for that application/dimensions. You could double check with the client. They might just be using "300dpi" as a synonym of "high quality" (this happens often to me).
    – cockypup
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 17:49
  • Thanks a lot. Alright so hypothetically if I was for some unknown reason creating a banner that was 800ft by 200ft @300dpi how would I handle that project? I don't think I know of any design applications that accept documents that large. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 17:54
  • If you would be creating such a large print, it would probably end up being printed int tiles, so you could work on each tile separately. Something to mention, though, is that if your art is purely vector you can create a document with the same ratio but way smaller and the same document will print perfectly at any dimensions.
    – cockypup
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


I will address your first two questions.

You can measure the size of a digital documents one of two ways:

  • In physical units + dpi. This is the case of the specs that you were given. They have requested a document that is 46in x 81in (physical units) at 300dpi (resolution).
  • In pixels.

These two ways are equivalent. You can convert from one to the other by multiplying the physical units by the resolution (or dividing the pixel dimensions by the resolution).

So, in your case, you can create a document that is 46*300 x 81*300 pixels (13800 x 24300 pixels).

This is largely discussed in discussed in this other answer: Will increasing the dpi of my image (without re-sampling) hurt print quality?

You don't need to do this calculations yourself in Photoshop, by the way. You can create the document directly using the physical + resolution dimensions. Just make sure you select the proper unit. Photoshop will create the document with the correct pixel dimensions.

enter image description here

In terms of what type of information you should ask in the future, I think the specs that you were given where perfect. Most of the time clients forget to give you the physical dimensions. They would say: I need a 300dpi image. In this case they gave you the dimensions and the dpi, which is perfect.

In the future, just make sure you have either the exact pixel dimensions or the physical + resolution combo as they gave you this time.


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