I am about to create a banner with InDesign and was wondering which size I should chose to do it. The printed banner would be 33 inches by 79 inches, but I was wondering if I should scale it down when I create it, or should I just create it with the real dimension? I did not start yet as I am not sure what is the best way to do it. I would appreciate someone with some experience to help me with it.


Indesign is mainly resolution independent. You can use both methods.

If your banner is simple you can do it in real scale.

But if you are adding rasterized effects, for example adding some shadows you probably need to do it at a scale. (Shadows will be exported as bitmaps on your final PDF)

79 inches is not to big, so a 1:2 scale is fine. Just be sure to tell the printer that you are sending a scaled file and they need it to print at 79 inches.

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  • Great! Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question! – user85286 Jan 31 '17 at 18:55

you always work in the dimension which will be printed.

(you know its just digitally until printed, it cant be "too big" if its just a blank indesign document.)

scaling up and down in resolution is done by changing dpi (dots per inch / pixel per inch).

meaning you can print a lot of pixels in one inch or less pixel in one inch. this determines the size of a picture inside your banner.

but it is not in correlation with the size your indesign document.

if you insert pictures you have to check if the resolution is enough.

if you send the printer a proper PDF he can digitally preflight it and check for errors before he prints, and make no mistake about it.. he knows you dont know what your doing so accept his advice :)

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  • 3
    It's actually common to work at a smaller scale for large format work. – Cai Jan 31 '17 at 10:36
  • Whoa, I hope my printer doesn't think that I have no clue what I'm doing. I would be on my way to a new vendor if he treated me like a child. – Ashlee Palka May 31 '17 at 19:25

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