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I was commanded by the administration to create a billboard-sized design for our marketing advertisement but this method is newly introduced to me as a graphic artist. My problem is that it's a 20x20 ft and I don't know the proper requirements for it not to be pixelated if printed. Here are my following concerns:

  1. What software should I use? Should I stick with Photoshop or use other software?

  2. If I use PS, what are the proper requirements to be inputted in terms of dimensions and resolution that will not hinder my computer's high-performance? Specs: AMD A10, 16 GB Ram. Graphics: Radeon R7 12.

  3. Someone told me that it is done panel by panel. What is the process to be done when the output is ready for printing (or is it the printing house's concern to panelized the output?)

marked as duplicate by Zach Saucier, go-junta, Cai, Scott, Westside Feb 22 '17 at 10:09

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There are some other posts with some explanations. But my rules of thumb are:

  • Make the texts in vectors.

  • Make the background at a pixel size from the longest side between 6,000 and 12,000 pixels.

This is because the bigger the printed image the further away you will see it the less ppi resolution you need.

enter image description here

My numbers are chosen as some nice round numbers. A 6000px size image is:

  • 300ppi in a poster of half a meter.

  • 150ppi in a poster 1 mt tall.

  • 75ppi on a 2 mt tall print. etc.

You can push this with double the size for a 300ppi file at 1 mt. But I only recommend that for some art prints.

enter image description here

With your image, if you make it with 6000 x 6000 px you will have a resolution of 25ppi which is great. (6000/20/12=25)

Is a pixel of 1mm and you are probably seeing this image at 10 feet or something. You can barely see a pixel on a photo at that distance.

With this numbers you can make an artboard of a 1/10 the scale at 250ppi. Artboard size in Ilustrator, for example, is around 270 inches.

Remember to keep the texts on vectors as possible. If you need to send a flat raster image, you can export this image with the vectors at double the resolution, to have the texts at 50ppi on the final image.


Personally, I would NOT make the paneling. If the final panels does not fit each other people can blame you.

You need to take into account overlapping, roll with, roll print area, etc.

And there is a chance the print house has some automatic process to do that.


A couple of things you need to ask is if they use an RGB file, if you can include vectors with a pantone defined color, or they need CMYK values, and the desired color profile.

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I would contact the printer first to check with them. They know what they need you to submit better than anyone else.

Usually for such large sizes, files are not at 100% scale or 300 ppi as you normally would submit for regular print pieces.

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1. If you're doing page layout, use page layout software like InDesign

Photoshop is great for image creation and editing, but not really the right tool for designing an advertisement. You might create graphics in Photoshop, then place them in InDesign, along with whatever else makes up the ad.

2. Your InDesign document should be the desired size

Ask your printer if they want individual panels or one document, and size your document(s) accordingly.

3. Many printers have different procedures and specs

Definitely get in touch to see what they prefer.

  • You're document doesn't need to be AS. I'm pretty sure ID's max doc size is smaller than 20' – Cai Feb 21 '17 at 21:10

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