Artwork submission guide


If you don't wish to read all this info, or give us a call.

Computers are wonderful tools they let us reproduce fantastic finished products, however this requires planning. The ability to reproduce graphics on the screen and print them out on a small inkjet printer does not always translate in to trouble free output on a large format printer. This guide should help you through the process. If it all sounds too hard you can just send us what you have with a rough sketch and we will get back to you with a price to prepare your masterpiece. If you have any questions you can either call or e-mail us, one of our graphic designers will be happy to help.

Bitmaps or VectorBack to top

There are two basic formats for graphic images, vector and bitmap. A bitmap image is made up of coloured squares called pixels. Most scanners, paint and photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photo Paint and Paintshop Pro produce these types of files. Bitmaps are great for photos and most complex graphics with shadows, fades and 3D effects etc.

Bitmaps need to be prepared in a size (dpi) to suit the intended output. The calculator below will help you determine scanning resolutions. Bitmap files for large format digital printing are often many megabytes in size. Adjusting the colour of a bitmap image can be difficult, large files can take a long time to load and manipulate.

When bitmap files are scaled there is a loss of quality as the scaling program must add or remove pixels from the image. For correct colour reproduction of large format digital prints we normally require bitmap images to be in RGB format.

Vector Images consist of lines and curves and are defined with amathematical formula. Vector images are made up of individual shapes that can be scaled individually or together without any loss of quality.

Vector files are normally quite small in size the same image can be thousands of times smaller than its bitmap counterpart. Programs like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw and CAD programs produce vector images. Only vector images can be used for computer cut vinyl graphics. With a vector image you don't have to worry about dpi.

Preparation GuideBack to top

All files should be full scale if possible, if not we can scale the images to suit. If a smaller image is sent you can use our dpi calculator to calculate the dpi required. Text should be converted to curves and PC formatted.

Recommended file formats in order of preference. Vector files: Corel Draw Ver 13, Adobe Illustrator CS4, PDF or .eps (Signlab files are ideal).

Bitmap files: Adobe Photoshop CS4, Corel Photo Paint Ver 13, .tif, .bmp or jpg (in RGB if possible). Jpg files should be supplied at the highest quality setting, remember that .tif, .psd and bmp are a high quality lossless formats, where .jpg files are compressed and therefore loose quality.

Recommended resolutionBack to top
Sign Quality - 75dpi. Most suitable for larger images that are viewed from more than one meter.
Standard - 150dpi. Suitable for almost all situations.
Hi Quality - 240dpi. Only when the highest quality output is required, studio quality prints, very small text, detailed graphics and when viewed at very close distances.

Sending ArtworkBack to top

e-mail to (files smaller than 5meg)
our ftp site (you will need to contact us for a password)

Please compress any files you send via e-mail with WinZip or right click and send to compressed Zip folder. There is a free service via YouSendIt and, click link to go to their web page. You can send up to 1 x 100meg file at no charge on YouSendit and 2GB via

Colour MatchingBack to top

The colour on your monitor or inkjet printer will almost always be different than your large format print, however with a little care very close matches are achievable.

Bitmap images are best sent as Adobe RGB (1998) or straight RGB files

If a precise colour match is required we need to have the Pantone ® colours. It is recommended that you use a Pantone ® Process Colour Chart because it is made up of CMYK colours, and will give a better representation of the final output. Our Graphics Department can match a great deal of Pantone ® colours.

Vector images make it easier for us to match colours as we can individually alter the colours of the individual elements. There is an extra charge for colour matching.

Corel Draw GuideBack to top

Signs Plus uses Corel Draw 13 for a large part of our graphic work so there will be less likely to be delays or problems in the production of your job if the following guidelines are followed.

Set the page size to the finished size of your job

If applicable bleed images outside the edge of the page

Use PMS colours

Don't use pattern fills or textures for images over 200mm high.

Convert fonts to curves

Adobe Illustrator GuideBack to top

Set up page size at the size of the final image required or a direct scale of the final size

Use Pantone ® colours

Convert text to outlines

Save the file as an Illustrator CS4

Scanning/DPI GuideBack to top

Sign Quality - 75dpi

Standard - 150dpi

Hi Quality - 240dpi

To use the calculator below for scanning. Select the output required, enter width of the original, enter the final width of the image and click on Calculate.

To use the calculator below to calculate the dpi when supplying an image for us to scale. Select the output required, enter width of the image in your file, enter the final width of the image and click to Calculate.

You will find that very large final widths will require larger images than you can scan or supply, just supply the best file you can and we will resize it using special software (there is an extra charge for the service). Remember that an easy way out is to supply a vector file then you don't have to worry about dpi.

Please Note: Do not scale images up unless you are an experienced Photoshop user or have a special scaling program like True Fractals or S-Spline. Send the best files you have and we will scale them to suit.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information or have any problems.


DPI Calculator

Output Required

Original/Image Width in mm
Final Width in mm