General Advice

Please only bring FINISHED and FLATTENED files that are READY TO PRINT.

We prefer files in TIFF or JPEG format and please always save in the 'Maximum Quality' setting with no compression.

ALL Adobe programs will Save or Export to both JPEG and TIFF formats, and as long as the DPI is high enough, the quality will be the same as a PDF. All PDF files have to be rasterized through our Photoshop Print Utility before they can be printed anyway, meaning that there is absolutely no quality advantage to saving in PDF format. However PDF files tend to be very problematic and are much more prone to corruption, especially with very large files.

If you are creating your poster in a MS program such as MS Publisher, please save your files in PDF format, as MS programs limit the DPI or JPEG and TIFF files.

 

Although we do accept Powerpoint and other Microsoft Office files, we would recommend the use of a professional program such as Photoshop CS6 for the best printing results.


Resolution


Please note that it is not possible to increase the resolution of any raster image (regular image file).


You can decrease or downgrade the quality of an image but you cannot increase the quality of an image. Even if you physically increase the pixels or dimensions of an image in Photoshop, it won't truly enlarge the image and you will find that the quality and pixelation will be the same, but the pixel placements shall be made of small pixels in the same position.

Therefore the quality of your work entirely depends on the original resolution of the images that you import or take with your camera.


We recommend the use of a 10-30 megapixel image for good quality large format prints.

 

We recommended a resolution of 300dpi for most prints, but we would recommend up to 600dpi for fine detail, high end photographic and fine art prints.

If you a struggling for resolution, 150dpi will still produce a fairly good quality print with minimal visible pixilation.


Colour Space


Please take your photographs and work in the colour space of AdobeRGB for the widest possibility of vivid and natural colours. If you do not have this option, sRGB is a slightly smaller colour space that will still provide a good range of colours.

You can change the colour space of your file in Photoshop by clicking on the 'Edit' tab and 'Colour Settings'.


RGB colour spaces are vastly superior that that of CMYK colour spaces. RGB provide a much wider colour gamut, which basically means a much larger total number of colours and a much larger selection of natural and vivid colours.


CMYK is an outdated colour system that was primarily used for old 4-6 CMYK or CCYMMK printing machines that simply cannot handle the complexities of an RGB colour space.


However our state of the art 12 Ink Fine Art and Photographic Printing Machines where specifically designed to work with AdobeRGB colour space in order to provide the most colour accurate prints on the market.

 

Some large format printing companies still ask for CMYK, this is very bad practice indeed and usually means that they are using old and outdated printing equipment that cannot handle RGB colour spaces and therefore will not provide the best possible prints.

Or even worse it means that these companies do not have correct colour management processes or simply do not care. As technically it is "easier" if a customer downgrades their files to CMYK so that they don't have to worry about difficult printing colours or actually producing the best possible prints for their customer.

If in doubt, always ask what model of printing machines your files will be printed on, and how many printing inks the machine has. As a general rule, large format printing machines fall into three categories:


- High spec 10 - 12 ink photographic printers, these are capable of making proper use of AdobeRGB.

- Medium spec 8 ink production printers, these are capable of making use of sRGB.

- Low spec 4 - 6 ink CAD printers and plotters, these are capable of using CMYK only and are NOT suitable for photographic printing.


Matching our prints to your monitor

 

We operate a complete x-rite spectrophotometer calibrated colour workflow consisting of calibrated monitors, calibrated printers and custom ICC profiles to ensure an excellent screen match colour accuracy with every print.

However, if a print comes out and it does not look how you expected, it is most likely that your own monitor is not representing colour correctly and also that your room lighting is not neutral white.

We would recommend an external colour spectrophotometer device such as a "Pantone Huey Pro" so that you can correctly calibrate your monitor on a weekly basis. The colour representation of all monitors changes almost daily and so without regular external calibration, no monitor can be relied upon for an accurate depiction of colour. It is also very important that the ambient lighting conditions of the room are measured during this process, and this is why only an external device is suitable, as opposed to an internal calibration.


Another factor that can heavily affect the colour accuracy of your monitor and the visual colour of a print is the colour temperature of the artificial lighting within your room. We recommend the installation of 6400 Kelvin (Pure White) lighting to help this issue as most standard fluorescent light bulbs are around 2700 kelvin and so project a yellow light that will heavily effect yours eyes perception of colour within the room.


Once your monitor has been correctly calibrated you can then consider the use of advanced Soft Proofing software and you can ask us about our custom ICC profiles which you will need if you want to get a truly accurate view of how one of our prints will look from your monitor.