How to Prepare Graphics for Printing

Designing large-format graphics for fabric structures is quite different from designing for web or print.  Please keep these things in mind:
• Fabric structures are usually not flat, so key graphic elements are not always visible.
• Placement of key elements should be considered with the size and orientation of the structure in mind.
• Fabric absorbs ink differently from paper, and it reflects and transmits light differently as well.
• Each fabric looks different when printed. Producing useable graphic files for printing on fabric requires special attention, due to the large format and to differences in printers. Graphic effects such as gradients, drop shadows and transparency are often problematic, and we have had best results when such effects are built in Photoshop. If you want to use special effects, a conversation with one of our designers is a good idea. A project that begins with plenty of lead time can easily become a rush project if graphics are not prepared according to these guidelines, or if it takes days to sign off on layouts and proofs. To keep things on track, everyone must do their part. We are here to help you get the best possible results. Please call us with any questions you have.


We work with Windows PCs. Mac users should save their files in PC format.


Adobe Illustrator CS4
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe InDesign CS4
If you use another program, please call to see if we can work with your files.


TEXT.  Convert all text to OUTLINES (also called CURVES or PATHS).

COLOR.  Use CMYK color, not RGB. Submit a physical proof (if possible) for best color match. Give PMS callouts for critical colors.

RESOLUTION.  Raster-based graphic elements must be at least 100dpi at final size. Elements requiring sharp edges should be created as vector elements, because they are scalable. If your layout is not fulll-size, specify the scale clearly and prominently.

LAYOUT.  Use graphic templates. Graphic templates are available for all Ready Made products. For custom structures, graphic templates must be generated after the structure is designed.

BLEED.  Extend graphics 4% beyond the fabric border. Don’t place critical elelments within 4% of the fabric border.

IMAGES.  In Illustrator, link images, don’t embed them. In Photoshop, don’t flatten images. You may place low-res FPO images in your layout, but be sure to send the hi-res images!