The Down and Dirty Quick File Setup

Raster Bitmap Artwork:

Preferred: Create your designs full size 100 dpi and save as jpg or pdf.

Acceptable: Create your designs at 300 dpi at One Inch = One Foot and save as jpg or pdf.

Vector Artwork:

Create your designs at any size and save as pdf or eps. If vector files include placed bitmap images the dpi size of the placed images depends on the document size. Call for more information if you are concerned with size and quality output.

Acceptable Filetypes:

jpg, png, tif, pdf, ai, eps, psd. We do not accept psd files in our online designer, but they can be sent via Send Files or email. Combine many files together using the .zip method (except when designing in our online designer). All fonts must be converted to outlines before sending. In some cases we can take a look at most any filetype, but do not expect that we can use them for production. If your file is not one of the acceptable filetypes, production time may be delayed as we request changes.

Large Format Printing

Preparing files for Large Format Printing does not usually require the higher 300 dpi image files commonly associated with other printing methods. "Large" implies just that. 300 dpi images at large sizes can produce extremely large files in the gigabytes range. This is usually not necessary and places extra burdens on all processing systems for you and our production departments. You will find a wide range of opinon when researching this subject. Testing for yourself to achieve your desired results is the only solution. For further understanding of this subject we invite you to read this article at Layers Magazine by Corey Barker. Although written in 2008, most of what Corey writes is still valid today. We would add that when setting up images with the document size set at full size (the size of the printed product) it is only necessary to set the pixel size at 72-100 pixels/inch for most products on our site. Our quick file prep guide below should be sufficient in most cases.

How to set up your graphic files:

Working from most Mac and Windows graphics applications, we can utilize your files to produce many of our products. These guidlelines are very basic and will not guarantee your images will reproduce correctly, but may aid in a more trouble free experience. To view guidelines for preparing images using your professional software, scroll to the bottom section of this page. Professional designers will want to follow those guidelines. Once we receive your files, they are previewed to make sure they are acceptable for the intended purpose. A Better Sign staff will usually contact you if we determine your images are not of acceptable quality.

Example 3'x6' Banner/Sign Setup in Photoshop:

Full Size Setup - Set Document size full size of finished banner or sign. In this example 72 inches width and 36 inches height. Resolution will print crisp if set at 72 pixels/inch - (assuming your original artwork is high quality). Most graphics apps use similar settings.

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Example 3'x6' Banner/Sign Setup in Photoshop:

Scale 1 inch = 1 foot Size Setup - Set Document size using inches to represent feet of finished banner or sign. In this example 6 inches width and 3 inches height. Resolution will print crisp if set at 300 pixels/inch - (assuming your original artwork is high quality). Most graphics apps use similar settings.

1 to 1 setup pic small

Two most common problems with uploaded files are:

1) Low quality printed images: - Usually results from customer’s original files being too small and of poor quality. Follow our guidelines to reduce the possiblity of poor quality prints.

2) Colors don't match or look the way I intended: - Color Matching: Colors on your computer screen may look very different from colors on another screen, including ours. We match your intended colors as closely as possible. Our equipment is color calibrated to exacting standards. If you are concerned about color matching, please call (770-979-8387). A Better Sign will not be held responsible for colors chosen in our designer or submitted by customers unless a hard copy proof has been submitted for approval. If you desire us to match colors we will require a hard copy proof strip (approx. 3"x8") approval signed by you. Additional charges apply. We currently charge $15.00 per color strip, plus shipping. Local customers may view the proof in our showroom. We reserve the right to reject any project we feel may be too difficult to color match.


Photos Quality:

Small original images can look very pixelated and blurry when enlarged and printed. Use a good quality original image in your design. View your image at full size on your computer screen. If it looks acceptable to you it will probably print acceptably well.


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Original image is too small. When enlarged and printed on product it is pixelated and results in poor quality print.
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Original image is of higher quality and larger on your computer screen when viewed at full size. Image prints acceptably well on most products. For higher quality prints, use higher quality originals. For really large prints, such as posters and banners, it is best to have higher quality images before uploading on your design.
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Logos and Clipart Quality:

Best results are obtained by using higher quality vector images created using drawing software such as CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator and saved as an eps or pdf file type. These type of vector images can be enlarged to any size and retain sharp high quality when printed. If your logo or clipart is a jpg, gif, bmp or other bitmap file type, follow these guidlines:


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Original image is very small and only 72 dpi. When enlarged and printed on product, it is pixelated and results in poor quality print. A higher quality orginal should be used. Our professional designers can reproduce your logo at reasonable rates if so desired. Call or email us.
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Original image is higher quality 300 dpi. Enlarging will produce much higher quality prints. This image has been produced using professional graphics software by a trained user. Logos and clipart with strong sharp edges should be of the highest quality possible before placing in your designs.
logo sharp

Need high quality Clipart and Photos to add to your designs?

A Better Sign is pleased to offer millions of quality high resolution images from Fotolia driectly in our online design system for only $6.00 each. You will find the images using the purple "Add Clip Art" button while in our online designer. Or you can purchase images yourself if you are not using our online designer.

There are other great sites to purchase high quality art and photos at very reasonable prices–usually under $10. Purchase art from these sites and upload to your design. A Better Sign is not related to these sites and accepts no responsibility for use thereof. For photos and images purchase 300 dpi medium quality files. High quality vector files are eps, ai, pdf file types.


Need a logo design really fast and inexpensively?

For simple high quality Text and Graphic effects that can be used effectively for logos try this FREE service: Note: When creating your graphic make the text size very large. Something like 300 usually works well.

Or try this service from the Hewlett Packard company. There is a fee for using the service.


Need the power of a good image editor?

You may be able to create, edit, enhance and resize your photos to appear much better before adding to your project. Try these great free online image editors:


A Better Sign provides optional Additional Design Services for a fee. These will never be added to an order without full consent of the customer.