Creating large format designs requires a range of disciplines, from layout to logo tracing, sourcing high resolution images that won't appear fuzzy or pixelated and converting various graphic image formats to vectors.
Where the canvas or signage is to be used can have a massive influence on the design and we'll need as much information as possible.
The 9x2m banner was going to be used as a barrier or wall for a stand at a fishing trade show, which meant that it would be viewed from very close. Luckily, the client had taken a large number of photos on his iPhone, which were of sufficient quality to allow us to use them in the design, though scaling them up would result in fuzzy images. I decided to work to 200dpi (dots per inch) to try to keep the images sharp, but the banner design as managable as possible. In the end the Corel file I created was 247 MB, which had to be transferred by flash drive.
Many of the logos we included were not available in high resolution, so I had to trace them to ensure nice clean lines. I now have a collection of high quality, vector based logos for fishing gear! I kept all photos at their native resolution while importing them to Coreldraw to ensure that I didn't lose any quality.
As you'll see if you looked at the photos on Facebook, the design of the wall changed and my initial plan to show the Hooked On Bass logo at each end did not work out, but you'll notice that the concept drawing at the top of this post does give quite an accurate idea of the size of the project which allowed me to concentrate most of the logos and photos close to eye height.
This immediately made it necessary to go to a higher resolution still, as members of the public could actually reach out and touch the images they'd be so close.
It also affected the layout in other ways: the logos could be smaller, the area below waste height becomes less important and at eye height more so.
Many of the logos for products on sale were only available in a resolution much lower than our ideal, so many had to be traced in CorelDraw and cleaned up.
The reason I work on Windows PC as opposed to Mac is that I've never had access to a Mac, but I have worked in a small print shop where CorelDraw was the main software package. This project required a powerful processor and large memory.
During the design fase I drew up a 3D model from the plan of the stand supplied by the showground admin people. This had to be scanned, scaled and arranged, and I projected the artwork onto the model to ensure that I had an accurate idea of the result that I could present to the client.
Large format printing is not just expensive, it is also time consuming and we were working to a deadline.
Even though the printer expressed some concern about the resolution of some of the product images, they came out at a quality that the client was more than happy with.
The trick, I think, was ensuring that each image used was optimised beforehand and used at it's native resolution (none of this waffling that is deriguer for photoshop users, fudging the numbers to equate dots per inch to real world measurements in stead of relying on the actual pixels available and how they will scale.)