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What DPI/PPI should a 4 by 6 meter outdoor billboard be designed at?


Question

I'm creating a 4 x 6 meter (~13 x 20 feet) outdoor billboard advertisement that includes an image and vector logo (rasterized) in Photoshop. I was working using a smaller size for design purposes, but now the client has approved a final design and wants to go to print. I need to know what DPI/PPI I should export it as.

Additionally, I was given advice by a friend to make it at 30 DPI and work in centimeters (so 400 x 600 cm) then let the print house blow it up to 4 x 6 meters, is this true?

2013/06/09
1
5
6/9/2013 3:49:00 AM

Well, where I come from 400x600cm is 4x6 meters. :-)

30 dpi for final output is more than enough for a billboard of that size. It's not unusual for final output to be 12-15 dpi in this context.

The usual professional billboard workflow in Photoshop is to build the image at a small scale with high ppi (e.g., 4x6cm @ 300 ppi), but in this case you can work full scale because you're not exceeding any of Photoshop dimension limits.

What you really must do, though, is to contact the billboard company. Either their website or their production department will give you their exact requirements for file size and format. They will have Photoshop and/or InDesign templates that not only give you the dimensions you need, but the correct color profile. Use the template.

Added note: I've moved my billboard workflow to InDesign these days, and send to the provider as PDF. If you have ID CS5 I highly recommend that, for speed of production, accuracy and vastly better typographic control.

2011/09/10
8
9/10/2011 10:45:00 PM