Images for Large Format Printing

We get a lot of requests to convert photos to vector format. One of the reasons is that some printer's guidelines state that in order to print good quality images in large format vector graphics are required.

high resolution image for large format printing

Maybe a little clarification is needed because vector graphics are drawings, so converting a photo to vector means making a drawing of the photo and that isn't necessarily what is needed or wanted. Most printers will accept vector AND high resolution; in this case, designs including photos can then be provided to printer using both vectors plus non-vector good quality photos.

If the images you want printed in large format are:

Photo for large format printing

A. Photos

Images that are captured with a camera need to be supplied in high resolution (large image*) format. Photos are not scalable so simply enlarging a small image will result in a poor quality large image. The photo must have been taken with a high quality setting on the camera, so that it will be the size needed for the project, or larger. Your printer should be able to tell you the pixel dimension (photo size) needed for the specific project. Photo to vector conversion is recommended only if you want a drawing made, based on the photograph.

vector graphic for large format printing

B. Graphics

Drawings such as logos and illustrations may be supplied to your printer in high resolution OR vector format. The good thing is that if you don't have a high resolution image, most graphics can simply be converted (redrawn) in scalable vector format and will be suitable to be printed at any size.

vector graphic and photo for large format printing
C. Combination of Graphics and Photos

If your design includes both, it may be supplied to your printer in high resolution. If you do not have a large enough image, the design can be re-created using a combination of vectors and photo, but you still need to supply the photo in high resolution format to the graphic artist re-doing your design.

When is photo to vector conversion recommended?

Photo to vector conversion is ideal for projects where photos cannot be used, such as engraving, embroidery, vinyl-cut signs, or whenever you prefer a drawing instead of a photo. For vector re-drawing quote and samples, please visit 

*Large dimensions: the pixel width and height of the image, not the kb file size.

Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions via the comments below.


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