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Printer rant: I just need to know why is this even a thing.

Why are you designing a sign that’s 4ft by 8ft on your tiny phone?

I have yet to see a design that comes from a clients phone and direct to print without having to be redrawn in illustrator or completely rebuilt from scratch. The resolution is always too low to print and often times the client doesn’t notice their image looks choppy from all the sloppy erasing.

On the other end of the spectrum…

Why are you designing a sign that’s 4ft by 8ft in Photoshop?!

Stop it, the file you’re making is too damn large. If you need to include an image use illustrator, for the love of all that is holy, USE ILLUSTRATOR! You can drag an image and add text, color, shapes, and more.  Illustrator is a vector-based software, it’s good for creating large signs because you can enlarge elements without pixelation. Seriously, photoshop files can get very large and slow down or even freeze the computer when adjustments need to be made.

Why are you dragging your .jpg file into AI, saving it as .ai or .eps and calling it a vector?

Seriously, why? I’ve seen it. We get a low res jpg, can’t use it to print without charging a retrace fee, the customer sends back the same file in .ai.  It doesn’t work like that. If it did work like that, then why would we even need to ask for an another file?

Speaking of magic tricks…

Typing 300 dpi in Photoshop’s image size dialogue box isn’t a trick to make your low res photo printable at a larger size.

A giant stone face at The Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia A giant stone face at The Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia

This method really does not work. You’re going to get a very fuzzy print. Also if it was this easy then why wouldn’t the printer already do it? Why ask for a better image?

I really need to know why this is even a thing?

I have a theory. Since everything that can be done is possible; why wouldn’t everything be easy? I feel that we can do so much on our own and that designing looks super easy, a lot of people are under the impression that their file will print like it looks on screen regardless of size. Also nobody wants to hear, “Hey ya gotta spend money to make things look professional.” Maybe if clients heard, “It’s not costing extra to have a designer make your sign/pamplet/decals/etc, it’s an investment because it’s how you promote your business. Would you rather waste your time trying to learn print design? Or focus on your business and let someone else do it?