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Artwork Guidelines

We have prepared these guidelines to help you on your path to large format design greatness! (Exciting, right?) Large format graphic design concepts and practices are slightly different from the norm so please read through this document carefully. If you already have artwork and are ready to upload, please visit our Upload and Approval Instructions page. If you hit a snag at any point, please do not hesitate to email our Graphics & Prepress Department at graphics@aceexhibits.com.

Guideline Contents:

Download the Latest Template File

95% of production delays or issues arise from templates not being used or followed. We frequently update our templates (sometimes on a weekly basis) so please take this opportunity to make sure you are using our latest, greatest artwork templates which are available for download on our website, found here.

Not doing so will cause the file to be politely rejected and you’ll be directed back to the link above to redesign your artwork to the correct specifications – so please start by using the latest template.


File Size & Resolution

All of our templates are precision-built to achieve the best possible output. Nearly all of our templates are built at 50%. (Very large products are built at 25%.) We will output your file at the correct size, just make sure you include enough image resolution per the table below.

Please note, pretty much all online stock photo places are selling images for web or magazine print, not large format displays. The images that are appropriate resolution for large format are purchased directly from the photographer as raw files. But normal viewing distance is 5 feet or more, and most of the time, image resolutions as low as 72dpi are deemed acceptable but not optimal.


Color & Transparencies

  • Color Mode: All colors must be provided in CMYK color. Any other color spaces in your file will be converted to CMYK*.
  • Color Management Geeks: use the GRACoL CMYK profile for the most accurate results.
  • Rich Black: We advise C30 M20 Y20 K100 for a rich, neutral black. Black colors that use more ink than this, or where the K value is lower than the other values will not reproduce well!
  • Transparencies: Be aware that transparencies can result in unpredictable color shifts. If you provide transparent (unflattened) artwork, we will flatten it prior to output.*
  • PMS Color Matching: All AE equipment uses CMYK inks. When a PMS Color Match is purchased, we will do our best to match the CMYK equivalent of the PMS color specified.
    Photos & Gradients cannot be color matched.

*Note: Ace Exhibits will not be liable for any color shifts that may result from flattening or color space conversion.



Text

Text should always be vector (not pixels) for highest quality output. Fonts must be embedded or converted to outlines. Artwork with missing fonts will be rejected.


Visibility

Only leave final artwork visible. If you don't want it to print, then it must be on a layer with visibility turned off.


File Format

High resolution PDF files (PDF version 1.6) are strongly encouraged. JPG or TIF files are acceptable but discouraged (since vectors and text will be rasterized.) Files provided in other formats or with low resolution may be rejected.


Artwork Areas

    • Bleed: The outermost edge. Any graphic element that touches trim should be extended all the way out to bleed to ensure a clean edge. The area between trim and bleed will be cut off.

    • Trim: Where the media is cut or trimmed prior to finishing.

    • Visible Edge: The final, visible edge of the product after finishing. The area between Trim and Visible Edge may be hidden or impacted by hemming, etc. Note: on some templates, Trim and Visible Edge are the same.

  • Safety: The safe area for critical text and graphics. All important text, logos, images, etc must be kept within this area. The area between Safety and Visible Edge may be impacted by curvature, stretching, stitching, etc.

Again, please do not hesitate to email our Graphics & Prepress Department at graphics@aceexhibits.com if you have any questions.