By Jillian Tempestini — May 9, 2018

Impressive exhibits all share one thing in common: stunning graphics that stand out on the show floor. Larger-than-life graphics are made possible thanks to large format printers that can create graphics on virtually any material.

Whether you’re designing graphics for a banner stand, a fabric exhibit or a rigid hanging sign, large format trade show graphics are a unique breed. Typical rules and guidelines for designing standard graphics do not necessarily apply when preparing files for large format printing.

We have several tips that will help ensure you get the best possible outcome for your large format graphic design.

Adobe Design Programs

Get a refresher on the three main Adobe products used to design large format graphics.


Illustrator can create vector-based images that can be scaled up without losing clarity. You can also incorporate raster-based images from Photoshop.
Files created in Illustrator are typically smaller than files created in Photoshop. Smaller files are easier to transfer and print during the design process, making Illustrator ideal for laying out and creating large-scale graphics.


Photoshop is strictly raster-based and mainly used for photo/image editing. Because the images are composed of pixels, raster graphics scale down with no loss of quality but enlarging will cause pixilation.
When using Photoshop, be sure your images are high resolution enough to fit the large print space. If you are creating design elements like shapes or blocks of color, Illustrator is best.


If your designer often creates brochures for your company they likely use InDesign, a program best for page layout for printing. With restrictions on page scale it isn’t recommended for large-format printing. Instead, use Illustrator, which provides the same options in more precise formatting.