Creating Graphics for Event Displays – Tip #4: Fixing Resolution Issues

We hope that you had a chance to read  Tip #1 and Tip #2 and Tip #3  about submitting graphics for event displays. Read below for Tip #4 about how to detect issues with image resolution and submit your artwork in way that will obtain the best results.

Tip #4: Fixing Resolution Issues

At Expand, we like to help you get your job completed quickly and efficiently. Often times, jobs are held up due to image quality concerns. Below are some guidelines to avoid issues with image quality when submitting artwork to our graphics department.

Submit images with a DPI from 125 to 150:  

Images should fall between 125 to 150 DPI (dots per inch) at final print size. Higher DPI can result in a larger file size without any gain in image quality, while a lower dpi can result in diminished image quality and extremely noticeable pixilation.

Below is an example of the difference between an image with very low DPI vs. one with a proper DPI of 150:


Actual Image Dimensions: 40″ x 26″ @ 72 DPI: The Image is very pixilated and is not the recommend DPI for Large Format Printing.


Actual Image Dimensions: 40″ x 26″ @ 150 DPI: The image is clear and is the recommended DPI for Large Format Printing.

Never rez up an image: 

We do not recommend “rezzing up” an image. Increasing the DPI on a file will create false pixels and ultimately compromise your image quality.  As we mentioned in Tip #1 , you want to create graphics that can be seen from up to 10 feet away. It’s important that the image is clear and will not look fuzzy or pixilated from that viewing distance.

We cannot print from PSB (Photoshop big) files and therefore do not recommend artwork to be submitted in that format. Large Photoshop files can be flattened and saved as a TIFF with LZW compression. This will reduce file size without sacrificing image quality.

View your file at full size: 

Make sure to view your file at the final printing size in order to detect problems with image quality early on. Size and resolution are dependent upon each other when dealing with raster images.

View our Artwork Submission Guidelines for more information about preparing your file for printing >>

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Creating Graphics for Event Displays – Tip #3: Matching Pantones

We hope that you had a chance to read our 1st tip and 2nd tip about creating graphics for event displays. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Read below for Tip #3.

Tip #3: Matching Pantones

At Expand, we use a Pantone Color Matching system to reproduce PMS colors as accurately as possible on the given substrate, printer and profile. We use CMYK color builds to match PMS colors. Our printers match up to 90% of Pantone colors without any color corrections necessary. The other 10% can be tweaked with color correction tools. For example, our Expand 2101, which is printed on our latex printer reproduces 65% of Coated Pantone colors to within 2 DeltaE (considered a spot-on match) and 83% within 5 DeltaE (considered an acceptable commercial match).

Read the below guidelines for submitting artwork to Expand so that we can accurately reproduce the PMS colors for you or your customers: 

Commercial Color Match

Pantone® provides a standardized system of color matching which enables us to determine which CMYK values are best to use with each media to achieve the specific color you are looking for in your graphic. This is referred to as a Commercial Color Match.



If you would like us to provide you with a commercial color match, please use the actual Pantone® color in your file. Do not alter the name of the Pantone® color. It should remain intact so that we can provide an accurate match. You may also choose to provide a sample print or match print, such as a brochure, so that we may provide you with a commercial color match to that particular substrate.

Pantone and CMYK Colors

Include all Pantone® colors as SPOT colors in the swatches palette (not process). Except for Pantone® colors, all other artwork should be submitted in CMYK. Expand does not print in RGB. Not all colors can be precisely duplicated, so if a color match is critical, we recommend that the customer provides a Pantone® color as a reference so that we have a commercially acceptable reference to match to. For more information regarding Pantone® colors, please visit


Prints that we can Match

At Expand, we can match to Pantone callouts, samples or other prints. We cannot match to monitors.

Printed Proofs

We strongly recommend ordering a printed proof for color and quality checking. Each printed proof is printed on the substrate the final graphic will be printed on, and comes with a small print of the full graphic.



For more information, download our Artwork Submission Guidelines >>

Learn more about Expand’s Printing Capabilities >>


Creating Graphics for Event Displays – Tip #2: Save Money by Shipping from Different Production Locations

We hope that you had a chance to read our 1st tip, about proper viewing distance for graphics. Read below for our next production tip.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Tip #2: Save Money by Shipping from Different Production Locations

Do you have customers in different locations or countries? At Expand, we have three different production locations: one in Connecticut, one in California, and one in Sweden. We will help you choose the closest location for quicker delivery at a more affordable shipping cost.

Instead of shipping everything out of one location, we can ship from whichever location is local to your end-user. For example, if you have customers located on the West Coast, instead of shipping out of Expand’s U.S. headquarters in Connecticut, they’ll received their materials faster if you ask us to ship it locally from our California warehouse. Also, if you need something to go to Europe, ask to have it shipped from our Swedish production center to get it there quicker and save on the cost of shipping overseas.

We have complete color-consistency between all three locations because we use the same printers, rip software and calibration targets. We also custom build our profiles to achieve best color gamut for each print media/ printer combination. Therefore, we have complete color coordination for print production between each of the three locations. Graphics will be of the same quality no matter which location you ask to produce them. No need to worry about a customer in Europe not receiving the exact same quality display as a customer in the U.S. –  The quality is matched at each location and you can color proof from one location to produce in another.


Take advantage of our multiple locations. We will help you choose the most local and affordable option for your needs without having to worry about print quality.


Creating Graphics for Event Displays – Tip #1: Viewing Distance

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to graphics for event displays. We will be sharing a series of posts with helpful tips on this topic. We hope that you enjoy the posts and find them helpful and informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Tip #1: Viewing Distance

When creating graphics, remember to think of viewing distance.  A graphic is of no use if it cannot be easily seen from an appropriate viewing distance and many companies and designers underestimate the required size for graphics. Make sure it’s something that can be seen from 10 feet away – not just 2 feet away!

Remember, big, colorful graphics are easiest to see from a far distance and will draw more attention. According to Expo Plus, a leading trade show service contractor, you only have 3 – 5 seconds to capture viewers’ attention at a trade show or event. If you don’t grab their attention in that short time frame, they’re not going to see and process your message. In order to do this, you want to have a lot of images and very little white space. The event displays that stand out the most are ones that have very bright, colorful layouts with minimal text.

Below is a good example:



If you DO choose to use text with the graphic, make sure it is big enough for people to see from a 10 ft. viewing distance. Fine print is much too small to be seen from a distance and most people are not going to walk all the way up to a graphic to read it.

Tips for using text in graphics:

  • Pick a readable font that has proper bold and italic variations.
  • The typeface should have a large height for good readability.
  • Thick fonts are easier to read at further distances.
  • Text should never be at the bottom of the graphic. It’s too hard to see.
  • Do not use harsh drop shadows or strokes around the text.
  • All text should be viewable from 10 feet away.




When you don’t have room for large enough text, try using light colored letters on a dark background. The contrast will make the lettering appear larger and viewers will find it easier to read.

Download Our Design & Artwork Guidelines to Learn More >>

We hope that you found this tip helpful. Continue to follow our blog for additional tips!