Wood. Metal. Lucite. Vinyl. Leather. Glass. Stone.
Your canvas just got a whole lot wider.
  • Digital Printing
    • Posters
    • Walls
    • Glass
    • Banners
    • Wraps
    • Mesh Vinyl
    • Floors
    • Backdrops
  • Sign
    • Identity
    • Informational
    • Adhesive Lettering
    • Dimensional Lettering/Logo
    • Plaques
    • Vehicles
  • Display
    • Exhibitions
    • Trade Shows
    • Retail
    • Events
    • Parties
    • Pop Up Banners
    • Backdrops
    • Banners
  • Prop & Specialty
    • Quick Creative logos and artwork
    • Removable Graphics
    • LED and Motorized Props
    • Unique Branding
    • One of a Kind Solutions
    • Electrical (LED)
FAQ
No question is silly.
Not asking one is.
Where do I start?

We start with the location the sign is to be posted; exterior or interior, and whether long or short term use. Then, what will it say? (and what message should it convey. eg. official, casual, sophisticated, modern, traditional) Next comes the artwork.

Artwork/ design?

Artwork requirements are based on the process used:

  • Digital Printing
  • Cut vinyl and routed lettering and graphics
  • Special processes

Digital printing file requirements?

Postscript format is preferred for large format work; .ai, .eps or .pdf. Please convert all fonts in file to outline form (Command-shift-O in Illustrator) or provide the Type 1 or True type package along with your file.
Bitmap format is also supported; .ps, .tif, .jpg, .gif. We recommend an RGB format with an ICC profile, preferably "Adobe RGB (1998)". You may also send CMYK files, please use the "US Web Coated (SWOP) v2" ICC profile.
Bitmap resolution must be adequate for the level of enlargement. Guidelines for resolution are based on viewing distance:

  • Viewing distance/ Resolution at FULL FINISHED SIZE / File size (RGB, multiply file size by 1.33 if using CMYK format)
  • 1' / 300 ppi / 37.0 Mb/sq. ft. RGB
  • 3' / 200 ppi / 16.5
  • 4' / 150 ppi / 9.3
  • 13' / 100 ppi / 4.1
  • 18' / 50 ppi / 1.0
  • 30' / 20 ppi / .2
This applies only to the final size of the bitmap area in your design, not the entire size of the print (Postscript-only print areas are independent of resolution concerns).
For example, a typical 24"x36" trade show poster viewed at 3' should be 200 ppi at full size, or a full uncompressed 99 megabyte RGB file. (6 sq ft * 16.5 = 99 Mb) The same poster viewed from 4' need only be 56 Mbs to achieve the same visual sharpness.

Have no artwork?

We can handle every aspect of the design process, or work from highly specified plans, usually it is somewhere in between. Please describe any graphical requirements and forward any supporting artwork you have available:

  • Sketch
  • Example/photograph
  • Digital file (most filetypes can be viewed)

What is the design process?

We can assess your exact need best with a full description of the condition. We discuss the scope and provide a quote based on the level of complexity. Simple informational signs may require basic typesetting, but for something more special, we may need more consultation, leading to one or more design ideas and revisions as part of the process. Pricing starts at $18 for the basic typesetting, $200 for a single full color graphic design for a poster or sign, to many hundreds for original mural art, lettering art, a multi-part display, or a permanent architectural sign. Some projects require plans and permit paperwork, which we can also help you with.

What is the lifespan?

We build our signs and graphics with the best available materials for the job required. For long-term outdoor signs, color is the most vulnerable feature. Direct southern exposure to the sun will fade most colors in 3-5 years. High performance vinyls will last 10 years and longer, though bright colors will fade as early as 3-5 years in heavy UV conditions.
We choose substrates and processes equal to the task you require. For signs needing to last 20 or more years, we also employ cut metals, debossing and engraving processes.

Do you match colors?

Color matching is one of our main focuses, we can match colors in every system to the limits of the gamut available. We maintain in-house color management for our digital workflow and visually check and tweak every job.
Colors in one system that need to match colors in another, PMS to CMYK for instance, may fall in areas that don’t have exact translations in the other system. We can provide a proof for your approval whenever color is critical.
Note that further color shifts happen to a sample of color under different light and reflectivity. If absolutely critical, view our proof under the actual or matching light.

Can I specify colors as RGB or CMYK?

RGB and CMYK are "device-dependent". You must use a Pantone reference for vector spot colors. For raster image colors, set the pantone-solid-coated number for all spot colors and save with an ICC color profile. Proofing is recommended, (color from screen to print can be dramatically different in certain color zones.)

Color shift from monitor to desktop printer to final print?

If you are designing or color correcting a photo using a monitor as your color reference, we recommend that you do NOT adjust your original based on your desktop printer output. Modern equipment using ICC profiles tend to do a good job, but please look at the printed proof from our machine. Printing output by any device can't match the range of color available on a monitor. PMS spot colors are handled separately, so please set them in the file rather than as CMYK or RGB values.

What are vector graphics?

Vector art is a mathematical format, as opposed to a "Bitmap" or "Raster" format. Vector art is also called "postscript" with file types: .ai, .eps, .pdf. (raster format art can be placed within any of these filetypes, please include these raster files when submitting)

What about fonts?

For printing and cutting, all of the type contained in the design should be converted to outlines within your file. (In illustrator, select text object and press command-shift-o.) We can also accept the full font package(s) when necessary.

Why are vector graphics required for shape cutting?

Plotters follow a path. That path is the outline of every part of your graphic. This means:

  • Text must be outlines
  • Stroked paths are outlined
  • Overlapping/intersecting paths are merged or resolved.
  • Multi-color cut vinyl requires a strategy to minimize overlap ridges and chokes/spreads
  • Please run it by us for advice or just let us handle it. (Quoted separately)

What are the size limitations for vinyl lettering?

Most artwork can be reproduced. Cut vinyl shapes have a limitation on size, dots approx. 1/8" diameter, letters generally must be larger than 3/8" lowercase-x height and thin lines greater than 1/16" thickness. We can look at the file to let you know the minimum that will hold up.
We have other processes for detailed graphics, please talk to us directly to discuss options.

Now that your idea is up the flagpole, raise it up a little higher.

Email your artwork to

For files larger than 10MB, please use our FTP server.
Contact us for login credentials.

LARGE FORMAT PRINTING

Adobe Illustrator format is preferred with:

  • - All text in outline form.
  • - Crop marks and bleeds set.
  • - PMS solid colors set where needed.

Other file types:  PDF/X-1a or higher, Photoshop (retain layers and vector type), TIFF, JPG, PDF, EPS, or AI files from other sources may be successful if resolution requirements are met and color profiles are valid. (Color matching cannot be done using CMYK or RGB values). If additional work is needed to make the file production-ready, we’ll contact you before proceeding.

For a professional appearance, minimum resolution for
raster images should be:

viewing distance—-ppi at full size

  •  1′——–300
  •  3′——–200
  •  4′——–150
  • 13′——-100
  • 18′——–50
  • 30′——–20

VECTOR SHAPE CUTTING

(dimensional router and laser cutting, vinyl lettering)

Adobe Illustrator, EPS, PDF and AI file types; all text converted to vector shapes, all stroked lines expanded and no intersecting shapes. Scale at 100% if possible, else clearly marked final dimensions on the file. Set any PMS spot colors in file if required. Raster file types accepted but may incur fees for vectorization.

CONTACT US

San Francisco Landmark Signs 665 Third Street, Suite 120
San Francisco, CA 94107

(T)
415-243-0405
800-795-3536
(F)
415-243-9592

Monday-Friday (9 to 5)

  • clicking here (10MB limit). For files larger than 10MB, use our FTP uploader.