Issues with large scale print

I’m in dire need of your vast knowledge as I’m stuck with large issue. I’v been trying to research this problem as much as possible but at this moment I hit the wall without proper solution. Let me give you some background.

Disclaimer – I’m graphic designer but I came from digital background and my knowledge in print is very limited. So sorry for any mistakes.


The company I work for ordered two large scale artworks that were supposed to be printed as a wallpaper. Artwork was designed by agency and delivered to us. We sent that to printing company we use on day to day basis. The first print, which consists of smaller part of large artwork came out fine. But the second one not.
We naturally contacted printing company. They came to our office, checked the artwork and told us that ok, they see the issue but not everything is their fault. So we contacted the agency and told them about our problem. The answer we got is “that’s not our fault, it’s print issue”. And that’s where I need your help – I try to be polite as possible with both printers and agency but at this moment my knowledge is not sufficient enough and I’m starting to think that the agency is trying to push their fault on printing office.


There are two artworks, that were supposed to be wallpapers for hallway. Smaller one consists of detail from the larger one. Both of them were delivered to us as .tiff files.

  • Small one (W:3m, H:3,2m) send as tiff file, dimension 7087px/7559px; 600 dpi, 32 depth bit, compression is LZW. The native (photoshop canvas) size is W:30cm, H:32cm
  • Bigger one (W: 37m, H:3,2m) send as a .tiff file, dimensions 87213px/7559px; 600dpi, 32 bit depth, LZW, native size is W:369cm, H:32cm

For the purpose of this issue I’ll be operating only on small detail from whole artwork as an example.

I assume that files are prepared in 1:10 scale.

First thing that I noticed is that – artworks were prepared in Illustrator, as a whole so why agency delivered this to us as .tiff file? I know that due to compression .tiff files are used for large scale printing but to my knowledge, when you use vector image there’s no point in making a raster from it. Especially using LZW compression.

Second thing that I started to wonder is why they delivered such large artwork in one piece, instead of bunch of smaller ones?


So…the small one came out ok. It’s sharp, and looks cool printed. The larger one didn’t. Let me show this on part that is present on both artworks. Both photos are done from roughly the same height and distance, under similar condition. What’s worth mentioning is that on the bigger artwork the figure has been scaled down.

enter image description here

Notice how brush details (that I assume are vector brush) are much more blurred out. Here’s the directly from photoshop – same image, 100% enlargement.

enter image description here

Notice that on bigger artwork the figure is scaled down roughly 50%.

So here is what I came up with – firstly, on smaller artwork the figure is simply bigger so the printer have more space to print the details. On bigger artwork figure has been scaled down so it’s harder to came up with the details, especially that it has been scaled down and saved as .tiff with LZW compression. So in order to make the file size smaller, details has been rastered and then compressed.

Secondly guys from agency have been sending us print screens from photoshop (same as I’ve pasted with comparison of both artworks) from macintosh. So I started to think that well, when you’re using either retina display or 5k display you should be sending images on 200% enlargement instead of 100% enlargement (well, I came from digital, not print background so I might be wrong)

BUT as for now, I’ve hit dead end and I need your help. If you need any more details or information, please let me know – i think I might not explained this properly but you’re my last resort. Thanks in advance.

Thanks guys for answer!

Here’s few information – file was sent not as PDF but as tiff. That’s my main concern – Most of the artwork were prepared in illustrator I assume, then it was copied to PS and flatten as in PS there’s only one layer. The tiff is scaled down (10 times, so dimensions are 362cm/30cm).

The second thing is this:

enter image description here

Both squares have 1cm on 1cm

So the surface for details is much smaller. Even if the original wall size is 37 meters on 3 meters

And here’s the info from photoshop
enter image description here


•Bigger one (W: 37m, H:3,2m) send as a .tiff file, dimensions 87213px/7559px, 32 bit depth, LZW, native size is W:369cm, H:32cm

With this dimensions I assume the native resolution is around 620 px/inch. So the print size would have 62 px/inch.
That’s pretty good IMHO and the picture should look crisp.
From the picture you shoved it seems that the print was not done from that file. Or the resolution was changed. Like they used changed ppi in the native size file to 62 and then upscaled the dimensions to desired one.

In photoshop it’s simple math. You untick the resample image and just change resolution. PS does the math for you.
They could do that on the printing machine which have different algorithm and first change the ppi and then resample image to 37m.


They just printed from the preview file.

Source : Link , Question Author : rvdek , Answer Author : SZCZERZO KŁY

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