Since PageMaker can handle only about 50 inch prints, what software is available to produce a banner on a wide format printer? A panorama or turntable rollout of a round art object can be enlarged to 100 inches or longer, but what layout program can tackle this size? At last an accessible software is available, the new InDesign from Adobe, the Quark Killer. Adobe InDesign can handle up to 18 feet, which is enough for basic banners and large posters on large format printers.
Another excellent alternative is PosterWorks, from S. H Pierce & Co. PosterWorks allows you to print up to 100 feet long. PosterWorks, tel (617) 338-2222, posterworks.com. Works with both Mac or Windows PC.
The Better Light large format digital camera can produce enough dpi to fill the largest of the wide-format printer sizes. This remarkable high-end digital camera from Michael Collette can produce both seamless panoramas up to 360 degrees as well as rollouts of the circumference of any round object. Rollout photographs are of long proportions and can be enlarged to 18 feet long by 3 feet high on a large format printer.
Billboard designers had specialized turnkey solutions but the average desktop publisher, in-house publishing department, repro or copy shop does not possess this class of hardware or software for large format printers. Although in theory the large poster size could be produced by Adobe Photoshop, it was not very practical to do lettering in this software (though Version 5 has improved this situation). Adobe PageMaker is rather meager if you need to prepare banners for printing on a wide-format printer.
At last Adobe has made large posters and banners available to the larger market of digital photographers, graphics design studios, desktop publishing, and prepress. InDesign can produce posters or banners up to 18 feet long, which is a good start in the right direction.
The "Bible" series of books are essential desktop references. Check out the publisher IDG Books, or amazon.com.
In addition to books it is often helpful to attend training seminars. We have just opened a section to introduce training programs available around the USA.
What kind of material can survive wear and tear at this large size? We will be testing media from Rexam Graphics, one of the leading international suppliers of media to the wide format industry. Better Light has provided the large format camera; Apple Computer provided a computer with 548 MB RAM, Encad has started us off with an Encad NovaJetPro 36" printer, and Electronics for Imaging kindly sent F.L.A.A.R. an EFI Fiery RIP PostScript server.
We have gone on location to get the panoramas, and spent six months in Guatemala and Honduras doing rollout photography to get images of exotic Maya art which are appropriate for large format. You can see all this via the links provided within the text here.
Index-directory of all reviews and links on this site