Image Quality Guidelines
Custom File Requirements & Guidelines
We want you to be happy with your printed mural. A quality mural starts with a quality image. Whether using a photograph, artwork or logo, you will need to start by sending us a high-resolution file. The guidelines below will help ensure you are sending us the best possible image.
- All photos should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Once a photo is taken, you cannot artificially increase the resolution by “adding” pixels through programs such as Photoshop. This does not increase the quality of the photo.
- Images purchased from professional photographers or stock image sites are a good choice for wall murals. Always choose the highest possible resolution file available from the options. You must acquire approval from the copyright holder or image licensing representative to use these images.
- Even though newer smartphones have “high-resolution” cameras, the photos they take are a poor choice for wall murals. These cameras add a grainy “noise” within the photo. When enlarged for a mural, it becomes much more pronounced.
- Editorial images may not be used for printing wall murals. Make sure your images are not editorial before purchasing. Most websites will have a disclaimer on images for this reason.
- Images downloaded from websites or search engines such as Google have copyright restrictions, so we cannot print them. Murals Your Way follows strict guidelines regarding the use of protected images.
Scanning Photography or Artwork
- If you need to scan an old photograph, photo negative, or custom artwork, we recommend having it done by a professional scanning service. We request it be scanned at 1200dpi, using a high-quality scanner. If scanning yourself, please take time to clean your scanner bed and gently wipe your photo or artwork to remove any dust or lint, as it will be very pronounced once enlarged for the mural. It can take hours to do digital clean-up on poorly scanned images.
Logos and Digital Artwork
- If possible, we recommend sending us vector images. Vector art files can be scaled indefinitely without compromising the quality of the image, and always produce crisp lines.
- If you do not have a vector version of your logo or artwork, you will need to supply us with the highest resolution raster image you have.
- When sending Photoshop images that need to be resized or altered, please send layered files, if possible.
- If sending vector art that contains raster images (photos, scanned art, etc) you will need to send those linked files as well.
- Any fonts you have used in your files will need to be sent along with your artwork, as we may not have the font you require. This does not apply to text that has been flattened in Photoshop or converted to outlines in Illustrator.
- Please notify us in advance if you require a match for specific Pantone or paint colors. We can work with you to provide a very close color match, though perfect matches are not guaranteed. If color matching is critical, we recommend custom samples for a small fee.
Raster Vs. Vector Images
Raster images are composed of pixels. These are typically photos, scanner art, or anything created in a photo-editing program such as Photoshop. These images are made up of blocks of various colors called pixels. When they come together, they form an image. When enlarged, these “blocks” become much more pronounced, creating a “pixelated” look that is undesirable.
Raster File Types:
- RAW (files from digital cameras)
- PSD/PSB (layered files from Photoshop)
Vector images are composed of paths. Anything created in a vector program, such as Adobe Illustrator, is composed of paths, or lines, that are either straight or curved. Because vector graphics are not made of pixels, the images can be scaled to be very large without losing quality.
Vector File Types:
- AI (Adobe Illustrator)
Creating Your Own Mural File
If you are setting up your own mural, please create the file in the size you need your mural to be. Keep the resolution as high as possible. Remember, “adding” pixels at this point does not affect the quality of the image.
If you want to see what the finished mural will look like, scale your image to your desired dimensions and set it to 150dpi. This will give you an accurate representation when viewed at 100%.
For Adobe Illustrator files, please set up your artboard to the dimensions you want your mural to be. If your mural is too large, scaling to 1⁄2, 1⁄4, or 1/10 scale is fine. Example: A mural that is 320” x 210” can be scaled to 10% scale, making the artboard 32.0” x 21.0”. We will then print it at 1000% to get the dimensions you need.
Note: If your mural is more than one panel, we add a 1” bleed to all 4 sides. A 2” panel overlap is also added for installation purposes.
Our Create Your Own Wall Mural page checks the quality of the image when you upload your file.