io design & illustration, inc.
fun and functional design & illustration services for print and web

Dimensional Limit on Adobe Illustrator

This week I learned that yes, there is a limit to the dimensional size of a file created in Adobe Illustrator. 227.54 inches to be exact. No idea why as with vector artwork the file MB size wouldn’t have been especially large.

PROBLEM: I needed to provide a design that was 606 inches long to the printer full size at 150 dpi. What I was designing was banners to go along the front of court side scorers tables for the Southern Conference basketball championships. Since the design included a gradated background the printer wanted the file as one continuous piece, rather then breaking it into smaller banners.

SOLUTION: The printer’s second choice was a file at 1/2 scale at 300 dpi, but unfortunately that was still larger then the Illustrator limit. So I gave them 1/4 scale at 600 dpi. First time I have not been able to give a printer their preferred file size/format.

Disappearing “White” Type

Problem: “White” type over an image not showing up in press proof.

Okay, there is no white in CMYK which is why I’ve put “white” in quotes. The white I’m referring to is that pesky absence of color, not an actual ink, i.e. knocking out type from an image so the paper color shows through. In this case I was building a postcard using Illustrator with linked images and text over the images. On screen both in Illustrator and in the pdf for print all looked fine, but when the printer (an online printer in this case) ran the file through pre-press the “white” type disappeared.

Solution: UNcheck the Overprint Fill option in Attributes for the selected type.

Duh, you can’t overprint an ink that doesn’t exist. If you are like me, when you have a client you do multiple items for you reuse bits and pieces from one job to the next. In this case the reuse included text that had been black and was correctly set to overprint. Not remembering I had it set that way, I just changed it to “white” and thought all was cool. Lesson learned!