Ashbrook Marketplace is located at the intersection of Ashburn Village Boulevard and Russell Branch Parkway in Loudoun County, Virginia and it’s managed by BF Saul. They had a great rendering provided by their architect. But unfortunately bitmap raster images are not suitable for production.

DMS recreated the artwork and was able to produce these 12 inch Stainless Steel 3D Sign letters that were painted black and pin mounted to the concrete monument structure. Although we could just as well have done the whole monument sign including the foundation.

We love working with Commercial Real Estate companies or Retail Property Management companies. We’re well suited to recreate artwork as needed. We make most of our metal 3 dimensional letters in house which allows us to be quicker and more creative than most sign shops around.

The Shopping Center monument sign is an entrance feature that sets the tone for the shopper’s experience. Look through our posts to get inspiration and monument sign ideas.

What is the artwork required to make a sign? What type of file is needed?

We are asked this question so much and we still don’t have a clear simple answer to it but here’s our best shot. You may just go ahead and forward this message to your graphics department.

We need scaled clean vector artwork with correct color information or a high resolution bitmap raster image at no less than 100 dpi at full size.

What does all this mean? Read below.

“Scaled” means the graphics have the right proportions. It doesn’t have to be full size but when blown up to full size the width and the height have to match the specifications without condensing or stretching.

“Clean” means that there are no overlines or underlying unnecessary graphics/objects. Special effects have been flatten and text has been converted to paths (AI term) or curves (CorelDraw term). The vector artwork can be easily ungrouped and manipulated. Objects should be closed paths.

“Vector” means that graphics are points, lines and curves that can be scaled with no loss of quality. Typical vector based file types are AI, EPS, PDF and SVG. The counterpart to vector graphics is pixel based graphics such as jpg, png, gif, photoshop and bmp files. Beware that all vector files can encapsulate a pixel base image inside and this would still not be suitable for production. The key here is that the graphics must be points, lines and curves not pixels.

“Correct Color Information” means that the file includes the color scheme approved by the customer. We prefer is a customer provides a Brand Guideline that specifies PMS colors but we’ll work with CMYK and RBG colors as well as colors from any major paint brand available such as Sherwin Williams, Matthews Paint, Behr, PPG, etc. We would, on occasion, provide a printed color sample for the customer approval.

Alternatively a High Resolution Raster (Pixel Based) image may be provided.

I’m never a fan of ambiguous terms such as ‘high’. Remember when 1024 pixels was considered a high resolution? Anyway here’s what high means for us.

When we send the image to the printer at full size we prefer the image to print at 100 dots per inch (DPI). Example: If we are to print a 24″ x 36″ image, and the file provided is a (pixel based) jpg, we prefer that the image has at least the resolution of 2400 x 3600 pixels. As you can see this is equal to 100 pixels per inch. 24″ x 100 dpi = 2400 and 36″ x 100 dpi = 3600.

For large graphics such as large format banners, billboards and carwraps where the typical viewing distance is many feet away, less DPI is required. We’ll help you figure this out in case by case basis.