Looking to create a huge wall-art impression? Here’s a simple five-step guide to help you prepare a large multi-panel print!
1. Target your client’s needs
A large multi-panel print requires a little more love than a regular print (even though they still need love too!). Why? Because the bigger the print, the bigger the impact it has on the area it’s being hung. Making sure you pinpoint your clients’ needs is the first, very important step.
Here are some questions you can ask them:
- Where will the print be hanged?
- What size/area do they want to cover?
- What shape are they looking for (vertical, horizontal, square, uneven)?
This will allow you to offer them customized options for the layout of the panels.
In this example, my client (Gabriel, the owner of the Tonic CrossFit Gym) wanted the biggest setup possible. His wall is 32-by-22 feet! I looked at all the possible printing options available and suggested six 40-by-80 inch prints to create the multi-panel layout.
2. Put up a match plan
Once you’ve found what you are going to do, you have to know how you’re going to do it by finding the clients’ vision. What colors are they looking for? The vibe, the style, the subject(s)? If you’re going for a photomontage, what should each element represent?
Gabriel envisioned an all-black background to match the black painted wall it would be hung on. This would visually create a floating effect.
An invisible frame was also important for this concept. He wanted the gym’s logo to be very big in the middle with a neon effect. The elements around would be athletes in action representing the gym’s community and the sport of CrossFit.
A creative challenge (personal note)
I’ve had the pleasure to cover multiple CrossFit events at this gym throughout the years. I had several hundreds of archived images to choose from. Still, reuniting all these different elements turned out to be a challenging task. I turned out to only find half a dozen pictures that would fit the concept. I had to:
- Pick an equal amount of male/female athletes.
- Try not to individualize athletes in the frame — meaning that I tried to choose pictures that weren’t showing too much of someone’s face in particular (I went mostly for profiles or back angles).
- Choose images that had a decent amount of contrast for the black and white edit.
3. Prepare a large size file and start editing
It is very important to create a document with the exact size of the print (if you’re working with a single photo, the crop should be the exact same ratio).
I opened Photoshop and created a new 240-by-80 inch document. Based on the recommendation of Xpozer (the company where the file was to be printed), I picked a 100PPI resolution. If you don’t know what is resolution and PPI is, head to this article to learn more about it.
Then, I just let go my creative flow and came up with an original composite! Here are some great tips to help you easily prepare your photos for printing.
4. Get the client’s approval
Once your montage is done, submit it to your client to make sure the final result is what he/she expected. When you print large photos, you want to make sure everything’s on point.
5. Order your multi-panel print
You do it online — it’s really easy to do. You simply have to select the desired print format and upload each individual section. To realize this project, I’ve ordered six Xpozer 40-by-80 inch print + frame kits.
And the final reveal!
As I am writing these lines, the order has been made and my client and I are feverishly waiting for the delivery! I can’t wait to see the largest multi-panel print I’ve ever prepared hung on this gym wall.