Ok so we are having a debate in the office on what/how is the proper way to create large print ready art (native ai) file. There are two schools of thought here currently. One is to embed the high rez image into the file at half scale so when the vendor or printer receives they just scale it up to full size. The other is to just link the files and send vendor the hig rez images along with the master AI file having the vendor make sure he/she is linking and scalling correctly. Both ways work but I would like to know from the community what is the best way or standard. or if there is even a better way.
Any thoughts out there?
Work at a scale you are comfortable with. This can mean working at 100%, but I usually don’t. The best practical reason I have is that lo-res PDFs of a large file are going to be very big and un-emailable. Working at 1:6 I can use picas as inches and my lo-res PDFs will be 1/36 the resolution (in 2 dimensions) so are much smaller and can be emailed. Make sure all raster art is at an appropriate resolution after scaling. If you are told all raster art should print at 100 ppi, then you want all imported images to be a minimum of 600 ppi at 1:6 scale.
As for linking vs embedded images: no contest and no debate. Link. The only value in embedded images is that you can use them as symbols. Otherwise, link. The Illustrator file is smaller and the image data itself is accessible to the printer. Extracting the image data from embedded images is somewhere between very difficult and impossible.