Planning Vinyl Wall Murals like a Boss - Part 1 - Project Overview

The approach that you take in preparing for a vinyl wall mural installation is essential in determining how successful and professional-looking your final product will be. The best rule of thumb is to be patient, meticulous, and pay attention to detail when approaching a vinyl mural project. By following these tips, you can ensure that you achieve your desired goals and objectives in creating a fantastic piece of artwork that will leave a lasting impression.

Wall Mural behind office reception desk

Here’s what Chat GPT defines as how to prepare files for window mural installation:

Preparing print files for vinyl mural installation involves several key steps. First, the artwork or image must be prepared in the appropriate size and resolution for the mural chosen. Next, the file should be converted to a vector format for the best results. The artwork should be set up with a bleed area, typically one inch around the outside, to ensure that the print covers the entire mural surface. The file should also be set up in the correct color mode for printing. CMYK is the standard color mode for print files. Finally, it is essential to proof the file before printing to ensure that the colors and design match the desired end product. A professional printing company can provide assistance with preparing and printing the perfect vinyl mural for any space.

This is what a lot of designers and prepress people have been taught.  Although technically not incorrect, it is a MUCH too simplistic way to look at a project as a whole.  


This post will become the first post from a multi part post series that will look at vinyl wall mural projects, and how to approach them with the eyes to the most successful installation preparation practices available.  Too many times our team has shown up with a roll of vinyl labeled poorly, and a client proof, and are left to our own to figure out how much bleed there is between panels, how much bleed there is overall, and how to deal with the obstruction that is in the middle of a logo, or the person in the mural’s head being removed by a fire alarm bell.


First of all most important to note, I am not saying that this approach is the only one, however after years of struggles in the field, I have a lot of experiences, both good and bad to draw from.


Also, another important note is that NONE of the examples shown in this series are installations that I have been involved with, so as many images that I am using for examples are taken from royalty free resources, and are only being used for reference. 

Where a little preparation can make all of the difference.

Vinyl Mural Overview

Before you begin your project there are some items that you should look at before you start your design.


  1.  What is the goal of the project?  Is it to bring brand awareness, send a message to the staff, help with wayfinding, decorate, or other reasons?

  2. Who are the stakeholders and how will they be involved in the decision making?

  3. What type of surfaces are you able to use.  Windows? Walls, Floors? or Combinations of the above?

  4. What types of materials are best suited for the substrate being installed on?

  5. What is the budget?

  6. Finally are there ways to bring better results by rethinking the available surfaces?

  7. Are there concerns about the surface preparation, or steps your client must take to ensure for a successful installation?
Window Vinyl Mural Close Up

Next Steps

So we have the budget, we’ve discussed with the stakeholders what their hopes and dreams are with respect to the project.  We’ve even thought about how great this project is going to look in your portfolio.  

So now we are ready to design!  RIGHT?

Not Quite.

In the next post we will help you with how to conduct a proper site survey, and then plan for a design that will be impactful and avoid many of the common pitfalls.

©2023. CDN Crew Installations - a division of 235955 Alberta Inc.

All logos have rights reserved by their rightful owners. In no way is there meant to be any implied endorsement by any firm or company pictured on this website. CDN Crew Installations is a trade only installation company who contracts to Print Companies, Advertising Agencies and other related industries. If you would like more information on the companies that were involved in a particular project, please reach out, and we would be happy to provide you further information.