What is large format printing? This is usually considered to be the printing process for projects that require specialist printing equipment. This can enable the production of various materials that measure above 457mm and up to 2540mm in size.
Often referred to as wide format printing this type of printing has many uses and the majority of businesses opt for this style for promotional purposes. One of the benefits is that these large pieces let graphics come to life – ensuring a company message really stands out.
Large format digital printing was developed at the end of the last century and has evolved quickly in the last 15 years. The inkjet technology pioneered by HP and Canon was pre-dated by Electrostatic technology using the first wide digital printers. Modern wide format print technologies include Aqueous, Dye Sublimation, UV, and Latex.
Find out more about how the large printing process works here…
Categories of large printing
Large format printing typically refers to:
- Event announcements
- Wall and window posters
- Promotional signage
- Store displays
- Charts, diagrams, and maps
- Large wall calendars
- Employees or student notices
- Vertical or horizontal banners
- Building wraps
- Trade show graphics
Types of printers used
Large format printing presses are either roll-to-roll, flatbed, or a combination of both. A roll-to-roll printer will often be used for large banner printing and large poster printing where pieces are printed on flexible materials that come on rolls. The roll of material will be loaded to the side and then carried through the printer to be rolled onto the uptake roller.
A flatbed printer will have a substrate (this could be vinyl, fabric, canvas, or plastic) on the bed that propels the material through the printer. During the printing process, UV light hits the solvent ink, turning it into solid ink on the chosen substrate. Solvent-based inks have exceptionally good weather and abrasion resistance.
The main steps
You need to finalise the type of advertising and the dimensions before moving to the printing process. After choosing the format you then have to decide on the material to print on. Bear in mind that specialised printers can also work on wood and metals.
Selecting the exact shape, size, and graphic design desired is crucial as your instructions will be programmed into the printer to create high-resolution print outs. Large format printing needs to be high on quality and resolution so the correct DPI (dots per inch) will be determined dependant on the final size.
RGB – the standard colour model for producing colours on screen – are ideal for digital design and graphics, whilst CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) is a four-colour printing process for printing products. Wide-format printers often come with built-in CMYK ink plates that mix colours to create exactly the right shade.
A standard procedure is to set a bleed section across the four corners of the design. This printing technique ensures that the ink goes all the way to the edge of the sheet without any white spaces left. This is essential for print work that has coloured graphics and backgrounds.
Coded patterns that match your design are then followed, and the drying process speeded up with UV lights. This way you’ll be able to use your large format printing designs immediately.
Benefits of large format printing
Advertising as a marketing medium is extremely successful. The active benefits of large format printing include:
Versatility – depending on your needs large format printing can be done on an entire range of materials, and used for a variety of items, as listed above.
Cost-effectiveness – for the return-on-investment large format printing is a proven choice with 50% of consumers stating that outdoor adverts stand out more than any other media.
Long-term advertising – timeless graphics that work all year round can be used over and over again and can be modified to suit many mediums.
Enhancing brand-awareness – large format printing invites crowds resulting in high visibility that maximises your presence. Striking graphic designs will ensure your business is a name that’s remembered.
Large format printing providers
Large format printing companies will provide specialist help. Some larger companies may have in-house printing departments, but many will outsource the task due to the size of the printers required, and the range of skills needed to expertly carry out the projects. Events signage, posters, and banners can normally be produced on a smaller scale, but the production and installation of vehicle or building wraps need professional expertise.
Large format printing in Australia
MBE provide professional large format printing in Australia! The business centre is home to graphic design specialists who can help you with any commercial printing from the planning phase through to the finished project.
The most up-to-date printing technology will be used, and once you’ve used MBE to print your large format items they can be stored on file on the system – ready for another immediate print run.