WHAT IS LARGE FORMAT PRINTING?
Large format printing or wide format printing is generic term that typically describes any printer that prints large scale short run digital files on a roll. Typically, the printer accepts a roll width from 1 to 3 metres wide. Large format printers use a variety of water based inks, solvent based inks and toners to print on many different substrates including paper, self-adhesive vinyl, transparent, electrostatic substrates and more. Most large format printers are basically an oversized ink jet printer.
HOW TO USE LARGE PRINT FORMAT
Large format printing, also called wide format printing, incorporates banners, indoor and out door signage, murals and wall paper, large and small window and floor graphics, even vehicle wraps and graphics. Large format printing makes a lot of sense when variable imagery or variable sizes are required. Printing the image onto the substrate is often just the start with wide format printing. Many items are mounted with backing board, used with roll up or portable advertising, applied to shop fronts, walls, or vehicles.
WHEN TO USE LARGE PRINT FORMAT?
Large format printing makes sense for advertising and marketing uses when a small number, or oversized items are required. Some examples of large format print include billboards, presentation boards, life size cut outs, exhibition stand graphics, hi-visibility health and safety posters, plan printing, CAD drawings, gift wrapping paper, personalised wall paper and photo quality reproductions. Large format printing makes sense when the quantities are under 100 pieces and the image size is over A3. Large format has a very wide variety of substrates to print on…most outdoor signage, billboard, printed advertising is printed on a large format printer and then mounted.
ALTERNATIVES TO LARGE PRINT FORMAT
The main alternative to large format printing is flexographic printing. This makes sense when the print volumes are high. The issue with flexo printing is the time to set up and clean the machine and therefore the relative need of high volume non-variable runs. Large format printing also offers a wide variety of substrates to print on. Flexographic printing is far faster during the run, but the first copy is much more expensive to produce.