All You Need to Know About Large Format Printing

December 23, 2015

Large format printing has experienced growth in the last few years and continues to develop as new technologies come to the fore. Today’s large-format printers are both cost-effective and easy to operate, and can prepare prints on virtually any kind of surface. Needless to say, going big with original artwork, custom text or attention-grabbing graphics is a proven way to increase sales and build customer-business bonds. If you’re looking to print a new outdoor sign for your restaurant, kick off an advertising campaign, or set up banners at an outdoor festival, then large format printing is the perfect option for you.

In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of large format printing and review some of the top supersized applications available on the market.

What is Large Format Printing?

large format printing

Image courtesy of

Also called wide-format and grand-format printing, large-format prints are typically at least 24 in. wide, but can be virtually any size. In terms of resolution, the higher the better when it comes to large format printing, whereas the lower the DPI, the better. See here for a complete guide on different types of resolution for printing. 

According to research carried out by WhatTheyThink, large format print services continue to drive a large portion of the growth within the print market and are currently outpacing digital alternatives such as electric signs or supersized LED screens. Whether you’re looking to produce banners, décor or vehicle wraps, wide format printing provides the ideal solution to all your large-scale print marketing needs.

It’s only in the last few years that large format printing has started to take off as a cost-effective print marketing solution. In the past, wide format printing was bogged down with a number of issues, including short run lengths, high costs and slow turnaround times. In addition, only certain materials were available for printing in the past, and finishes were expensive and difficult to apply.

All that changed with the introduction of new technologies with higher capabilities and quicker turnaround speeds. Flatbed printers have been around for a while, but newer versions are now more efficient and speedier, allowing for higher print runs and more cost-efficient large format print services. Flatbed printers can now accommodate a range of different substrates or printing materials, and are designed to function with a number of inks and curing technologies.

Vehicle wraps

Image courtesy of

As a result of these improvements, large-format printing has now become one of the foremost print marketing tools, providing a seemingly endless array of large-scale print design options ranging anywhere from printed wallpapers and tiles, to display canvasses and draperies.

Large Format Printing Materials

Large format festival banners

Image courtesy of

One of the best things about large format print applications is that they can be custom designed to accommodate uneven objects and hard-to-reach surfaces while their inherent visibility makes them perfect for marketing campaigns. Constructed from durable, weather and UV-resistant materials, wide-format print applications are suited for both outdoor and indoor use.

According to research, 91% of large format print services produce supersized banners, which means that banners are the most popular large format application on the market. Banners tend to be used in large multiple-day festivals, conventions, and expos and come in a wide range of weights and designs for different settings and budgets. Available in vinyl or nylon plastic mesh formats with UV-resistant inks, banners over 100 ft tall can be reinforced with extra large grommets and double-folded edges for use in windy areas.

Window displays, vehicle wraps, wall coverings and custom-printed designs can all be printed in large format, providing great visuals for use in commercial and other settings. In addition, large format prints can be affixed to all kinds of surfaces, hung on walls, or set up as free-standing displays.

UV sublimated banner flags

Image courtesy of

If you’re interested in other large format products, feel free to cast an eye over our selection of wide format applications or contact us here. We offer large-scale UV sublimated flag banners, car decals and vinyl stickers, and can accommodate custom designs and a wide range of substrates. If you’re producing a large-scale event in Vancouver and are considering implementing an integrated small and large-format print marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to call us for any specific demand.

Pros of Large Format Printing

Banner with grommets

Vinyl banner with grommets. Image courtesy of

As with all print marketing solutions, wide-format prints can be custom designed to fit on specific objects and surfaces, no matter what dimension or shape. With low costs and long-lasting print results, going big is the most cost-effective means of producing top-quality print marketing.

Improvements in technology and the growing demand for large-scale prints has made applying custom finishes an important part of the printing process. Whether you’re printing on plastic, canvas or tiles, be sure to choose a finish that suits your needs. Large-scale prints are available in laminated, mounted or grommeted versions for heavy outdoor use, or can be tile-printed and then melded to produce building-sized graphics. Other techniques and applications may be used to create raised surfaces, special designs or increase durability; all without busting your budget.

At PrintPrint, we offer one of the widest selections of large format printing services available in Vancouver. We currently offer a wide range of products, including A Boards, Banner Stands, Car Decals, Pop Displays, Poster Printing, Trade Show Displays, Vancouver Banners, Vancouver Signs, and Vinyl Lettering.

For more information on our large format print services, please contact our product specialists Reza and Valerie.