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What is Large Format Printing?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales

Large format printing can be best described as printing that takes place on a large scale. It commonly can reach a size as large as 82 feet (25 m). This printing is usually reserved for images, such as advertisements, that are intended to be seen by many people. Posters, banners, wall and window graphics and floor adhesives can all be created using large format printing. Large format printing is usually done on materials such as canvas or vinyl in order to withstand extended use or exposure to the elements.

There are many uses for large format printing. The results of this type of printing can be shown in front or inside of shops, trade shows or advertisement mediums. They typically can be used indoors or outdoors, depending on the durability of the printing surface chosen.

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Woman posing

Many people who use this type of printing do so to reinforce business brands, garner customer attention and push promotions. Each of these things can be achieved with an item that has been created using large format printing. Moreover, many items created can be reused and even transported to different locations.

Posters, banners, floor adhesives and wall and window graphics are some of the most common types of items for which large format printing is used. Posters offer several choices when it comes to selecting a surface on which to print, and customers can choose from paper, film or card to print their designs. They can be laminated or protected in physical displays, but posters generally are designed to be used for a short period of time.

Banners can be printed on vinyl for extra durability so that they can be displayed outside a building, such as a business establishment. Window graphics can function in much of the same way and are often utilized for special promotions. Customers might see wall graphics enhancing a brand inside a business, office or shopping center. Floor adhesives can be found in grocery stores, functioning as advertisements or directions.

The costs associated with large format printing can depend on any number of variables. Size is an obvious consideration, and the type of surface that is printed on can also affect costs. For example, printing a poster on paper generally will be much cheaper than printing a banner on vinyl. Printing detail is another factor that can determine the final cost of a printing job. Anyone interested in investing in a large printing job of this sort should determine whether the final product will require professional installation, because this can also necessitate extra fees.

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Discussion Comments


I shudder to think how much large format printing services would cost. I used to work as a graphic designer for a company that printed small things like magazines and brochures, and we charged quite a bit for even those jobs.

We didn't have the capability to print large items like billboards and huge wall posters, so I never had to design any. I imagine that whoever does design these items has to be very sure that they will print well before they are actually sent to the printer, because if they didn't, that would be a huge waste of ink and paper!

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