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The Complete Guide to Large Format Printing

The Complete Guide to Large Format Printing

Think of the businesses that catch your eye as you’re walking or driving by or the buildings you use as landmarks when you’re giving directions. They might be memorable because of large format printing. Large-format prints and signs are a valuable way to attract new customers, increase brand visibility, and achieve consistency in all your buildings, offices, and storefronts.

What Is Large Format Printing?

Large-format printing refers to projects that are printed on large sheets of paper or other materials. Large format designs are too big to be printed with a standard printer, so we use specialized equipment to produce these projects. 

Flatbed printers are able to print on a variety of surfaces, using UV lights to turn liquid ink to solid ink directly on the material while it lays flat. Roll-to-roll printers print on flexible materials like vinyl or canvas, and the ink soaks into the fabric, preventing any cracks or distortions. 

Designs that need to be seen from a distance or that are very graphic-heavy are great contenders for large-format printing. Common large-format projects include banners, posters, and trade show displays.

Benefits of Large Format Printing

Large-format printing can make a big impression. One common use of large-format printing is to make a splash at the street level by branding the exterior of your building. More temporary or portable options can also attract attention to special deals or events.

Large format is also used to brand the interior of buildings, improving the environment for customers and employees. Large-format products can be used at markets, trade shows, conferences, and to create “Instagrammable moments” with your brand.

The options are endless when it comes to large format. Projects are highly customizable and can be printed with a variety of materials, sizes, and finishes, as large format printers are incredibly versatile. Getting creative with large format is a great way to distinguish your brand, and it usually produces high ROI.

5 Types of Large Format Print Products

There are many products that fall under the umbrella of large-format printing. Below are some of the most common for businesses large and small.

1. Banners & Posters

Banners and posters are great solutions for a wide range of business needs, and they can work together to grab attention.

Use large banners to showcase new products, advertise sales, or promote your brand at events. It’s easy to reach foot traffic and drivers with large banners hung on the marquee or fence in front of your business. Street-level advertising is highly effective, and if the passerby doesn’t enter your business right away, they’re likely to follow up digitally by visiting your website.

Vinyl is the most common material for banners and can be used inside and outside, as it’s both flexible and durable.

When you design your banner, readability is important. Below are a few tips to maintain readability:

  • Use an easy-to-read font

  • Keep the word count short

  • As a general rule of thumb: 1 inch of height equals 10 feet of visibility. So, if your message needs to be seen from 30 feet away, the text needs to be at least 3 inches tall.

Similar to banners, large-format posters are staple marketing pieces, but they are very scalable. You might need a single poster for an event or meeting or a group of posters for advertisements or wall decor. 

A series of custom posters that feature your brand assets and imagery can improve your office space and the employee experience, promoting your company culture. To attract customer attention and advertise a new product or special offer, put up posters in your storefront windows or at aisle end caps. Posters are cost-effective, quickly produced, and easily replaced.

2. Wall and Window Graphics

Physical branding shouldn’t be limited to the exterior of your building. Your interior retail or office space is a reflection of your brand, too, and window space is a great way to reach passersby. With wall and window graphics, you can use the advertising space right inside your business’s building. 

Temporary wall and window graphics can promote an event or sale, and permanent graphics can be used for retail or office design. Custom wall wraps and murals offer a more permanent option to build your brand from within, while window decals or clings can be easily swapped out and attract attention from the outside. Additionally, floor graphics are an eye-catching way to draw focus to certain aisles or sections of your store, advertise specific products and services, or welcome customers.

3. Vehicle Wraps

If your goal is brand visibility, vehicle wraps are a great choice. They function as a moving billboard, advertising for you while you drive. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective methods to attract new customers, and when you’re parked in a driveway or parking lot while providing a service, neighbors take notice. Vehicle wraps provide a polished, credible feel when used on company vehicles.

Choose from unique materials like matte, chrome, or perforated vinyl to best reflect your brand. When designing a wrap, make your brand easily recognizable and include only the most important information, like your phone number and website. Make sure this contact info is on the sides and back of the vehicle so that when you’re stopped in traffic, people can see it clearly.

4. Trade Show Displays

If your business is attending a conference or trade show, you will likely be among competition. Professional, eye-catching trade show displays can be the reason an attendee chooses your business over your competitor. It’s your brand’s first impression. A well-designed display increases credibility and makes your brand memorable.

The best large-format trade show displays are visually interesting and on-brand, displaying your brand’s logos and colors. They can be used to draw attendees in and teach them about your products and services.

There are many types of trade show signs available:

  • Hanging and retractable banners

  • Pop-up and freestanding displays

  • Table covers

  • Floor graphics

  • Posters

  • Flags

  • A-frame signs

5. Flags and Stands

Flags are an effective advertising tool to attract attention, share information, and help guide customers. They’re a bit more dynamic than banners because when they’re placed outside, they’ll wave in the wind.

Flags are portable and easy to pop up at sales, events, or markets, but can also be more permanent fixtures when used as interior decor. They can be used to announce a grand opening or sale, help shoppers find your booth or shop, build company morale when used in the interior, or show team/school spirit. As with most large prints, be sure to keep text to a minimum. If your goal is to attract attention, use vibrant colors within your brand guidelines.

Turn to AlphaGraphics for Your Large Format Prints

The possibilities for large-format printing are almost endless. Whether you need a banner advertising a limited-time promotion or a trade show display that wows the crowd, working with a large format print provider will help you make your message stand out!

If your business is in need of large-format print products, turn to the design and printing experts at AlphaGraphics Middleton.

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