Large Format Printing – What’s It All About?

Are You ready to make an impact? Your Guide to Large Format Printing

What exactly is large format printing? If you’re looking to wow your future customers, large format printing is well worth knowing about.

Here is our jargon-free guide with plenty of helpful information on how it works and how businesses use it. Equally, we’ll define its benefits and explain how it could be one of the most instantaneous and formidable tools to reach your audience.

Making a Show – With Large Format Print

Are you attention-seeking? Or rather, would you like your marketing to be the star of the show – and stand out from the crowd – in the best possible way?

If so, in our experience, almost nothing will fit the bill better than large format printing – it’s communication with the volume turned up.

Prominent, striking, and deliberately conspicuous – this type of display marketing is compelling. It conveys messages, influences, and engages people. Well-designed LFP (large format print) with branding that hits the mark works hard for its money – with subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle calls to action.

Alternatively, it can guide, form, educate, persuade or promote.

What Is Large Format Printing?

Its definition is broadly in its name:

In brief, large format printing means producing marketing, advertising, or any other collaterals on various materials in various shapes and sizes. The underlying concept is LARGE.

Generally, clients may use it for projects that are too big to be printed on standard commercial printers (litho, digital or screen printing) or where they want to print onto materials and substrates that it’s otherwise almost impossible to do. As these prints are bigger – often much bigger – there is nowhere to hide. What we mean is that due to increased size and scale, the quality must be superlatively sharp, and the colours bright and dynamic.

This is all about clarity and accuracy. No fuzziness allowed.

The graphics and designs need to be crisp with a razor-sharp definition to not lose the original image’s characteristics or features.

Therefore, this process requires a different approach, with dedicated expertise that goes beyond a “normal” print run. As it generates prints that are typically outside normal dimensions – we’re talking super-sized here – large format printing requires high-tech, custom equipment.

In other words, it’s printing, but not as you necessarily know it.

How does it work? Without delving too deep into the science bit, the technology used here is highly sophisticated. Firstly, it’s decision time:

Who is your audience?

You will need to consider how the product will be seen, and whether the people you wish to reach will view it close-up or further away. This is important because if it’s more upfront, you may wish to increase the resolution as much as possible using scalable vector graphics rather than pixel images.
Also, where it will be placed could dictate the materials used. Large format printing can be transfer the most incredible, creative designs or simple signage onto the following materials:

  • Plastics
  • Metal
  • PVC
  • Vinyl
  • Canva
  • Pape
  • Fabrics
  • Even glass and wood

Once the design is finalised, our print specialist will programme-in your specific requirements, allowing the machine to get to work applying specialised ink directly to the substrate.

This is precision work, yet it takes no longer than digital printing, with businesses such as Xpress Group using UV lights to dry the ink to finalise the project.

Big and Bigger Printed Displays

As well as large format printing, you may also have heard the term wide format printing (and sometimes even grand format printing).

In many ways, large and wide formats are one and the same thing, but there is a nuanced difference between the two. Essentially, wide format can refer to any type of large-scale printing, whatever the dimensions may be. With large format, the size is more relevant and generally concerns printing larger than A3.

Anywhere – Everywhere

Look around you.

On your local high street, practically all businesses, including restaurants, cafes, retail outlets and other premises – both on the inside and outside – make use of some large format printing. It is ubiquitous and we are totally used to it. A sign on the side of the road; signage banners around a construction site. Also, wayfinding signs at an airport. Advertising billboards, entrance signs at offices – its use is practically unlimited.

Let’s look in more detail at how large format printing is used:

Uses of Large Format Printing

Looking to get noticed and make a lasting impression?

Wayfinding: Xpress Group is an authority on wayfinding signage.
These are products we see almost every day; they’ve become a part of the fabric of our lives, yet we may not be conscious of them. They’re an excellent way of making people feel comfortable and in control of their surroundings. Essentially, they help you find your way around a physical location – an airport, perhaps, a shopping centre or an office. Wayfinding signs also direct you from point to point, in effect guiding you along the way.

You may find them in hospitals, restaurants, car dealerships, schools, banks – almost anywhere.

Signage: From traffic signs, health and safety signs, indoor and outdoor signs, flags, commercial and corporate signs inform, educate, persuade, sell, offer warnings, instructions, and a great deal more.

They’re for promotions, advertising, directions, display, communications, and helping people. In other words, signs are for every occasion where an instant message is needed.

Vehicle Branding: What does a company vehicle say about the business behind it? If the branding is confident, strong and professional, it can say all the good things.

Large format printing for fleets includes vehicle wraps and graphics for cars, trucks and vans that showcase your brand to its best effect. With a regular, constant “look and feel”, the accuracy of the printing process creates consistency across the range of transport used by your business.

Point of Sale POS): Point of Sale displays can make all the difference to customer engagement when they’re at the till. Or, anywhere in a store where they will, or could decide to buy something. There may even be a last-chance occasion to secure a sale. Large format printing suits POS products as it’s highly visible. Also, it can help a retail business stand out in a competitive environment.

There are several options, including free-standing display units, stacking display cubes, and window displays and graphics. From packaging, FSDUs, CDUs, wraps, and dump bins to stickers and wobblers, Point of Sale items can grab your customers’ attention – and keep hold of it.

Exhibition Display: Exhibition display items are all about shell schemes, pop-up stands, custom wallpaper, banners, signs and even printed carpets.

Here, large format printing comes into its own, with clever products to complement your busy day on the stand.

Exhibition marketing collateral promotes your company to the max, conveying a clear idea about what your company does. Powerful branding is essential for a successful trade show – you have a matter of seconds to create a feeling about your products and services.

Banner Printing: Banners aren’t just for trade exhibitions.

They come in all shapes, styles and sizes and incorporate printed wall banners, external and internal retail signage, wayfinding signs, banners for promotional events etc. PVC is a popular choice, as are mesh and backlit fabrics.

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive. This type of print is also ideal for:

  • Digitally printed wallpaper
  • Posters
  • Window graphics
  • Floor graphics
  • Large wall calendars
  • Promotional signs
  • Murals
  • Hoardings
  • Backlit graphics

Xpress Group Goes Large

We have specialist expertise in designing and producing significant-size printed materials.

It’s fair to say that they won’t fit through the average letter box.

This is a fast-moving sector, so we invest regularly in new technology and equipment to maintain a competitive edge. And, with our ISO 9001 system, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditation, we ensure that our high standards are held for the benefit of our clients.

Xpress Group uses HP 261000 and HP L26500 to deliver stunning products. Further, the ink dries inside the printer, meaning that finishing is much faster than the standard process. It’s environmentally friendly, too.

If you’re looking for outdoor signage, we’re pleased to report that we use solvent inks, and UV, fade-proof inks so that they last much, much longer.

What We Think

The sheer scale and developments within the field of large print formatting of large format printing mean that there is something perfect for every need and budget.

Primarily used for wayfinding, marketing and advertising purposes – but practical for almost any purpose – LFP can help improve brand awareness and make a fantastic impact where you need it most. The process dovetails to our 21st century expectations, too: turnaround is prompt, images can be as big as needed, and there’s a wealth of robust, durable materials available.

Furthermore, with our support and expertise, you can be ultra creative, with unique, eye-catching displays to capture your audience’s imagination.

Go large, larger and largest with Large Format Printing from Xpress Group.

Top Tips for Your Large Format Printing Project

Surprise your audience. Grab them with something substantial and significant and make them look twice. Go big and go bold to convey the message that you need. Yet sometimes –

Less may be more. Technology has taken off at break-neck speed. Simplicity in design may be all you need.

Unleash the potential. Large format printing is incredibly exciting. Talk to Xpress Group about the concepts and solutions that will be utterly perfect for your business.