March 9, 2023

The Complete Guide to Large Format Printing


In some cases, bigger is better. Large format printing is a valuable tool for businesses because it allows marketers to showcase graphics and messages in a big way. Whether you’re in need of a large banner outside your storefront or a life-size poster to advertise a new product, large format printing will ensure your message is seen. 

What Is Large Format Printing?

Large format printing refers to any project that is printed on large sheets of paper or other materials. These projects are typically too large to be created on standard commercial printing presses. Instead, they require specialized equipment to give you an expanded printing area.

On flatbed printers, the material is placed on the flat surface of the printer, and UV light turns liquid ink into solid ink in order to print directly onto the material. Roll-to-roll printers print on flexible materials, such as vinyl banners or canvas, by rolling the materials through.

Graphic-heavy designs and print jobs that need to be seen from a distance are great contenders for large format printing. Some of the most common large format print products include banners, posters, and trade show displays. 

Benefits of Large Format Printing

There are tons of benefits to using large format printing for your organization. Most importantly, large format printers make it possible to produce signage and graphics of all sizes. When you need your message to be highly visible, a large format printer makes it happen.

Large format printing is also versatile and assists in a wide array of marketing efforts. By making text and graphics larger, you can grab the attention of passersby and get your message across faster. Large signage lets potential customers know what you do and what services you offer, keeps customers up to date on important information, or promotes special offers and events. Plus, large format print products ensure your branded messages are seen easily, which helps build brand recognition.

Technology in the large format printing industry has also evolved over the years. This allows for more creative applications and material options. Instead of paper, you can create large-format print products out of vinyl, canvas and other textiles, wood, glass, and more! Even better, large format printing is cost-effective and typically produces high ROI.

5 Types of Large Format Print Products

Large format printing lends itself to a wide array of products. These five are among the most common for businesses large and small.

1. Banners

Large banners are great for highlighting new products or advertising special offers. When you need to display a message loud and clear, consider hanging a banner from the marquee in front of your business or on a fence for street-level advertising. It will surely be seen by people walking or driving by your business. 

The most common material for banners is vinyl, which is both flexible and durable, so it’s good for long-term use inside and outside. When you design your banner, keep a few tips in mind. Use an easy-to-read font and keep the word count short, so it’s readable in just a few seconds. You also want the banner to be readable from far away. 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.

Learn more about creating a custom banner for your business.

2. Blueprints

Blueprints are used by architectural, construction, and interior design businesses to professionally showcase plans for a client’s space. Blueprint printing differs from standard small format printing because of the size and materials needed. 

Blueprint paper needs to be durable in order to last the length of the project and resist wear and tear from regular use. Large format printers can create blueprints on differently weighted materials, such as 20 lb, 24 lb, or 32 lb paper. It’s also common for blueprints to be printed on vellum, which is a smooth and durable material made from synthetic materials, cotton, and wood pulp.

Blueprints need to be large in order to show more detail to the client and the team using them. There are a few common sizes used in blueprint printing:

  • 18″ x 24″ (Arch C)
  • 24″ x 36″ (Arch D)
  • 30″ x 42″
  • 36″ x 48″ (Arch E)

3. Posters

Large format posters are applicable to a wide range of businesses. You might need a single poster for an event or meeting, or a group of posters to use as wall decorations or advertisements in your storefront. Regardless of what you use them for, posters grab attention and make a big impact.

If you’re looking to improve your office space, design a series of custom posters that feature your logo and taglines, brand messages, mission or value statements, inspirational quotes, photography, brand imagery, or abstract designs. 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, fast to produce, and easy to replace regularly. They’re also available in a range of sizes to best fit your space:

  • 11″ x 17″
  • 12″ x 18″
  • 13″ x 19″
  • 18″ x 24″
  • 24″ x 36″
  • Custom sizes 

4. Trade Show Displays

If your business is attending a conference or trade show, you want your booth to stand out and give attendees a reason to stop by. A professionally designed and printed trade show display makes a strong first impression, increases your credibility, and helps differentiate your brand from competitors.

Large format trade show displays should capture attendees’ attention with bold, eye-catching designs as well as your brand’s logo and colors. As attendees approach, engaging displays can teach them about your products and services. 

There are many types of trade show signs available:

  • Acrylic and aluminum signs
  • A-frame signs
  • Branded table covers
  • Canopy tents
  • Foamcore and gatorboard displays
  • Pop-up displays
  • Table-top displays
  • Vinyl and fabric banners
  • X-Style collapsible or retractable banners

5. Yard Signs

Yard signs are a good choice when you need large, outdoor signage for both short- and long-term use. These signs are similar to banners in that they can capture attention and send a message from a distance. You’ll want to keep the message short and simple for the best readability. 

Most yard signs are made of corrugated plastic—a durable material that can withstand the elements—and a metal stake. This way, they won’t fly away or disintegrate in rain or snow, making them cost-effective, long-lasting, and reusable.

Depending on your message, yard signs come in a few different sizes:

  • 12″ x 18″
  • 18″ x 24″
  • 24″ x 36″

Turn to PostNet 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 PostNet. Search for your local center or contact us online today.


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