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What is Large Format Printing? Everything You Need to Know

  • Date21 May 2020
  • Reading time 3 mins read

Unbeknownst to us, we're exposed to large format printing every day, almost everywhere we look. It's a massive part of our daily lives, with companies using this medium to advertise their brand, event, product or service in high-traffic areas; development companies wrapping their building sites in eye-catching promotional materials; and informational and safety signs for the public's benefit.

The explosion in popularity of large format printing, also called wide or grand format printing, has been a relatively recent development. It used to be an expensive and time-consuming process, but sweeping digital and technological advances have brought this technology to the forefront of OOH (out of home) advertising and signage. 

Today, we have highly efficient printers, high-quality inks and substrates and an unparalleled variety in the range of materials available, making large format printing a go-to solution for businesses around the globe. 

Let's dive into what exactly large format printing entails and how you can put your prints to good use! 

What is Large Format Printing?

Large format printing is essentially any print job whose size requires specialised equipment. As soon as you venture into the realm of signs that need to be read from a distance, banners that need to grab attention and stand out from the competition or information that needs to be printed on something other than paper, you're looking at large format printing. 

Print companies use specialised printers that can print on flat, thicker substrates such as PVC, or on rolls of material like mesh, vinyl or fabric, in a much larger size than commercial printers. They also have top-of-the-line digital software enabling them to print intricate designs on single sheets, or across many panels to create supersize displays. 

The inks used are either water-based, solvent-based or UV inks, depending on where you want to use the signs. For outdoor uses, solvent and UV inks are ideal as they are resistant to weather and sunshine, staying vibrant and clean for longer. 

Mesh Direct also think forward to the installation of their signs, and the finished product can have grommets or a pole-fold put in to make the whole process easier. Specialised installation elements like grommets can make signs easier to manipulate, thus preventing them from becoming damaged. 

How Can Large Format Printing Help You?

There's a reason large format printing is so popular. Not only is it highly cost-effective these days, but it's also so versatile that you could use it for just about anything. Here are a few of the main areas in which large format printing can help you out.

Marketing, Advertising and Promotion

Old-school print advertising still has its place in the marketing world. Whether you're looking at posters, billboards, car and building wraps or a humble flyer, smart design, text and placement reach thousands of people every day. 

Standing out from the crowd at trade shows, events or conventions is easy with good printed promotional materials, from background screens to point-of-purchase displays and flags or banners. 

Keep prying eyes away from your development with panels, building wraps and jump form hoarding, all the while promoting your brand and your project. 

Wayfinding, Information, Safety

If you're organising an event or running a retail business, you'll need large, easy-to-read signs that are also eye-catching and compelling. Large format printing allows you to marry form and function and create beautiful, practical, helpful signage. 

Have a look at some of the projects Mesh Direct has worked on here. 

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