What Is Large Format Printing?

large format printing

What Is Large Format Printing?


Take a walk in the commercial district of any city and you will find yourself surrounded by large format printings in every direction. They’ll be in a variety of forms and sizes, including billboards, city maps, window posters, wall posters, store displays, promotional signs, and banners. Large format printing is as essential to marketing as are the newspapers, television, and Internet.


Definition of Large format


Large format printing, also known as wide format printing, refers to printing on materials that are too large for regular office and home printers. You need special printers and equipment to print in large format. To those who work in the printing industry, the term “large format” is a relative term because there is an unlimited number of sizes. But, the term generally refers to the following:


  • Banners (horizontal and vertical)
  • Billboards
  • Posters (window and wall)
  • Wall calendars
  • Store displays
  • Promotional signage
  • Maps, charts, and diagrams
  • Standees
  • Child growth charts
  • Event announcements
  • Notices for students, employees, visitors, trespassers, etc.


Large format printer sizes


The largest sheets that regular office and home printers can handle are the A3 (11.69” by 16.54”) and tabloid (11” by 17”) sizes. Any size above these can be technically considered large format.


  • Large format printers: These larger office printers can print on sheets of up to 16 inches by 26 inches (laser printers) and 11 inches by 22 inches (inkjet printers). Printers that are larger than these may be available, but they’re still not large enough to print regular-sized posters, banners, and billboards.
  • Wide-format printers: Used by commercial printing companies that offer large format printing services, these printers can handle sheets of paper that range from 24 inches to 16 feet. These printers can handle all types of large formats but are especially good for printing banners, posters, and billboards.
  • Super large-format printers: These printers can print on sheets whose widths range from 60 inches to 16 feet. Again, such printers are found at commercial printing companies only. These printers are especially good for printing billboards, posters, and banners; but they can also be used for all types of large-format printing. One printer manufacturer was rumored to be working on a 32-feet printer.


Large-format printer types


According to the ink-transfer process they employ, large-format printers can be divided into the following:


  • Aqueous ink printers: This type of printer uses a water-based ink, which is generally available in two types. Dye ink has a higher color but lower UV resistance. It offers a wider gamut of colors. Pigment ink has a duller color but higher UV resistance. Thermal inkjet printers fall into this group.


  • Solvent ink printers: This type of printer uses a petroleum-based ink, which makes it possible to print on painted or coated metal, uncoated vinyl, foam board, and PVC. The solvency of the ink ranges from mildly solvent to fully solvent.


  • Dye sublimation printers: This type of printer uses an ink that becomes suffused into the print material to produce a photographic-quality print.


  • UV printers: This type of printer is UV curable, which means it becomes dry when exposed to UV light, and produces a waterproof, embossed, and vibrant print. It is used to print on polymer-made materials, glass, metals, ceramics, and woods.


All these printers are used by commercial printing companies for large format digital printing. If you are wondering where you can find large format printing near me, then visit Hawks Graphics Inc. We offer all kinds of commercial printing services, including high-quality large format printing. We service the entire 48 US contiguous states.  Our turn around time is quick and we provide quality up-scale printing of all types.


Contact Hawk Graphics


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