Our large format printing guide is designed to help you learn more about the technique and its benefits while providing some tips to help you produce graphics that drive results.

What is large format printing? 

Also called wide-format printing, large-format digital printing refers to the production of large graphics. It is a relatively new technology, with the first large-format printer developed in the early 1990s. Since then, the technology has developed rapidly, which has made the process quicker, cheaper and more versatile.

In order to deliver a high-quality, detailed finish, wide-format printing requires specialist equipment, rather than a standard office printer. Typically, large format printers can handle materials between 457mm and 2500mm wide.

What are the types of large format printing?

There are three types of large-format printing techniques available, which are delivered by different machines. 

UV Printing

This type of printing is suitable for use on a wide range of materials including paper, plastics, foam, PVC and metals. The finish is durable, able to withstand exposure to sunlight and water. Production is also fast, because the inks are cured under a specialist UV lamp. 

Aqueous Printing

This technique uses water-based inks and delivers high-definition results in a short space of time because there is no curing involved. The inks aren’t waterproof, so aqueous inks are only suitable for indoor use. 

Solvent Printing

Solvent printing is great for outdoor use because it’s waterproof and can be used on a wide range of substrates, including PVC and Foamex. However, production can take a bit longer than other techniques because solvent inks often need additional curing time, as well as lamination.

What is It used for?

It has a wide range of uses, especially now that many inks are suitable for outdoor use. 

Businesses often use large format graphics to increase brand awareness or to tell potential customers about their products and offers. 

It can be used for:

  • Exhibition stands
  • Posters & billboards
  • Banners (including roller banners)
  • Signs 
  • Wall paper
  • Blueprints
  • Maps
  • Window clings 
  • Vehicle wraps
  • And more…

At BDH Tullford, we can also complete large format sticker printing jobs and large format photo printing.

How much does large format printing cost?

The price depends on the individual project, so we can’t give an accurate figure in this article! The size, finish and quantity will all have an impact on the final price.

If you have a project that you’d like to discuss, we can give you a ballpark figure to help with budgets.

Large format printing tips

To help you get started with your print project, we have put together our top large format printing tips to help you get the results you need. 

  • Use suitable design software. Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop are ideal. 
  • The minimum dpi for large format printing is 300dpi.
  • Photos must be high resolution (300dpi+) and ideally in RAW format. Check your camera settings or speak to a photographer before you get started.
  • Other graphics should be in vector (.eps) format because these can be scaled up better than PNGs or JPGs.
  • Use PDF or TIFF file formats for the final artwork. These are less likely to suffer compression or loss of detail.
  • Make sure your colour profiles are set to CMYK (for printing) rather than RGB (for viewing on a screen). 
  • Use Pantone colour references to ensure that the final article is completely on brand. 
  • Make sure your artwork is legible from a distance. Check that your fonts are suitable and that each of the elements have space to breathe. Less is more for large-format graphics. Unsure? Try printing out a scaled-down version on your office printer and then stepping back to view it. 
  • Include a bleed. If you want to be sure your graphics print from edge-to-edge, without a white border, make sure the images bleed off the edge.
  • Speak to your printer. Large format printing companies can give advice and repro check your artwork to ensure that you get the best results before going to print.

Looking for a large format printing company?

Get in touch today. Our large-format printer is capable of producing wide format graphics on a range of substrates.