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How to Get the Most out of Large Format Printing

Wide Format Printing Tips

Large-format graphics are essential for promoting your brand, standing out at a tradeshow or event, advertising a sale or grand opening, and so much more. They're what catches the eye of your target audience and helps build strong brand awareness and increase sales.

The key to success in large-format printing lies in the balance between design, preparation, and execution, all of which need a tailored approach for the larger scale.

Whether you're familiar with large-format printing or this is your first time bringing a large-scale project to life, the following tips will help you get the most out of your project.

What is Large Format Printing?

Large-format printing—also known as "wide-format printing"—is the process of printing large-scale graphics on paper or other materials such as acrylic, vinyl, corrugated plastic, aluminum, and more.

Some examples of large-format graphics include banners, yard signs, posters, outdoor signage, window decals, wall graphics, and other large-scale advertisements or business signage.

Tips for Getting the Most out of Large Format Printing

Identify Your Goals & Target Audience

Start by outlining the purpose and goals of your wide-format project. Are you looking to add branding to your building, build brand awareness, or promote a sale? Are you looking for graphics for an event you are attending? Knowing your goals will help you choose the best wide-format product and materials and begin the design process on a solid note.

Wide Format Printing

You also want to consider your target audience. Sometimes, wide-format graphics just include a logo, but other times, they include images, copy, graphics, and a call to action. You need to make sure each design element resonates with and attracts your target audience.

Choose the Right Large Format Product

Large-format graphics come in many different sizes, shapes, and materials, and it's important to choose the right product and configuration that fits your brand and message.

For example, suppose your goal is to add some signage about your company's history and mission to your corporate office building. In that case, an acrylic sign is a sleek, professional option. A large vinyl banner, yard signs, posters, or removable window and wall graphics are ideal for promoting a big sale or grand opening. Logo signage for representing your brand may include vehicle graphics, aluminum wall signs, wall and window decals, outdoor business signs, or floor graphics. In addition, if your company is attending an event, tablecloths, retractable banners, and trade show displays are perfect materials for promoting your brand.

Choose the Right Color Palette

Wide Format Printing Services and Examples

When selecting your color palette, make sure it aligns with your goals, resonates with your target audience, and aligns with your brand colors.

Consider how your audience will perceive the colors as well. For example, colors that are too neutral or need to have contrast may be hard to read and overlooked. Too bold of a color palette may be overstimulating, and too many colors could appear messy and unprofessional.

In addition, when designing your wide-format graphics, ensure you use CMYK color mode rather than RGB. Your printer will need to convert your RGB files to CMYK, and often, the result will be slightly different than that of a project created originally in CMYK.

Design Your Large Format Graphics with Balance in Mind

When designing your wide-format graphic, you want to create balance. Pay close attention to the placement and flow of your images, text, and other design elements. You want the placement and flow to have harmony. You also want to ensure the overall design has enough contrast so that it's eye-catching and easy to read. This means you need to place dark text and design elements on light backgrounds and light text and design elements on dark backgrounds.

Ask your printer for a design template to help with the layout of your wide-format design and ensure your file is set up perfectly for printing.

Large Format Printing Services

Use The Right File Formats

For photographed images you'd like to use within your wide-format design, you need to ensure they are 300 dpi in resolution and never scaled up more than 20% to ensure your images are printed crisply at a large scale. Vectors are the preferred format for other design elements, such as illustrations, patterns, and other graphics. This is because vector images can scale easily without pixelation, making for a clean and professional design.

For the design software, it's recommended and appreciated by wide-format printers to create your wide-format design in software like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign rather than Photoshop. The reason for this is that Photoshop is based on pixels, while Illustrator and InDesign allow you to save and export your work as a vector file, including as a PDF, .EPS, or. Ai, ensuring that your design is easily scalable and prints with the highest quality.

Remember Perspective is Everything

Considering perspective is essential, especially for large-scale prints. Wide-format graphics are often viewed at varying distances, and they need to be easy to read and understandable for people who may be viewing them from a distance or close-up.

Wide Format Graphic Example

In addition, graphics that may be displayed above people's heads or below their feet will appear differently. Consider the placement of your images and text so that the flow of your design elements is easy to follow based on where your graphic will be displayed.

Choose the Right Large Format Printer

The best way to ensure that your large-format project turns out well is to send your graphics to a professional printer that offers large-format printing services. When looking for a printer, there are a few things you need to consider when choosing the best printer for your goals, including:

  • If you're in a time crunch, look for a printer who promises and has a proven track record for quick turnarounds.
  • If you need additional materials such as promotional items, catalogs, business cards, or other printed materials, look for a printer that offers everything so you can ensure consistent quality and save on shipping.
  • Look for a large-format printing services provider who will work with you every step to ensure you choose the right size, material, and finishes for your wide-format project.
  • In addition, make sure to look for a printer that offers various materials and high-quality printing at a great price to ensure your project meets your goals and budget.

If you're interested in bringing your large-format ideas to life with quality and affordability in mind, visit our wide-format printing services page to explore your options and get a quote today. Our large-format capabilities offer all of the above and more, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

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