What is large format print?

13/11/2020
by Simon McClelland Morris
Direct to media, Guides, Large format, Office graphics, Print, Retail, Vinyl printing, Wall graphics

You want to print something but it's too big to produce in your office or home. You've heard the term 'large format, or wide format print(ing)', but what is it?

The short answer –
Traditionally this is anything printed larger than a standard desktop printer can produce – so anything over A3.

The full-bodied answer with examples –
Large format is usually considered anything, well, large. Although traditionally this would be anything over what a desktop printer could produce for you, so A2 and upwards, it could mean anything from a poster to a building wrap. Here are a few examples –

Posters
Wall graphics
Banners
Trade show graphics
Murals
Exhibition stands
Events signage
Hoardings

Technically large/wide format printers are generally thought to be those with a roll capacity between 18" and 100" in width. Printers with capacities over 100" wide are considered super-wide or grand format.

But we also need to consider...

While the starting point of reference is anything beyond the desktop printer, we would also say that large format has evolved over the years to not just encapsulate and include anything over A3, but also consists of graphics of all shapes and sizes. A few examples here might be –

Floor graphics
Window stickers
Cut vinyl decals
Direct-to-media printing (think tiles, metals, wood etc.)
Bespoke box printing
Vehicle wraps
Stickers for props and promotionals
Cut to shape
Strut cards
VM display graphics

So we find, on any given day, our workload always consists of a variety of jobs with –

a variety of sizes
a variety of quantities
a variety of substrates
a variety of end uses
in a variety of locations
including sustainable print requests and questions

Large format is an expanding market, in more ways than one - not so much in the physical size of a print - but in the scope of what it now covers as a term. It's why we're specialists in large format print & display graphics, operating out of London - one of the many hubs of creativity and ideas around the world.

This scope of work keeps us on our toes and keeps us inspired. Working on jobs of all shapes and sizes continually expands our thought process of what we are as a company, and what we can offer. Large format is and can be, so much more than an A2 print to paper. It's a varied, exciting brief that can involve a whole plethora of media and mediums.

Think big in size, and big in possibilities, always.