Traditionally this is anything printed bigger than a standard desktop printer can produce – anything over A3, and, usually, larger than A2 in size. It could be anything from a poster to a building wrap.
Technically large format or 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 printers. Large format print has come a long way, and a big way, since the invention of inkjet technology in the 1950s, and the giant leaps made in the field in the 1990s.
As we said, while the starting point of reference is anything beyond a desktop printer, we would also say that the notion of large format printing has evolved over the years and now consists of graphics of all shapes and sizes, sometimes smaller than A2. This is why we say we produce display graphics – it’s more of a catch-all for the services we offer. A few examples are –
Wall graphics bring spaces to life and can create a great impact – whether it’s a mural for your office, graphics for a retail space, imagery to enhance a restaurant environment, digital wallpaper for home, or decoration for an event or exhibition. We can produce permanent, temporary and short-term graphics in a number of substrates for long-term durability or quick damage-free removal, no matter what your brief. For flat graphics, there are many mediums including cut vinyl decals, printed self-adhesive vinyl in matte, gloss and scratch-proof finishes, as well as textured materials like wallpapers.
Print your design to self-adhesive material, solid or clear, that can then be applied to a surface such as a window or a wall. When producing window graphics, this full-colour print process allows us to either block out the entire window or, if the design only covers a portion of the glass, we print using an optically clear film so you can see directly through it beyond the area of your creative. Printing a layer of white ink first gives us the ability to produce solid shapes onto a clear film. Stickers can be printed and then cut to any shape as we do when producing vinyl decals.
Vinyl Decals, which are simply when letters and shapes are cut from pre-coloured adhesive vinyl. It’s much like using sheets of coloured paper, except that it comes on a roll. Each colour is produced as an individual element and pieced together on site. Vinyl decals give the brilliance of flat colour and allow us the option of golds, silvers, metallics, fluorescents and frosted.
Posters are great! They always will be. They’re also everywhere – retail brands use them in-store for showcasing products, they’re on the underground, pasted up in the street, the hang on walls in homes, companies use them in offices to share information with staff or brand values.
Choose any standard A size or specify your exact requirements and we can print any number of posters for you, we can start with just 1 if you like. Available in matte, satin and gloss stocks, we can also print directly to, or mount your designs, to card or board – all of varying thicknesses.
If you’re thinking big, why not think really big. We can print a banner in a single sheet up to 5 x 50m in size. If you can’t lift that in one piece, (and not many people can) then we can print your superwide graphics in multiple sections before installing them together on site. We’ll still print in wide format, just in manageable pieces which means there is potentially no limit to the size of the graphic we can produce.
Direct to media printing, or DTM, is when we print directly to the surface of a substrate. Apart from the usual suspects of foamex (PVC board), acrylic, and cardboard, we’ve printed on a variety of wood including MDF, metal including aluminium, plastic and more. If it fits under the 50mm print heads, in theory, we can print onto it – we welcome all ideas, no matter how unusual sounding. Also, using white ink allows us to print solid colours onto non-white substrates and clear films and boards.
Hoardings are structures that surround or offer a barrier around another structure. They’re often used during refurbishment work circulating buildings or hiding areas within a store that is being upgraded. So hoardings can be both inside or outside and are suited to self-adhesive vinyl or direct-to-media printed di-bond or foamex panels. We can also add all the finishing touches like headers and skirting plus screw caps, which all help to make your hoarding as beautiful and impactful as it should be.
Modular stands are often an easy and cost-effective way to let yourself known and your message out into the world. Options range from roll up stands, popup walls, counters, and even A-boards, flags poles and portable literature holders.
They’re popularly used at exhibitions, as well as other areas where portable or temporary displayed information is needed. This could be at shopping centres, events, reception spaces, and some retail environments.
Floor graphics are solutions to apply to any flooring surface you may want to cover including non-slip, easy to install linos for events or high adhesive, long-lasting graphics for retail environments. You can use floor graphics for a wide variety of purposes including arrows to guide people to a particular area, as a floor poster-style graphic for an event or a new product, or simply to add to the look and feel of your brand or organisation, whether that is fun-loving, corporate or inspirational (or a combination, of course).
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 eco and sustainable print requests. These materials include, but are not limited to – self-adhesive vinyl, wallpapers, matte, satin and gloss papers, recyclable plastic foamex boards, foam board and card, eco-friendly fluted boards for displays and boxes, Dibond for hoardings, clear static window clings, floor stickers with anti-slip seals, and many coloured vinyls for decal production.
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 all aspects of large format print & display graphics, operating out of London – one of the many hubs for 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 print is 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.
If you have any questions about media or substrates, consultation on how an idea might best be produced, or you would like a quote on a job, just send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or give The Graphical Tree a call on 020 7580 4405.
Think big in size, and big in possibility.