What is large format printing?

Pranil Chandra August 16, 2023

What is Large Format Printing? 

Our customers know how much NEXT loves working on large-format printing projects, including fabric wall displays.

With a high-quality finish, optimum sustainability and the opportunity to go big and bold creatively, what’s not to love? 

Today’s article looks closely at our leading (and most-requested) print service, large-format printing: what it is, and why marketers, events teams and visual merchandisers love to go large as much as we do! 

What is large-format printing? 

Just as it sounds, large-format printing is capable of handling print requests considered above the standard size. Traditionally, print machinery was manufactured to handle paper sizes like A4 and in small quantities, but today’s machines – built much larger in comparison – can manage prints up to several feet long on repeat runs. Indeed, to be classed as ‘large’, a print must exceed 18 inches in width or height. That’s substantially larger than A4! 

Large-format print machinery uses laser technology to print the design onto the chosen material, be it paper, fabric, vinyl or wood. It prints quickly and accurately, creating beautiful and vibrant designs in full colour. 

It might be twenty-odd years old, but large-format printing is still considered ‘new’ in our sector. Yet since the first-ever large format print run in the early 1990s, it’s been ramping rapidly, now the preferred process for many printers and their SMB or corporate customers looking to up-size their printed collateral and make a jaw-dropping statement or two! 

Why choose large-format printing? 

There are SO many reasons to choose this printing method, and it’s not only the size of your print that benefits. Here’s what else you can expect when you choose large-format printing for your next print project. 

Large-format printing is big on size AND quality 

Once upon a time, blowing up an image in size impacted the picture quality – but not anymore. Large printing technology can increase an image size with zero distortion, presenting any pictures and words used in your design with clarity and in full colour.  

Large-format printing is cost efficient 

With the ability to produce large-scale prints to a high quality and quickly, large-format printing is cost effective upfront and over time, with your printed piece set to last longer thanks to its incredible durability.  

Large-format printing is better for the environment 

Large-format digital printing uses a different process to conventional methods, which take the print from a metal plate. Having to repeatedly change a plate to accommodate new designs – even for just the tiniest of tweaks to a word – means massive amounts of waste resulting from the printing process. They require less energy to run than older printing presses too – another win for the environment.  

Large-format printing loves any material 

When it comes to large-format printing, don’t think you need to limit yourself to paper. All kinds of materials can handle digital printing – so long as they can fit through the printer!  

Vinyl, cloth, glass, foam board, plastic, and metal: These materials all love digital printing. 

One of our favourites is the highly durable and eco-friendly paper base product, ReBoard.  

You can learn more about the magic of ReBoard for large format printing here! 

Best uses for large-format printing 

As we’ve seen, large-format printing is nicely versatile with the ability to produce high-quality coloured prints to all manner of materials without costing – or damaging – the earth. 

And when you have something at your disposal that ticks so many boxes, things become incredibly exciting for marketers, events display designers and visuals teams.  

It seems the sky’s the limit with large-format printing – from billboards to bus banners! If you’re still not sure how you might use large-format printing, here are some ideas: 

Want to see something really creative using large-format digital printing? Read about the interactive media and marketing materials produced by NEXT and Havas Blvd for the Coca Cola-sponsored FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy Tour! 

Are large format printing and wide format printing the same thing? 

We are often asked what is wide-format printing and if it is the same as large format printing. They’re not quite one and the same thing, although they do perform a similar task – and it’s all about the size.  

Where large format printing includes any prints up to 60 inches, wide format printing goes beyond this to cover prints ranging from 60 inches to 100 inches. Think huge event banners or graphics designed to cover an entire wall.  

Does this mean 100 inches is the limit for large-format printing? There is potential nowadays to print even bigger pieces again using grand format printing, capable of producing billboards and scaffolding wraps over 100 inches in size.  

Ready to go large with your next creative printing project? Talk to the experts – NEXT – the leaders in large format digital printing in Australia. There is nothing we cannot print! 

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