July 26, 2019

The Big World of Large Format Printing

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What do you do when your message just won’t fit on a regular sheet of paper, or you want to make sure that your marketing doesn’t get missed? It’s time to go BIG with large format print products! This category of larger-than-life print materials is the perfect solution to many businesses’ marketing needs.


What is large format printing?

Also known as wide format, large format printing refers to any style of printing wider than what can be produced on a standard printer (which usually tops out at a width of 13 inches). Printing large format requires bulky, complex machines, so it’s necessary to find a commercial printer who specializes in this service. But once you do, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can create!

Large format printing covers these standard product categories (plus many more):

  • Banners
  • Blueprints
  • Signs
  • Posters
  • Tradeshow displays


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In short, large format printing is appropriate for any materials that need to stand out, grab attention, and be seen from afar. 

When designing for large format, keep in mind that these materials should be easily readable at a quick glance. Since most large format will be viewed from a distance, there shouldn’t be too much text to read. Use imagery or bold, high-contrast typography to catch your audience’s eye, then keep your copy short and to the point.


Types of large format materials

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This style of printing can accommodate most sizes and shapes, as well as many different materials (known as substrates). Posters can be printed on large sheets of paper and then laminated or mounted on foam core for durability. Banners, often intended for both indoor or outdoor use, can be printed on weather-resistant materials such as vinyl, mesh, or fabric (hanging hardware, like grommets or retractable stands, usually come included with the price of a banner). Large format designs can even be printed on tear- and water-resistant plastic substrates for extended outdoor use, oversized adhesive materials, and heavy-duty aluminum for permanent, rigid signage.

[Learn more about printing signs and banners at PostNet.]


The best way to choose the right substrate for your print job is to consult with your printer and determine what your priorities are. If you want your piece to look good both up close and from a distance, a material like mesh may not be the right choice because it can produce a duller result that won’t show detail well up close. But if you need something highly weather resistant to hang from the side of a building or on fencing, mesh is ideal for its wind- and water-resistant properties.

Printing prices can also vary greatly depending on the substrate you choose, so be sure to discuss with your printer whether it’s necessary to spring for higher-cost materials for your large format piece.

Are you ready to scale up your marketing materials, create event signage that stands out, or go all-out with your next tradeshow display? Stop by PostNet to consult with our large format print experts and get started!


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