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What You Need to Know About Large Format Printing

You may have spent hours online creating custom wallpaper for an accent wall, but have you considered how that wallpaper was created? How about the large banner you had printed for an event? These projects wouldn’t be possible without large format printing techniques.

Large format printing is defined as printing on materials anywhere from about two to 15 feet in size. We sat down with Infomax’s John McGill, solutions engineer, to hear about some of the trends in the large format printing industry.

Customization

Banners and signs have traditionally been popular large format printing projects. They’ve long been used for everything from business advertising to personal display pieces. However, consumers are wanting more customization than ever. Customers can design their own wallpaper through online programs, which are then printed on a large format system. Artwork is also popular with sticky-sided vinyl portraits and pictures printed on canvas on the rise. The desire for more custom jobs means printers must be more versatile, transitioning from one job to the next.

Material

Growing in popularity is printed window perforated film. The medium is being used more and more as a creative means for advertising or informative signs. Floor graphics — printed on material with one adhesive side — are increasingly being used in the same way.  Currently, printing on fabrics is a bit of a fad. However, John warned that the material can often be finnicky.

Ink

Ultraviolet ink will soon reign supreme in the large format printing industry. Previously, eco-solvent inks were used, which could be messy and required a certain amount of time for the ink to cure — or outgas — before the printed material could safely be handled without smudging. Most recently, latex inks were used. However, the advent of UV ink is saving printers time and money. When a printer uses this type of ink, a UV light passes over the just-printed section, instantly drying the surface. Additionally, about 35 to 50 percent less UV ink is needed to cover a printing job than is required for eco-solvent or latex ink.

Efficient equipment

Many companies that provide large format printing are working with Infomax to secure technologically advanced systems for the best value, such as the Canon-brand Colorado printer. Clients know this machine is built with quality and value in mind. It also saves printers time with its automated creep and crawl correction. Unlike other printers that could set the project lopsided, newer large format printers, such as the Colorado, will automatically correct the material if it starts to go out of alignment.

Large Format Can Mean Big Benefits

Printed materials remain a key part of successful marketing campaigns, no matter the industry. Companies that want to maximize their marketing campaign’s return-on-investment while keeping costs in line often find that a large format printer is the answer. In addition to signage and banners, these printers are capable of printing on wood, tile, rigid plastic, and many other surfaces. When you couple this flexibility with the various coatings and waterproof treatments that are available, the options for effective marketing materials are virtually endless. Read more

Choosing the Right Large-Format Substrate

The type of substrate (material that can be directly printed on) you choose for a large-format print job can go a long way. Most importantly, it can affect the quality and the cost of the printing process. There are a lot of substrate options to choose from, with new materials being introduced all the time. Let’s take a look at some of the things that will factor into your substrate decision, along with some of the more popular types that are commonly used.

Application and Durability
Application should be the first consideration in choosing a substrate. It’s essential to understand the potential surrounding environment of the final product—will this material be used indoors or outdoors. Even if the material ends up indoors, there may still be high exposure to sunlight. The material may also need to be water resistant, especially if it’s placed in a kitchen or a bathroom. There is a wide array of substrate options that can cater to many different environmental elements, such as sunlight, water exposure, extreme heat, and frigid temperatures.

The durability of a substrate relates to the long term life of a product. For example, if you are working on a “floor graphic application,” you will need a substrate that can handle the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic. Or, if you are designing a trade show graphic that will be transported all over the country, you will need a sturdy type of substrate that is durable enough to stand up to a good deal of handling.

Material cost and other considerations
The cost of substrate materials depends on the project, as the size and volume of materials needed will have a major influence on the final cost. There are many varying factors that come into play; however, with so many substrate options available, businesses are most often able to land on a choice that best fits the projected budget.

Common substrate materials
Here’s a quick look at some of the substrate options that are commonly utilized today:

Paper: the most common type of substrate that varies in color, weight, and texture. It’s a great low-cost solution for nearly any need.
Aluminum: ideal for outdoor signage that requires photo quality printing. It’s available in a wide range of colors and offers superior rigidity.
Vinyl: often sold by the roll, this is a great choice for banner or wallpaper applications. It can easily be cut into shapes, and it can also support full color images.
Styrene: this is a rigid, low-cost plastic material that is excellent for indoor signage.
Canvas: this is ideal for high resolution printing needs, particularly, photographic prints.

For more information on the many different substrate options that are available for your large-format print jobs, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Are You Getting The Most Out of Your Large Format Printer?

If you’ve brought a large format printer into your fleet, you’ve enlisted the help of an incredible tool. You now have infinite opportunities at your fingertips, with incredible results that you can leverage for both your business and your customers. With a little imagination, your large format printer can provide an even greater return on investment (ROI) than you imagined. Ask yourself the following questions to learn if you’re getting the most out of your large format printer.

Are indoor large format opportunities maximized? You’re probably printing posters and signs, but have you considered other options? Your large format printer can create dramatic wall graphics or even eye-catching floor graphics, not to mention window clings to reach passersby.

Do you create large format outdoor elements? A large format printer is the perfect partner for getting your message out to the world. Outside, that is! Large-scale signage and flags are powerful attention-getters, and your community presence will be felt when you create banners for sponsorships and community events.

What specialty applications have you explored? From displays to banners to pop-ups, trade shows are the perfect place to let your large format capabilities shine. You can even create product packaging for trade show swag or everyday items on your large format printer. Blueprints and maps are also a good fit, as are vehicle wraps—a perfect tool for getting seen around town.

Is color working for you? Color drives emotion and connection, so be sure you’re using attention-getting color schemes that reinforce your brand. UV-resistant ink can help reduce fading for outdoor applications.

Have you optimized large format media usage? While glossy and matte paper give you some options, you can print on so much more than paper! Vinyl, fabrics, wall coverings, back-lit displays, and in some cases glass and acrylic are media at your fingertips when you have a large format device. Expand your everyday prints by switching up the media for a greater reach.

Your large format printer is a powerful and versatile tool, and you’ve made an investment by bringing the device and its capabilities in-house. Be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck by taking advantage of all of your printer’s capabilities. Contact Infomax to learn more about making large format work for you.

Dream Big with Large Format Printing

Large format printers are getting smaller and easier to use every day. Those leaps in print technology are enabling businesses to bring large format printing in-house, where machines can quickly pay for themselves. With improved simplicity, size, and precision, it’s worth considering the possibilities that large format printing can open for your company.  After all, a blank wall is a missed opportunity!

By combining maximum-impact and in-house access, large format printing will open doors and create infinite possibilities for your company. A little imagination will transform your space.

Here are some ideas for large-format pieces that will extend the reach of your business and your brand.

Storefront billboards
Your windows are priceless real estate. With large format printing, you can print posters or clings and use that space to promote current opportunities and attract the attention of potential clients.

Storytelling landscapes
Consider a gorgeous wall mural to brighten your waiting room, or print posters to promote add-ons that may interest clients or prospects. Wall posters are perfect for promotions and educational content.

Mobile brand ambassadors
If your company has a vehicle, that automobile is must-use promotional space. Create a stunning vehicle wrap and print it on your own large format printer.

Community connection builders
Your community wants to get to know you, so show your company’s face wherever you engage. Is a staff team walking in a 5k for charity? Do you sponsor a children’s football team? Shout out your community spirit with a bold, bright banner.

When it comes to large format printing, these few ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Large format printing is also perfect for maps and schematics, trade show displays, and signage for events or facilities. Large format printing technology provides you unparalleled flexibility and room to dream big.

Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn more about how large format printing can boost your marketing strategy.

Think Big: Boost Quality & Productivity with Large Format

Many businesses think that production printing equipment is only for very large organizations or for companies that need to print massive quantities of professional documents regularly. But in fact, many smaller and medium-sized businesses could also benefit from introducing production-level equipment in-house.

Here are four key benefits of in-house production over outsourcing larger projects.

Print more efficiently: Would your business benefit from being able to print up to 250 pages per minute whenever you want? If your business thrives on printing high-volume pieces, consider removing the middle man. Instead, make the right machine for your business available anytime. Doing so will efficiently produce high-quality products at professional speeds, getting the job done faster than if you outsource it to a third party.

Control the quality of your outputs: Bringing the right equipment in-house gives you control of your outputs, ensuring that your documents look exactly the way you intend them to. Gone are the days of getting an entire job back that’s way too dark or seems a bit off-center. When you are in charge of the printing job, you can ensure consistent, high-quality products every time. And you don’t need to be a printing expert to master production-level equipment. At Infomax, we partner with the industry’s best manufacturers to ensure your devices are easy to use and maintain.

Experience flexible printing times: Production printing eliminates the need to outsource large-volume printing to vendors, providing you the convenience of dictating each job’s start and stop times. Keeping large jobs in-house means that you no longer have to consider where your job fits into your local print shop’s schedule when you’re on a deadline or waiting three days for a proof before the job even begins. In-house printing offers quick turnaround time—regardless of the size of the job—saving you time and money.

Reduce cost: Outsourcing costs can add up when factoring in job aspects like inflated price per page, exorbitant color costs, logo inclusion fees, job-size fees, and even product delivery charges. In-house production printing reduces waste and ensures quality output when you are tasked with high-volume print jobs.

Are you considering including production printing equipment to your business? Contact Infomax today to learn more about the best options for your business.