The technology boom of the last few decades has been featured prominently with the spread of personal computers, the explosion of the Internet, and more recently smartphones and tablets. In this mix, printing has become widely available to most Vancouver homes and offices, as advances in printing technology make this ever cheaper for everyone to do. However, these printers are often small format, handling standard 8.5×11-inch paper and smaller sizes of prints. So what do you do when you need larger format printing, and just what is large format printing?
Large Format Printing Is Used For Non Standard Size Prints
The first consideration in defining large format printing is the size of the prints. Unfortunately, there is no set size or sizes defined as large format. Many Vancouver print shops consider anything larger than 11×17 as large format, as corporate printers and copiers can often handle 11×17 paper. Most home or small office printers can’t though, so sometimes the 11×14 and 11×17 sizes are called large format.
The term large format printing is applied much more consistently for posters and banner sizes. These typically start at 16×20, 18×24, 20×30, 24×36 and 36×38. Some of these are also blueprint sizes too.
Large format printers usually print either in just black and white or in color. Black and white oversize prints are used for the aforementioned blueprints, but can also be used to make affordable copies of posters or banners, such as an indoor banner for a party or a yard sale sign to hang at an intersection.
Large Format Printing Can Be Used For Many Different Types Of Projects
Color printers can be used for a wider variety of options. These are used by a print shop in Vancouver to make color posters, large photographs like the ones used at funerals or luncheons, outdoor banners, and even basic solid signs, such as roadside signage or even wall signage to be placed indoors.
The kinds of materials that large format printing can use are varied. Standard paper options exist, of course, and are useful in most indoor circumstances. However, glossy paper exists in poster sizes. This is especially useful for color prints involving pictures or prints that are just oversized photos. Matte paper is sometimes a better choice though for prints that will be inside frames as too much reflectivity can dilute an image.
Paper prints can be used as they are, but there are finishing options. Laminating and foam core mounting are two common finishes applied. Laminating a poster means it has protection from liquids, dirt, and scratches. A laminated poster can also be rolled up for easy and safe transport and storage.
Foam core mounting gives a poster or print a rigid surface so it stands up straight. These can be placed on easels for a large display, although smaller foam core mounts can also have their own easels attached to stand in place on top of a table or counter. Laminated posters can still be foam core mounted although they can’t be rolled up.
Weather-proof banner material with UV-resistant inks is great for temporary outdoor signage that only needs to last a few months. For something sturdier, PVC or aluminum materials are better options that last longer.
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities in printing when you need something larger than a letter-sized piece of paper. The next time you have a project that needs a large format printing solution, you should know your options.