Large vs. Small Format Printing

Large format printing, also known as wide format printing, refers to large printing projects that needs professional printing equipment and is any print with a width between 18” and 100” for such printing projects including but not limited to posters, large maps or charts, store displays, trade show wall panels, blueprints, banners.

Apart from size, large format printing is different from standard printing in a few other ways. The equipment to make large format printings are a roll-to-roll or a flatbed printer. Also, the variety of materials that you can use is different. Large format printers can print on almost anything—vinyl, canvas, glass, wood, and aluminum just to name a few. Depending on the material, one can use a roll-to-roll printer with flexible materials like vinyl, and a flatbed printer for rigid materials like glass and wood. It is also good to mention that there is the availability of UV Printing process which makes your design more durable on your sign. All in all, the most common types of large format printing are Screen Printing  which involves transferring ink through a screen works well with fabrics, Offset Printing in which ink is transferred from one surface to another, usually through a series of rollers and digital printers where Ink is printed through heads and the printing machine feeds material through the printer as the print heads release ink.

Small format printing includes print jobs as small as 13 x 19 inches or even smaller which are often used for smaller marketing material like business cards, door hangers, calendars, brochures, flyers and postcards. you can easily inkjet or laserjet print lots of different stuffs from photographs to pamphlets or any other thing depending on the type of paper you buy. However, large commercial print industry are able to produce large quantities in a very short period of time with high quality inks using industrial printers.

Like large format printing, there are several different types of small format printers. But due to its nature of cost effectiveness, usually the orders for small format products like business cards or postcards are in large quantities so they are professionally printed onto larger sheets and then cut down to size after printing and drying. This process is usually done using offset printing, but it is possible to be fulfilled with digital printing as well.  when purchasing higher quantities of the same print, you usually can get good discounts from the seller.

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