How to design for large & grand format printing

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Large Format Printing refers to print materials that are too large to be printed on the most readily available sizes of commercial printing presses. Sometimes called wide-format printing or grand-format printing, large format printing requires the use of specialty production equipment that can accommodate bigger-than-normal print dimensions. These maximum print sizes will vary from printer to printer, but can include anything from:

  • Banners
  • Wall murals
  • Museum graphics
  • Corporate décor
  • Much more

Designing for large and grand

While the possibilities for print are endless with large and grand resources, knowledge of how to design for large format printing is important. Designing for large- and grand-format takes a different style and approach, so here are a few basics on how to set up and design large files:

Use vector images

Vector images are images that can retain their layout and basic components as they are increased in scale. These files have a series of points, and as the file increases or decreases in scale, those points remain in the same. You can fill a vector file with color, which again, as the file is scaled, will not change. If you are using photographs or graphics, you must make sure they are at least 300dpi or higher.

Choose fonts wisely

Font selection and sizing is also key to the success in the design process. If you want your viewers to be able to read the copy, the fonts have to be large enough to read. Keep in mind that certain color combinations might be difficult to read or difficult for the eye to see clearly. In addition, you should consider where the item is going to be located, as different lightings can make a difference. Avoid script-type fonts, unless they are going to be quite large, and stay with bold and sans-serif fonts.

Consider viewing distance

One of the most critical aspects of your large and grand format design is going to be viewing distance. It helps the large-format designer to be aware of the human visual system. Consider lighting, height and any other factor of the view distance and location that could affect how viewers will see your design.

Less is more

Remember that banners and many large format applications need to get the message across quickly and efficiently. In many cases, the viewer has seconds to see the message and understand it. In addition to font selection and size, content plays a critical role as well. Use few words and make sure the image and the copy reinforce each other.

Looking for some large and grand format print inspiration for your business? Check out the images below:

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