Large, Wide or Small Format Print: Which is Right For You?
Large, Wide or Small Format Print: Which is Right For You?

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December 8, 2022

While you might view different sizes of printed materials on a daily basis, you might not know the difference between the various types of printing. The differences between large format printing, wide format printing, and other printing sizes can be seen on billboards, flyers, yard signs, business signage, and other ads you pass each week. What is large format, wide format, and small format printing and how do they differ from each other? We’ll answer these questions and also tell you how to prepare images for large format printing so you know where to begin on your next print project.

What Counts As Large Format Printing?

There are many printing options available to you with a large format machine. For example, billboards, vehicle wraps, building wraps, trade show displays, and floor graphics are all possible using large format printing. Other than the size of the printed materials, large format printing differs from regular printing in two ways.  First, the printer is not just a giant printer. Depending on the project, a large format printing company will use a flatbed printer or a roll-to-roll printer. And second large format printers can print on almost any substrate including, vinyl, glass, wood and more. The type of large format printer that is needed for the project depends on the substrate being used. Some common examples of large format print projects include:

  • Retail Store Displays
  • Banners
  • Promotional Signs
  • Trade Show Displays
  • Murals
  • Backdrops

Whether you need banner stands, trade show displays, or other printed materials, large format printing gets you noticed and makes a lasting impression.

How is Wide Format Printing Different from Large Format

Wide format printing is a type of large format printing. Large format printing is a general term for prints that are larger in size than those that can be handled by a normal commercial printer. Wide format printing usually refers to the specific size of the print and these printers normally have a width capacity between 18” and 100″. Examples of wide format printing include:

  • Building and Window Graphics
  • Signs
  • POS Displays

It is important to invest in a good printer that can produce large images when printing wide format pieces. 

Small Format Printing vs Large Format Printing

Small format printing is when images are printed directly to multiple small parts during a single print cycle. This type of printing is for print jobs of 13 x 19 inches (or smaller). In addition, many small format products are printed on industrial printers using high quality inks to produce large print quantities in a short period of time.  Examples of small format printing include:

  • Door Hangers
  • Product Brochures
  • Business Calendars and Cards

Whether you want to save on printing costs, produce a smaller run, take advantage of finishing options, or personalize the items with variable data printing, small format printing might be the solution for your next printing project. Even though there are differences between large, wide, and small format printing—the end product helps you choose the right printing option. NextPage is a printer you can trust to reproduce images of any size at any quantity you desire.

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