Digital Wide Format Printing
Just like other areas of your life, technology is changing rapidly. These advancements are also driving new capabilities in the printing and fulfillment industries. One of the key innovations is 100% variable printing in wide format products
Wide format printing has been around in its traditional format for many years. The technology was used to create banners, signage, window graphics, vehicle wraps, and trade show displays. The quality of printing has improved considerably and has allowed for high quality graphics and photographs at almost any size. Wide format printing now allows for much more than just the typical banner printing.
Another major improvement in wide format is the ability to utilize a wide range of materials and substrates. Historical products typically included paper (posters) or vinyl (banners), which can still be used with today’s equipment. That equipment used rolls of material to print in a traditional format. That limited us to longer and narrower products. The new equipment now utilizes flat-bed technology and can print from 24” to 16’ in width.
we can utilize glass, fabric, plastic, corrugated, styrene, gator board, foam, wood, and metallic materials
Depending on the treatment of the product, we can utilize glass, fabric, plastic, corrugated, styrene, gator board, foam, wood, and metallic materials. These different substrates can now support indoor and outdoor applications that will stand up to any condition. This also allows us to understand the duration and installation of the product to ensure we have the best possible products available.
The end-to-end production process takes multiple steps to identify the right print and substrates. One of the biggest factors is the design/creative that is going to be printed. Some printers are better than others at matching color due to difference in inks and substrates. Another area of consideration is the image resolutions and the file size requirements.
Typical printing resolution is 300 DPI (dots per image), which isn’t appropriate for wide format printing. The larger the image that needs to be produced, the higher the DPI needs to be to keep the image clean and true to the original colors. This requirement has the biggest impact on the final product quality.