If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably had the need on occasion to print a job on a medium bigger than a standard-sized 8 ½ x 11-inch sheet of paper. Wide-format printers can handle those needs, as these versatile devices can produce large items such as posters, signs, banners, and much more. While laser and inkjet printers are the standards for home users and office paperwork, wide format printers are the best option when you want to print something bigger than a standard device can handle.
In this month’s blog post, we’ll explain how the versatility provided by wide-format printers provides value for all types of businesses by removing size constraints from their print jobs.

Wide Format 101

Unlike desktop printers and high-speed copiers that typically only print on paper as large as 11 x 17 inches, wide format printers can handle much larger mediums. In general, these devices can print on material from 17 inches to over 100 inches wide. Wide-format printers come in three varieties: roll-to-roll, flat-bed, or hybrid, the latter being a combination of the former two technologies. Roll-to-roll printers utilize rolls of flexible media that are fed through the device and printed on. Flat-bed devices print directly onto rigid materials loaded into the device. Hybrid printers include both technologies, enabling users to print onto both flexible and rigid substrates. Roll-to-roll printers offer more versatility in the media it can print on, while flat-bed devices are generally faster at completing jobs. Hybrid printers offer you the best of both worlds.

In addition to versatility in the size of the materials you can produce, wide format printers also offer you tremendous flexibility in the materials they allow you to print on. These devices can print on a wide variety of substrates, including paper, canvas, vinyl, textiles, wood, and PCV.

A Plethora of Possibilities When It Comes to Printing

You would be amazed by what you can create with a wide format printer. Businesses commonly utilize them to produce promotional materials such as posters, point of purchase displays, trade show graphics, labels, and outdoor signage. Artists, photographers, and other creatives can find great success using wide format printers to produce fine art prints, giclee prints, photo prints, and limited edition runs of their original work. You can print your own murals, blueprints, banners, vehicle wraps…there’s so much you can create with a large format printer at your disposal.

For example, you might want a company picnic banner to display your logo and contact information for the event. Banners and outdoor signage are also great ways to announce sales or an opening day event. Create backdrops for the prom or fashion show using an image of the school mascot, your designer label, or another graphic element in a repeat pattern. If you’re a photographer, you can create photo canvas prints by printing on canvas and then wrapping it around a custom wooden frame. Likewise, as a fine artist, you can produce affordable canvas prints and keep the original painting.

You can create all kinds of décor, such as wall decals and murals using vinyl as a substrate. Decorate your office and inform your customers with high-quality graphics printed in-house. It’s easy to create eye-catching graphics for a retail business to promote sales, closeouts, or anything else you want to promote. The best part is that it’s easy to change out wall decals when you’re done with them, and you can use them more than once. Static window clings are a similar way to advertise by creating a large display and placing it in a storefront window. You can display colorful designs and images and replace them with the seasons.
When it comes to what you can create with a wide format printer, you’re limited only by your imagination.

Is Wide Format Right for Your Business?

Large format printing jobs can be expensive, especially if you do it infrequently through a printing shop. However, big, beautiful graphics, displays, and colorful text can create an impact and build brand recognition that any business needs. If you have a need for banners, posters, signage, maps, or any of the other materials we’ve discussed, having your own wide format printer would bring down the costs of these jobs compared to outsourcing them to a print professional.
There are some industries in which wide format printers are essential equipment, such as construction, architecture, engineering, and graphic design. Regardless of your industry, wide format printers can expand your business capabilities and introduce new possibilities. For example, theaters and concert venues can create show posters for promotion, and banks can use banners and signs for advertising interest rates.

Wide-format printers are excellent solutions in the retail sector as well. In-store graphics, point of purchase displays, and signage that hang throughout your location are excellent ways for retailers to use wide format printers. If you are a vendor that takes part in trade shows, you can use large prints with repeating graphics of your logo to showcase your company or product and create pop-up displays with your logo and eye-catching text and graphics that will surely draw attention to your booth.
If you’re considering your need for a wide format printer, first think about how often you’ll use one. If you print large format items more than once or twice a year, it’s probably worth the investment. After all, you have to pay for the prints one way or another. Just make sure you have enough room for the device in your workplace, as a wide format printer won’t fit on one of your desks!

If you have questions or want to learn more about how a wide format printer can benefit your Ohio business, contact Modern Office Methods today.