Home » Resource Hub » Faq » Large Format Printing Vs Wide Format Printing

The distinction between wide format printing and large format printing can be confusing, in part because the two terms are often used interchangeably. Both are used for any print project that is larger than 18”. The combination of large size and vibrant colors and design make large format printing an ideal way to draw attention from a distance and create a memorable impression. Signs produced in large formats are deployed in advertising and promotional campaigns in the retail, hospitality, entertainment, and other industries.

The easiest way to differentiate between wide and large format is to remember that while all wide format printing is large format printing, not all large format printing is wide format printing. In fact, a more accurate distinction is drawn between wide format and grand format printing when considering large format print options. Three factors determine the differences between them:

  • the size of the item being printed
  • the type of printer needed for high-resolution results
  • the type of material and surface being printed on

Wide format projects run in size from 18” to 100” and this method is commonly used to create banners, trade show displays, window and wall posters, interior store displays, and car wraps. Grand format printing creates signs of 100” or greater to produce really big billboards, scaffolding wraps, building-sized banners, wallscapes, and architectural murals that cover the entire side of a building.  Large-format printing requires special superior production equipment, For instance, a roll-to-roll printer works well with materials like paper, plastic film or vinyl whereas a flatbed printer can be used with glass, acrylic, ceramic tile, and wood. 

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