Hitting the wall: 5 Design Trends Using Large Format Printers

Posted by Jeff Vetter on August 29, 2016

In most cases, hitting the wall is a bad thing. But for designers and other professions (architecture, construction, etc.), hitting the wall with large format print jobs is taking off. Organizations are learning how to better use their wall space - and every other space they can think of - to communicate their message and promote their services. Large format printing is making that possible and exciting.

The more we see what clients do with our large format printers, the more we are amazed by the creativity out there.

1. WALLS

Screen_Shot_2016-07-13_at_5.51.33_PM.pngWhether you are walking through a hospital, an airport or a sports arena, you are probably seeing more and more large graphics on the walls - showing everything from the quality of their service to images from their history. The University of Minnesota, for example, has some great graphics of famous Gopher teams from the past near the locker rooms. People, graphic designers in particular, are discovering their limitations for fantastic wall graphics are decreasing. New technologies and new materials allow you to print what you want the way you want it.

And why stop at walls? One of our clients wrapped the doors to the new auditorium for her company in a graphic that made them look like Hobbit doors, complete with dragons. It seems those using large format printers are only limited by their imagination.

2. Windows

You can now print large format on cling films and clear vinyl for windows. That gives new opportunities to install your graphics and messaging all over your building. You can also print on perf (or perforated vinyl). This allows you to print an image for a window that delivers your message but let’s the people on the inside see a clear view of outside.

3. Transportation

Of course one of the most popular uses of vinyl warps is for trains, automobiles, boats, snowmobiles, trailers - all kinds of transportation - in a graphic message you want everyone to see. You’ve probably already seen this, but did you know you could do it yourself with a large or wide format printer?

4. Fences

You’ve likely seen the fabric fences construction companies put around their projects to hide the mess they are making. Some creative construction companies are actually using large format printers to print details about the project right on the fence, giving them the opportunity to educate or promote their company - and the project they're working on - in a big way.

5. Materials and Adhesives

So why are we suddenly seeing so much innovation in the area of large format printing? The printing process itself hasn’t really changed that much in 20 years, but the materials you can print on have. We’ve already listed some of them. In addition, we’ve seen museums printing graphics for their exhibitions on art paper, canvas and art canvas. You can now even print large format on canvas from your images on Instagram.

Often, what’s on the other side of the material - the non-printed side - is what is really interesting. We are seeing magnetic material that can be run through a large format printer so the graphic can be applied, and reapplied, to metal surfaces. Another material has a powerful adhesive that will stick to concrete outdoors. It even has aluminum in the materials to make it more durable.


We are moving from materials and adhesives that were, at best, temporary, to something that can be much more permanent. A large format printer can open up all kinds of new opportunities to communicate and promote within your organization or to your customers. 

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Topics: wide format printers