Quick Guide to Large Format Printing
In this guide, we explain what LFP is, and provide some light format printing examples, along with giving you a quick explanation of how it works.
What is LFP?
LFP is short for Light Format Printing. In a nutshell, large format printing can help to maintain high resolutions for projects that need to be printing onto a range of shapes, surfaces, and sizes. The bigger the print, the more of an opportunity there is to get a brand name, message, or logo displayed. This is why there are a need and demand for large format printing methods.
What types of surfaces are suitable for large format printing?Selecting the material is usually the first step in the process. Here are the most commonly used materials for large format printing.
- Coated or Uncoated Paper
What products can be made with large format printing?There are varying limitations in terms of the actual end-uses for the products, here are the most popular:
- Business Signage
- Cardboard Cutouts
- Trade Show Displays
- Windows Stickers
- Car Magnets
- Point of Sale Displays
- Wall and Floor Graphics
- Advertising Stickers
- Stair Stickers
- Car Decals
How does large format printing actually work?The printing process for LFP is actually quite similar to the digital printing method. It is ideal for items that require full-color printing. Firstly, you will need to select which type of material you want to use, and what the end product is going to be. Then, you will need to define the exact shape and size of that product. Once this is done, the appropriate artwork will need to be created to match the right dimensions for the product. In line with the graphics, the press will set-out the toner via a range of large nozzles. During which, a very fine layer of ink is sprayed onto the surface according to the design. The ink gets directly applied to the product without using any form of transfer, and this creates a highly authentic print. Most printing companies will then use UV lights to help dry the ink and finalize the project. In terms of the time it takes to do large format printing, it is just as quick as digital printing, and delivers a high-quality image.
What is the best way to prepare image files for large format printing?To get the highest quality large format print, you need to use the highest possible resolution in your artwork files. This will ensure the quality of your image is not lost when it is enlarged. File submission is an essential part of the LFP process. Due to the size of the products that are produced in large format printing, getting a high-quality product depends on your file quality and size. While most large format printers will give you their own precise guideline, the maximum width for the majority of printers is 61”. The length will typically be determined by the material length that is being used for production.
Other Considerations for Large Format PrintingThere are lots of considerations for large format printing, and your printing company will be able to offer some guidance on the matter. Here are just a few things to think about before you decide on the best size or style of product to use.
Think about your audienceWhen you start to plan your artwork, you will need to consider how the product is going to be viewed. For instance, if you are producing signage for a trade show or a banner, the product is most likely going to be viewed by people who are up close. In this situation, you would want to increase the DPI (dots per inch) as much as you can. On the other hand, if your end product is going to be a large format banner or even a billboard, then the target audience will be viewing this from considerable further away. This would then mean you would have to utilize a much lower DPI.
The file type you use DOES matterEssentially, there are two core types of image file types; these are bitmap or vector. Each presents its own characteristics. For photography, raster files are thought to be best. And for graphical art, such as illustrations or logos, a vector format is thought to be the optimal choice.
In SummaryLarge format printing is widely used across all industries, and on a huge range of surfaces, primarily for marketing and advertising purposes. One of the biggest advantages is that you can effectively improve awareness of a product or brand in a visually appealing way, making an impact at an affordable cost. The possibilities with using to LFP are endless, and you have the opportunity to be creative and truly create an eye-catching display to engage and capture the attention of your chosen audience.
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