Large-Format Printing: Tradeshows and Banners and Floor Graphics (oh my)

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The first thing to know about Soulo’s large format printing team is that the name is both very accurate but also a little misleading. That’s because large format printing can indeed be very large: vehicle wraps, tradeshow displays and banners, wall and floor graphics.

These are all large displays of careful design and precise production. But the work can be quite small, too: the large format team will print and apply things like a store’s operating hours on their front door, and they do that with the same level of care as aligning a vinyl wrap to the panels of a commercial van.

But the main thing large format is known for is just what its name implies: print done in a format that is larger than most commercial printing presses can handle. Basically, it allows your message to go big.

Coterie navigation sign
Wall graphics can be used for navigation.

It’s Everywhere

Large format printing is all around us. We mentioned vehicle wraps and tradeshow displays above, but when you start to look for it, you see it everywhere. A point-of-purchase display at a hardware store. A championship banner hanging in a high school gym. The yard signs that pop up like mushrooms every election cycle (don’t hold that one against us!).

One of our large format employees, Nathan, was in a mobile phone retail store, and started looking around the shop itself. It was full of large-format print work, and he could identify how all of it was created and with what types of materials.

The options in large format are part of what helps it make such an impact. You can print on so many different substrates. Obviously, paper is an option, but there’s so much more. You can print on wood, vinyl, canvas, metal, even glass.

“A lot of people don’t realize that their custom t-shirt or cool drinking glasses are the product of large-format printing,” says Scott, another large format professional at Soulo. Even the common yard signs can get a creative boost with a custom size or shape.

Trade Show Banners
SOULO can produce retractable tradeshow banners.

The Best Process

Soulo’s large format group works with client-supplied files all the time, but the process works best when Soulo’s design team creates the artwork for the project. That makes going back and forth between design and production a very quick process, and it’s an important one.

“One thing you can’t do in large format is guess or assume,” says Nathan. That rule applies to both Soulo and our clients, maybe even more for the clients. If someone who doesn’t know the consequences of an error guesses wrong, that’s a lot of wasted time, money, and effort. The close collaboration between the graphic design team and the large format team eliminates that problem.

Precision Matters

Precision is critical in large format print. A vehicle wrap that isn’t perfectly measured, trimmed, and installed is going to look, well, bad. At a smaller scale, but still important, store hours applied on a front door that are crooked or misaligned also look terrible. Both say something about the company being promoted, and the company that did the work, and none of it is positive.

The good news is that these kinds of results are avoidable. “We have to be perfectionists,” says Nathan. “If we’re off a quarter inch at 1/10 scale, that’s a full 2.5 inches off at full size, and that has to be re-done.”

Scott agrees. “What Soulo offers is a team of people who know how it should be done, and get it right the first time.”

Both Scott and Nathan agree that the greatest satisfaction comes from doing final installation on large format projects. That’s when they get to see the imagination, design, and production come together in something that is eye-catching, precise, and sometimes even beautiful.

Have fun with large format!

SOULO is a full-service marketing and communications agency that helps client partners get the most from their projects through signage, printing, and digital marketing. Ready to get started? Contact us today!


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