Large Format Printing: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Any business owner can tell you that marketing materials are an important part of most promotional strategies. Whether you’re printing flyers for a special event, brochures or coupons for a direct mail campaign, or business cards so your employees can promote themselves, these tools help get your name and your brand out into the public consciousness.

However, every marketer or graphic designer knows that all printed materials need to meet two specific criteria. 

Firstly, all printed material should suit a company’s brand identity. You can accomplish this by using consistent fonts, logos, and color schemes in your documents, which is easier than ever thanks to online printing services. 

Secondly, all printed marketing materials need to look clean and professional — particularly when you’re dealing with large format printing.

Online printing has made it easy to create professional-looking large format pieces (to the eternal joy of graphic designers everywhere). However, this new kind of design work has also led to its own challenges, from image size issues to questions over the right front size. 

If you want to use large format printing to promote your business, it’s important that you learn the ins and outs of designing this very specific marketing tool.

What is Large Format Printing?

Large format printing refers to any printed material that is larger than your standard leaflet or poster. Companies use large format printing for a number of different marketing materials, including:

  • Vinyl or PVC banners
  • Outdoor posters
  • See-through window graphics 

Large format prints are a very effective way to attract customer attention and promote your business — after all, who wouldn’t notice a 5-meter banner with rich colour and HD graphics? 

However, there is a particular time and place for large format prints. Use them at the wrong time, and your big, promotional tool will end up being nothing more than a big nuisance!

When Should You Use Large Format Printing?

If you’ve ever been to an industry trade show, you likely have some idea of when to use your large format prints. Trade shows are rife with them; everywhere you look there’s a banner, poster, or some other signage advertising a new business! 

Large format prints are great for trade shows because they are very large and very noticeable — perfect for when you’re trying to stand out in a room of your competitors. 

However, there are other occasions when you might want to set up your largest promotional tools. For example, large vinyl banners can be a great way to draw attention to a pop-up stand, and window displays (such as see-through graphics or self-adhesive vinyl lettering) can be incredibly useful when you want to advertise a sale or other special event at your store. 

In these instances, a large format print won’t just help you get more attention… it could ultimately lead to more business.

Design Tips for Large Format Printing

Anytime you design marketing materials for your business, it is essential that you create the most high quality product you can. For banner printing, poster printing, and other large format projects, this is even more important — a mistake on your giant wall graphics will be much easier to spot than one on an A4 flyer.

As you go through the design process for your large format projects, make sure you keep the following design elements in mind:


High quality tools are always essential if you want your print to be the best quality possible. 

Designers should familiarize themselves with software like Adobe Illustrator, which allows you to increase image sizes without sacrificing clarity. This will make it easier to “blow up” small graphics — like your company logo — to fit on a canvas print or a floor graphic.

High quality production tools are also important to get the best finished product possible. It’s impossible to create a PVC banner on your office inkjet printer, so make sure you have access to a large format printer to complete your project. Luckily, this isn’t that hard to do; many digital printing companies also offer large format printing services! 


Image resolution is an important part of all graphic design, as it determines how clear your project will be (literally and figuratively). If your graphic elements have too few ppi (pixels per inch), you’ll end up with a boxy, unclear image that won’t impress anyone. 

Just how high-res should your images be? Ideally, you’ll want to look for graphics that are 100-300 ppi (600 ppi for black and white projects). This will ensure that your images look sharp at clear at any distance, even if you’re working with a wide format document. 


Choosing a font for your poster, banner, or window stickers may seem like an easy task — just pick the font on your other marketing materials! However, it is important to remember that different project types have different design requirements, and the font that suits a flyer or business card may not suit a wide format piece. 

The best way to make sure your large format print is easy to read is to choose a large, legible font (think Times New Roman, Futura, etc.). Also make sure you include plenty of white space (empty space around your design elements) and minimal copy to keep your print from getting too cluttered. 

Size and Distance

The size of a large format print will vary depending on your company’s needs. Some events require something that simply fits in a shop window, while others need something several meters wide. 

Whatever the size may be, graphic designers should consider how customers will be looking at their work — and plan their designs accordingly. Make sure to step back and look at your project from 1-3 meters away before you finalize the project; this will give you an idea of what your customers will see, and can help you view the entire print as a cohesive unit.

Finally, whether you’re creating a display board for an exhibition or a window dressing for your grand opening, make sure you get a good quality print by working with professionals who know how to handle large format printing. Take a look at Banana Print’s large format printing options today!

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