With so many brands competing for a customer’s attention, businesses are looking for unique ways to make an impression and hope that this impact will translate into a sale. Technology has allowed firms to be unique with their advertising methods, like what we see with LED displays and electronic screens. However, the traditional printed format has remained steadfast and continues to prove itself to be effective. Large format print banners are a very good example.
From trade show banners to large window displays, wide format printed media can help show your brand off in a big way. With the capacity to print on a variety of substrates, including PVC, vinyl, coroplast, foamcore, and more, it offers a level of versatility that cannot be obtained from other traditional platforms. Its size can also go from a width of 17″ to as much as 100″ (or maybe even more, depending on the equipment). It can also be used for both outdoor and indoor purposes.
Given the sizes that large format printing can reach, it is crucial to create a design that not only makes an impact but also relays the right message to your target market. Any small mistake is easily pointed out. This is why designers and business owners should be extra careful. Here are five ways to ensure your large format designs stick.
- Stick to process colors.
Set up your colors as CMYK or pantone to be compatible with most printers. Remember that not all printing machines can reproduce those fancy shades you apply on your computer, so the same shade might turn out differently when produced. Color can also skew depending on the type of material or ink. To be safe, stick to the general shades or, better yet, ask the printer to supply a smaller version using the same materials as proof before giving the large format print your green light.
- Use vector resources.
This will enable designers to scale text and images to whatever size and still achieve smooth lines and curves. You don’t want a pixelized look when you finally print out your giant versions.
- Your fonts must be easy to read.
Large format pieces are made to be seen from a distance, so be sure to use simple, bold, and legible fonts. This is not the place to use fancy text because 1) it might drown into the rest of your design and 2) your printer might not reproduce it the way you like. You should also consider color contrast.
- Take a step back from your monitor.
When you’re done with your design, test it out by stepping 10 to 20 feet away from your screen and see if you still like what you see. Remember that there are no do-overs with large format prints and, if there are, it can be expensive for your company. Print a smaller scaled version of your design on a sheet of paper first so you can catch errors before running it on the big machine.
- Choose the right substrate.
Your design’s final look will depend largely on you material. Choose the right substrate based on use, durability, environment, and lifespan. If you are planning to display it outdoors, you need a substrate that will stand up to the sun’s heat or rain. You also have to make sure your ink will not bleed and easily fade.