Large format printing goes almost anywhere today. Thanks to new techniques, enhanced technology and increased choice of materials, large format printing can be used to wrap buildings, create custom wall murals, splash a logo on a floor or even wrap an airplane. Brand building marketers strive to place big-company logos at every point where an interested audience might see them. Large format printing allows small companies to do the same, and do it affordably.
Raise It Higher
Large format printing can produce large format banners or building wraps for building advertising. Flat bed printing can print on virtually any substrate thinner than about an inch and a half. Flat bed printing can produce some interesting ceiling tiles for restaurants or dentists’ offices.
Large format banners very nearly demand attention, even in settings such as trade shows where there is much competition for visitors’ attention. Large format banners are lightweight and highly portable, making them ideal items for portability. They can be made for interior use only, or they can be made for outdoor use. The versatility of the large format banner makes it a staple in the advertising arsenal.
Building wraps carry the concept of the large format banner one giant step forward. Increasing numbers of cities are placing restrictions on billboards, which may or may not affect an advertiser’s ability to attract the attention of potential customers. From the consumer’s perspective, billboards are easy to ignore.
Building wraps are hard to ignore, however. Printed on PVC mesh, building wraps can encircle an entire building or cover only the building’s façade. Building wraps add no obstructions to the landscape and can be changed as often as the advertiser desires.
One restaurant owner created a giant guitar to suspend from the restaurant’s ceiling and chose to cover it with a large format wrap rather than take on the expense of realistically painting it. All the detail and color were simply printed and then applied to the surface. Superficially, it can seem to be counterproductive to emblazon the ceiling of a business with a logo or other identifying business symbol, which could be true for a business such as a department store where people’s attention is trained on just what is in front of them. In more relaxed settings such as that which exists in a restaurant, people tend to look around more. An intriguing ceiling treatment leads the eye upward and helps to cement the establishment in customers’ minds.
Put It on the Walls
Large format printing also can produce custom murals, wall decals and wallpaper. Wall displays and wall graphics transform otherwise blank, wasted spaces into sites displaying the advertiser’s message. Restaurants, movie theatres, shopping malls and other businesses that customers physically visit can extend their branding and decorating efforts using wall treatments produced with large format printing.
A renovated movie theatre in a reclaimed downtown location of a southeastern city displays large format photographs of the city’s early history. The photographs date from the time that the renovated theatre was constructed in the late 19th century. Looking out of the present windows, theatre goers see traffic lights and late model cars. Looking at the large format photos made from those same windows, they see the buildings that still exist as well as horse-drawn buggies and people dressed in the wardrobe of the day.
The result for that Tennessee theatre is that people go into the theatre for the specific purpose of looking out the current windows while also looking through those of more than a century earlier. Those customers watch a movie while they’re there. More importantly, that single large format printing design has made the present theatre a local treasure.
Put It On the Floor
Floor applications also are growing in popularity. Large format printing can provide the basis for designs that can be turned into molds for cutouts, or it can produce an overlay that can be directly applied to a floor and then finished with a protective sealer. Alternatively, large format printing also can be the beginning point for a stencil to guide painting directly on the floor. A large and impressive logo just inside the entrance to the business gains visitors’ attention.
Floor applications of large format printing can be as permanent or as temporary as the advertiser wants them to be. They are cost effective enough that they can be changed with some regularity, such as with the change of seasons.
Light Up the Airport Walkway without Expensive Electronics
Those marketing local businesses and national chains began using large electronic displays in airports when flat screen monitors first became widely available. Those displays are impressive and do gain the attention of travel-weary individuals, but they remain costly and subject to equipment failure. When an electronic display goes down, all that passersby see is a big, black screen.
Large format printing can provide the same effect for a fraction of the cost and with greatly reduced risk of operational failure. A backlit large format photograph can mimic the appearance of an image produced using an oversized electronic monitor. It uses a fraction of the energy of the monitor, and if the low-tech light bulb burns out, the image still is visible to the people passing in front of the display.