It’s been almost a year since we made the investment to expand our print capabilities by purchasing a new wide format printer. Since then, we have experimented printing on many different materials and installing on a variety of surfaces. We’ve gotten the opportunity to explore new solutions thanks to our open-minded and trusting clients, and we are excited to continue expanding our services due to the capabilities of our equipment.
Our successes in this area of the business wouldn’t have existed without all those involved in the print production and installation. Some of the team weighed in on the process from their perspective to help paint a clearer picture of everything they, and therefore we at Holmes, can do!
Q: What is “Wide Format Printing?”
A: The difference between wide format printing and standard printing is all about size. Most production printers have a max paper size of 13×19. Wide Format Printers use rolls of paper any where from 18 to 100 inches wide. This allows us to produce large format pieces such as signs, graphics, etc from one continuous sheet. Wide format printers also are able to print on more stocks (called substrates) than a normal printer can. This allows wide format a great range of applications, from wall paper to canvas prints to car wraps. Wide format uses inkjet technology to carry the ink/pigment to the media. We also use latex ink which is eco friendly, safe in schools and hospitals, and long lasting and durable, all while providing high end photo resolution.
Q: What do you enjoy about the wide format projects?
A: They are so different from normal printing and are on a much grander scale. Getting to produce a 12′ long office wall mural is a cool experience. Wide format gives us the chance to serve our customers in ways we wouldn’t normally be able to and really opens the door for more creativity. A well placed window cling can sell a product to people passing by, a car graphic can serve as a mobile billboard, wallpapers let you customize the decor for your office, etc. We’ve done some window covers that look like professionally done frosted glass at a fraction of the price. It’s exciting how it can be used to compliment and continue messages onto other, more unique surfaces.
Q: What challenges have you faced with wide format projects?
A: The challenge seems to be finding a solution that fulfills the purpose of the project, stays within the client’s budget, and maintains the quality in the location chosen for entire time it is used. Choosing the right substrate is very important, and color matching on these larger machines is can be difficult and requires practice. But we have the right software, hardware and training to do it accurately time and time again.
Q: What is a project idea that you haven’t done, but you would love to try?
A: A car wrap, hallway mural, building wrap, and floor graphics come to mind first. I think wide format has so many creative uses that there is no end to what you can come up with and do, which is pretty exciting. I’d like to try everything we could.
Q: What valuable tips have you learned by working with different materials and different surfaces?
A: After over 10 years of working with larger format printing, we’ve learned that it’s a skilled craft, and the technology has improved the quality and broadened its versatility.
To see examples of some of our wide format work, visit our Flickr page!