Large Format Printing: What Types of Inks Are Used?

Thu Jul , 2020

Posters, murals, billboards, hoardings and banners are great marketing tools that make a lasting impression and reach lots of potential customers. All are examples of large format printing.

But to leverage this tool properly, your printer needs to use the right type of ink.

There are five main types used in wide format printers. Which one makes sense depends on where the printed material will be used.

Here, we outline the inks that may be selected for your large format printing project.

Large Format Printing: Types of Inks Used

Here, we discuss the common types of inks used in large format printing.

1) Solvent Inks

Ideal for: outdoor signage, billboards, vehicle wraps, curtain sides and mesh

2) Eco-Solvent Inks

Ideal for: polypropylene, outdoor displays, mesh, vehicle wraps, billboards, self-adhesive vinyl, and Point of Purchase (POP) displays

3) Aqueous Inks

Ideal for: posters, banners, trade show displays, treated canvas, and other paper media where non-toxicity is important

4) UV Curable Inks

Ideal for: rigid media and non-absorbent material including glass, wood, metal and vinyl materials

5) Latex Inks

Ideal for: custom wallpaper projects, vinyl banners and posters, and see-through vinyl


What You Need to Know about Large Format Printing

Large format printing is a great way to make your company’s message stand out. Apart from the types of ink used, knowing some of its vital points will allow you to get the most benefits.

The Process

Large format printing is similar to digital printing in that it requires much larger printers than standard commercial units. The press lays down toner through large nozzles and the ink is applied directly on the surface to be printed. This creates clear and authentic images that match your design. It is a quick process, and the print quality is better, with more vibrant colours than any other means of printing.

The Cost

Your project’s final price is difficult to accurately predict as there are many factors at play. These include the graphic’s size, the substrates, the quality of the materials used, the number of items to be printed and the required turnaround time.

The Types of Printers

As mentioned, specialized equipment is needed for wide-format printing. Flatbed printers, roll-to-roll printers, or a combination of both are used.

A flatbed printer features a flat surface upon which a material is placed to be printed on. It can be divided into three categories: flatbed screen printers, flatbed laser printers and flatbed inkjet printers. During printing, a UV light hits the liquid ink and turns it solid on the chosen substrate. This type of printer is ideal for printing on thicker or unconventional substrates.

A roll-to-roll printer prints directly on a roll of fabric (or any other material) that comes in rolls. (It’s also known as a direct-to-fabric printer.) The roll is loaded on one side and carried through the printer where it is re-rolled onto an uptake roller.

The File to Be Prepared

When designing your project’s graphic, you need to consider the width of the final material. The maximum width of most large format printers is 61 inches. So, make sure your design, when printed, is less than (or equal to) this length.

To produce a high-grade image, convert RGB to standard CMYK and use the highest resolution file possible.

The Benefits

  • Better print quality
  • Increased brand visibility and recognition
  • Quick lead generation
  • Long-lasting because the printed material is durable and UV resistant
  • Cost-effective marketing solution
  • Quick turnaround time

Large format printing can create effective, long-lasting and attractive advertising for your business. It produces excellent colours and perfect images. But, for the best results, your printer must choose the ink carefully. Its durability outdoors, fade resistance, cost and overall appearance depend on it. If you want to learn more about various ink formulations, get in touch with a printing company that specializes in large format printing.