How to create large format Print for Exhibitions

High quality reproduction prints of original fine art and photography can be produced by a range of large format printers using a variety of media including; paper, adhesive vinyl and backlit quality film for Lightbox displays. 

This blog highlights which media and printers are best for producing large format prints for exhibitions.


What are the different types of large format printing?

Giclee Printing is a superior large format print method used for large scale reproduction of fine art or photography. Giclee, a French term translates as ‘spray’ referring to how a giclee print is produced. Inkjet printers use small spraying devices of 12 colours or more that mix the colours directly on the media to create truer hues and shades with precision, giving a high-quality reproduction print of original art and photography.


What is the difference between Giclee and standard Printing?

Giclees quality uses pigment-based inks rather than the dye-based inks found in lower-cost Inkjets. Pigment inks are of a higher quality and have a longer lifespan, lasting anywhere from 100 to 200 years without significant fading.


Giclee prints mounted onto Dibond. Image Standard8

What media can Giclee printing be applied to?

Giclee printing can be produced onto a number of medias including; paper, adhesive vinyl and backlit quality film for Lightbox displays.

Backlit printed film mounted to acrylic lightbox structures, image: Standard8


DIRECT TO SUBSTRATE PRINTING is another form of large format printing. This specialised process uses a large flatbed printer to apply image, text and colour directly to a substrate. In printing terms a substrate surface is the base material that ink is printed onto such as wood, acrylic, glass, paper, canvas or other textile products. 

What is UV Printing?

UV printing is a form of print that uses ultra-violet light to dry and cure ink as it is printed. As the printer distributes ink onto the surface of the substrate, specially designed UV lights follow close behind, drying the ink instantly.

What substrate surface can UV Printing be applied to?

Project possibilities are vast when using a large format UV substrate flatbed printer including exterior and interior displays, fine art and photographic reproduction, architectural and directional signage, event signage, hoardings and point-of-purchase signage and banners.

Besides large scale formats a flatbed printer is also designed to print onto pre-manufactured panels and products in great detail otherwise not achievable in any other printer. With a vacuum flatbed incorporated it can print onto a range of media from wood, metal, glass, acrylic, paper and fabric.

Some direct to substrate UV printers have the additional benefit of printing white ink to the standard CMYK inks on a standard digital printer, making white text, imagery and 2nd surface layers for backlit displays achievable.


Examples of white direct to substrate printing. Image: Inkmill Vinyl

What quality can be achieved?

A high quality with precision, detail, colour and tonal match can be achieved in large scale format when printing from high quality scan of 300 dpi resolution or higher of original fine art or photography.

Images: 1. Giclee print, Bobby Baker 2.  Printed vinyl, GungHo Designs

What size can I print up to?

Most large format printers can print up to 1.6 metres wide by 100 metres long dependant on the roll length. However should you require a larger print dimension there are specialist printers that can facilitate this.


Printed adhesive vinyl applied to Dibond. Image by Standard8


Giclee print mounted onto acrylic. Image: Standard8

Inkmill Vinyl print graphics and imagery using a range of large format printers including; OCE Arizona UV Direct to Substrate Flatbed, Mimaki Large Format and Fine Art Epsom Printers. 


If you have a project you’d like to discuss we are always happy to here from you, please get in touch

T + 44 (0)1273 417605       


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