How do you Design for Wide-format Printing?

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Wide-format printing, otherwise known as large, grand, or oversized print, refers to anything larger than a standard printing size (8.5” x 11”). 

Determine the Scope of the Project
Half the work of a project is knowing what the end goal is. While planning is usually the most obvious step in a project, it is often overlooked. There are various reasons why planning is skipped, from disorganization to sharp deadlines, and procrastination. By planning towards a goal and understanding the limitations, it saves time and money for you and the printing company. 

Notebook with sketch of website layout.

Use Design Principles to Elevate Your Design
While the design of the print is determined from the project scope, good design practices are always utilized. A good design utilizes hierarchy, contrast, simplicity, and movement.

Hierarchy is used to give the content a level of importance in the design. Designers use size, color, and layout as a way to make titles and headers noticed first on the page. Contrast is used to arrange opposing qualities to complement each other. Without good contrast, a design will be hard to read and understand. Elements of a design need to be easily distinguished from each other, while not being unpleasant to look at. Simplicity is keeping a design limited under the branding and message of the project. It is best practice to utilize 3-4 colors in a design to ensure unity. Lastly, movement is used to guide the viewer across the design. Through size, colors, and lines, artists can guide viewers to focus on one part of the image before moving around to see the rest of the experience.

The Importance of Vector-based Illustration Software
There are two main types of files when it comes to graphics, raster, and vector. Raster images are made up of pixels that come together to create a larger image. The quality of wide-format printing is highly determined by the number of pixels. On the other hand, vector images use mathematical equations to determine the shape. Vector images are indefinitely scalable because they can be modified to fit any project.

Designing for Wide-format printing requires careful planning and knowledge of good design practices.

Design and print Wide-format with ALTIUS today. At ALTIUS Graphics, we design, print, and install high-quality customized products from vinyl to banners and window graphics. Visit us at or call (832)500-5160 to get a quote today!

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