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The Evolution of Large Format Printing


If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to increase brand visibility and grab the attention of your targets then now is a good time to include large format in your marketing mix.

Large format printing is as popular as ever and continues to be a great way to help a business stand out from the competition. The process involved in large format printing advances more and more each year and the good news is that the options for posters, banners, signage and other forms of large format have become more and more sophisticated as printing technologies evolve.

Large format presents endless possibilities for a brand to achieve cut-through and you can choose from an ever-expanding range of applications to meet changing business needs. You see, the pace of change has been greatly accelerated with the advent of the Internet over 20 years ago and the impact of this change is far reaching including its effect on print.

So these days you can choose to include stunning visuals and dramatic text to your large format projects, add interactive media elements to make a powerful first impression and capture the attention of your target audience as well QR codes and social media icons to bridge the gap between print and digital and give people another way to learn more about your products, service and brand.

Trends in Large Format Printing

Lenticular Printing

Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenticular lenses (a technology commonly used for 3D displays) are used to produce printed mages and create the illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles. This was used to great effect by the ANAR foundation, an organisation that helps children and teenagers in risk situations:

  • Advertisement created using lenticular printing technology in order to show a different message depending on the height of the person
  • Children and potential victims of child abuse see a different message to adults
  • The purpose of the campaign was to communicate to children who may be accompanied by their abusers.

lenticular printing on poster

Printing on Textiles, Glass or Plastic

The range of printable materials is expanding every day, with printing on cloth, glass and plastic no longer considered a novelty. At trade shows, printed textile products have been around for a while but we are now seeing a trend towards interior design and decoration including specially designed screens and decorative banners for sales rooms, wall decals with a company slogan and printed glass panels for a lobby area. Printed seat cushions and deckchairs can provide effective advertising with ceramic, wood and various floor coverings also providing excellent printing opportunities.

Decals and Stickers

Decals and stickers can be used to transform areas into eye-catching advertising spaces. Essentially decals and stickers that can be attached to a surface and can include your company logo, images, promotional news, discount offers etc. A decal can be easily customised for your business and can be a great way to draw a crowd.

Apple Store Window: Broken Glass Window Decal to promote the iPod Hi-Fi

Apple Store Window: Broken Glass Window Decal to promote the iPod Hi-Fi

printed decal stickers for advertising and branding

Wilkinson Quattro Titanium: Transparent stickers of masculine faces were placed on the eggs in egg cartons and put an advertising flyer with a promotion on the back in every box.

The Growth of Retail Signage and Window Displays

Once upon a time, signage would simply include a business name above a shop door in a standard format but these days branding appears as signage on a shopfront as well as appearing in other locations around a shopping centre such as display windows, on banners, exterior awnings etc It also needs to include lighting and digital elements to continue to be relevant and capture the attention of potential shoppers.

As we approach the silly season, shop windows will be adorned with festive decor to attract potential customers.  But it’s probably department stores that are best known for their elaborate window displays at this time of year in an attempt to lure shoppers. One of the first department stores to construct special holiday displays was Macy’s in New York back in 1862.

large format posters and retail window














A line to see the unveiling of a Macy’s window in 1939.

retail display window history with posters

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – a throwback window display at Bloomingdale’s


Each year, festive window displays have become more and more elaborate with stores plotting themes for their windows well in advance with storyboards and plans for custom-commissioned large format printed pieces. Over time department stores have also employed increasingly technologically advanced and elaborate methods to decorate their windows, as seen last year in Macy’s touch-screen game that saw an ice city light up and a big snowball fight occur between Neptune and Uranus.

modern retail display signage

The Neptune and Uranus holiday window at Macy’s (Photo: John Minchillo/Macy’s)


Kwik Kopy can help your business make a big impression with quality large format printing. Speak to your local Centre today or download our free Smarter Branding eBook:  How to make your brand bigger using large formats to attract more customers.

Image sources: web designer depot, ODM blog and ZADY.

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