5 Wide-Format Printing Fails and How to Avoid Them

5 Wide-Format Printing Fails and How to Avoid Them

APRIL 28, 2020| SpeedPro



When using an unproven or low-quality wide-format print provider, you ultimately put your own business’s reputation at risk. When mistakes are made with your signage and seen by hundreds, thousands or even millions of consumers, you’re forced to do damage control. Fixing those mistakes will cost you time and money.

Here are some of the most common wide-format printing errors that could have been avoided by using a proven and reputable wide-format printing partner, along with some tips to help you avoid these situations:

1. Poor Readability

Picking the right font is imperative for creating an attractive wide-format graphic design. But, while some fonts are unique and stand out on paper, they could cause readability issues when the size is increased several times.

When your message is hard to read, the whole point of printing it large is lost. Your potential customers will likely be irritated and move along. And, while a bold font typically stands out on documents and smaller size collateral, it can make your wide-format material look crowded. However, messages in thin fonts can get obscured by the background, so it’s all about finding a balance between the two.

Selecting the appropriate fonts will require some playing around with those that match your brand standards. Try printing messages or parts of messages in a size you think will work, stand back several feet and determine how easy it is to read, making adjustments as needed.

To reduce trial and error time, you can also do some research, looking into information like the most readable typeface for print or how large your sign’s letters should be at various distances to ensure readability.

2. Too Much Text

As a business owner, you have a lot to tell your customers about why they should work with you. It’s tempting to fit as much messaging as possible on your trade show backdrop, vehicle wraps, banners and other wide-format graphics. However, too much text can also become a readability problem. Peoples’ attention spans are short, and they don’t want to spend more than a few seconds looking at your sign to figure out what it says.

It’s best to keep messaging simple, direct and clear.

3. Spelling Errors and Bad Grammar

Nothing can cause doubt in a consumer’s mind like misspelled words and grammar mistakes. These errors hurt readability and harm your company’s image, making you look careless and amateurish. Essentially, your signage is a way to establish credibility with your audience. Not having proper spelling or grammar instantly reduces that credibility and lowers the chances that customers view you as a trustworthy source for their needs.

There’s an easy way to prevent these mistakes from occurring: Review your text and have another person proof it as well.

Getting multiple eyes on the text is crucial, as another person can often spot mistakes you might be overlooking as the writer. If you have a professional copy editor or someone with editing experience on your staff, you’ll want to ensure that they’re involved in the editing process. With all of the text editing software out there, you should also turn to editing programs for your needs.

4. Low-Image Quality

It’s a common mistake to blow up an image that appears clear and crisp as a 3-by-5-inch picture on your computer screen to a pixilated, indistinguishable mess of colors on an 8-by-10-foot backdrop. Even if enlarging an image to fit your sign doesn’t result in a complete mess, it’s common that the graphics and text end up looking blurry due to pixelation. This usually happens because of low image resolution that’s hard to detect by just eye-balling a small image.

The simplest solution is to use high-resolution images taken by a professional photographer, which will yield better results. If you take your own pictures or are generating graphics digitally, you’ll want prints with higher pixels per inch (ppi). You’ll want at least a 300 ppi resolution for your prints.

To increase the likelihood that your art will be printed crisp and clear, convert your image to a vector file. Typically, vector images can be enlarged to any size without distortion.

5. Poor Design

Because companies create wide-format signage to be seen by large numbers of people from varying distances, your design must stand out in a crowd and be understood easily. If someone attending a trade show can’t make out your sign, it’s unlikely they’re going to be interested enough to come up to your booth to learn more. Similarly, a roadside sign for your business that has an unattractive or difficult to understand design will not improve positive brand recognition.

Consider creating mockups and viewing from different distances – 2 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet and so on. Take note of what stands out and what gets lost, and make changes until the impact is the same at all distances. Remember, you aren’t making an art print that’s meant to be pondered over at an art gallery. Designs don’t need to be complex. They should get your message across quickly.

You can even hire a test group or corral some friends to tell you their impression of the sign. Simply learning what people who are unfamiliar with your company think your sign is trying to communicate can tell you a lot about how effective your design is as at conveying its message.

The Simplest Prevention of All

Using a reputable printing service with an excellent track record of success can put all your concerns about wide-format fails to rest. The quality and professionalism of your graphics vendor has a significant impact on your return on investment.

Quality should be your printing partner’s No. 1 focus. SpeedPro’s extreme resolution levels and unparalleled color matching technology create top-quality marketing solutions for clients. Studio owners and their teams pride themselves on their creative, strategic and consistent work.

Your printing partner should understand and relate to your needs. Most of SpeedPro’s studio owners also have a background in business. They understand corporate procedures and communicate clearly with their client companies. Since we’re a business-to-business printer, our customers have peace of mind that we uphold the highest levels of quality and professionalism.

Choose SpeedPro for High-Quality Large-Format Printing

SpeedPro has its clients’ interest at heart on every project. We don’t think of ourselves as your vendor. We think of clients as our partners and ourselves as an extension of your marketing team. You’ll love the way we collaborate with you to determine the right solution to your needs. With a nationwide network of studios specializing in large-format printing at your back, you’ll be ready to tackle any challenge and bring your ideas to life.

Find your local studio to speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives and receive a free quote.

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