Wide-format printing mistakes billboard by speedpro imaging.

5 Wide-Format Printing Fails and How to Avoid Them

MAY 3, 2019| SpeedPro Chicago Loop

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 also cost you time and money.

At SpeedPro Chicago Loop, our completely customized solutions serve not only to enhance your aesthetic but, more importantly, help you achieve your overall business objectives – while staying within whatever budget constraints you have.

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

1. Bad 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 message becomes moot. 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. On the other hand, messages in thin fonts can get obscured by the background.

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

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. But, too text much can also become a readability problem. Peoples’ attention spans are short, and they don’t want to spend a lot of time deciding which printer to use for producing their large-format signs.

We specialize in creating Surface Impact ™ for your brand, the idea that we will help you maximize the visual influence of every surface to achieve the greatest branding and monetary potential.

3. Spelling Errors and Bad Grammar

Nothing can cause doubt in a consumer’s mind like misspelled words and grammar mistakes. These errors are another readability issue, but some that make businesses look careless and amateurish.

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

4. Low-Image Quality

Blowing up an image that appears clear and crisp as a 3 in. by 5 in. picture on your computer screen to a pixilated, indistinguishable mess of colors on an 8 ft. by 10 ft. backdrop is a common mistake. This usually happens because of low image resolution that’s hard to detect just by eye-balling a small image.

The simplest solution is to use high resolution images taken by a professional photographer, which will yield better results. 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 wide-format signage are created to be seen by large numbers of people from varying distances, your design must be distinguishable. If someone attending a trade show can’t make out your sign, or motorists driving by a window graphic is confused by your design or can’t read the text, you’ve failed at capturing and holding their attention. They will not take the next steps to learn about your business.

Consider creating mockups and viewing from different distances – two 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.

While it’s best to keep messaging simple, direct and clear, SpeedPro’s Chicago Loop Imaging studio is always prepared to be your wide-format printing partner when devising a strategy to push the envelope of what experiential graphics can do for your brand.

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 printing and graphics vendor has a significant impact on your return on investment.

At SpeedPro Chicago Loop, we understand that there’s no value in a one-size-fits-all approach to promoting a brand. Instead, we work with you to understand your company’s marketing needs and budget and create a personalized signage and graphics plan accordingly.

Your printing partner should understand and relate to your needs. SpeedPro Chicago Loop is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB, U.S. Marine Corps 86-94). As a business-to-business printing provider, our customers rest easy, knowing their vendor stands by the highest standards of quality and professionalism.To learn more about how SpeedPro Chicago Loop can help you create flawless wide-format displays, call, visit our location near McCormick Place, or get in touch with us today.


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Eric Lazar and Rebecca Considine

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