Around the summer of 2014, I had a new client stop in to pick up catalogs we had just printed for his business as he made his way to Ireland. The reason this memory sticks out to me is because he said “Wow, you guys really have a great location on a busy street, why don’t you have a huge sign on your building so more people stop in!?”. He had never been to Panther before and he was right. We were not taking advantage of what we could do and how we could do it.
Enter: Large Format.
Some are probably asking “Well what the heck is large format?” and this article aims to help you understand this diverse advertising platform and how impactful it could be for your business.
Large format refers to the printing process of materials that are too large to be printed on commercial printing presses. I use the word “materials” very generally because frankly, there are too many mediums to count. In connection, the amount of Large Format displays are endless, and we mean endless. So endless that we sometimes utilize outside, trusted vendors to help us deliver an amazing piece of advertising.
Here are some places you will find large format (inside and out):
- Office Buildings
- Shopping Centers
- Store Windows
- Counter Tops
- Convention Centers
- Construction Sites
- Trade Shows
Here are some examples of large format:
- Tradeshow displays
- Vehicle wraps
- Architectural drawings
- Construction plans
- Backdrops for theatrical or TV media sets
Think: windows, walls, floors and doors
Imagine your company’s logo and unbelievable designs while potential clients notice your brand thinking “Oh, that looks like a great place to get what I need!” which goes back to my client in 2014 basically telling me we were lacking in signage marketing.
We have since move locations (come see us!) so the need for an amazing sign on our front lawn was not a necessity, but none the less we still re-branded and have a wonderful sign sitting in front of our building. If you come tour our place (seriously, come see us), you will see various examples of large format throughout the building.
Now, we all see signs and banners on a daily basis, for the most part, but there are tips and tricks you can use to create a design that stands out among the rest. Something to catch someone’s eye. I’m sure at some point from birth to now you have witnessed signage that was less than appealing, maybe outdated or too difficult to read. Those are some of the things to keep in mind when designing large format for your company. Here are a few items to prioritize when designing large format:
Keep your company’s brand/look in mind.
This is simply important because you want people to look at your advertising and quickly recognize who you are.
Use large and bold fonts.
The reason this is vital is because large format is a very quick form of advertising. People see it for a few seconds, read and discern your message and decide whether or not they are interested. People cannot do this quickly if you have a difficult-to-read font. Make sure to convert your fonts to outlines if you are supplying Illustrator or InDesign files, this converts the fonts into “objects” or “shapes” rather than leaving it defined as text. This should guarantee no font transfer issues.
Keep. It. Simple.
This goes back to the last tip of how quickly this media will attract your clients. Don’t try and fit an entire book with pictures onto one banner. It’s not effective and too much information right away can be overwhelming and paint the wrong picture.
Think from your audience’s perspective
As a consumer, what catches their eye? What draws your clients to your company? Think about the market you are trying to appeal to and go crazy. Well, maybe not CRAZY crazy, but creative crazy.
Provide clear and necessary information (phone number, website etc.)
This should be a simple way for people to get ahold of you. Think “I need to Google that”. What is the best way for a prospective client to reach you and your team for inquiries on your goods and services?
Design software will be key
Your artwork will best print if it is created in Illustrator (.EPS or .AI files) or InDesign for small, easy to transfer files and sharp final products because they scale seamlessly. You can also save to high res PDF file format which is what we print from and produces the best quality with our machinery and software. Once artwork is created, you can upload to our FTP site by clicking this link.
Throughout the design process, try to imagine the artwork in its final size in its final location and ask yourself: is this easy to read? Will my audience be interested? Is this the best I can do? Ultimately, you know your prospects and clients wants and needs. After all, that’s what got your business to be so successful in the first place, right? You have some great tools to build a large format empire, we just hope you choose us as your premier print vendor to produce them for you.