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What to look for when buying large format prints

C

Colin

New Member
We've just started a blog on our site and hope to update it fairly regularly. Just thought I'd pop our first major posting here as hopefully it'll help folk out. Our site is mainly focused to roller banners but these rules apply to all forms of large format print displays.




What to look for when buying roller banners...


There are so many options available on the internet that it can be extremely difficult to work out the difference between many of the roller banner systems. Here’s some things that you should look out for…

• Build quality
Ok it’s difficult to tell over the internet how well a system is built but this really is the most important thing. The cheaper systems can often have stability issues and when you see them set up, they may look like they’re in danger of falling forwards. Not a good look. Most systems will combat this with a support legs, however the roller banners at the higher end are built with stronger materials, allowing them to stand straight on their own.

If you can afford the higher outlay it is often better to move up a price bracket, more expensive systems will last longer and withstand more punishment however if the system is only to be used once or twice, a cheaper system will work great if treated with a little care.

• Graphic quality

The final quality of the graphic will play a major part in the overall appearance of any large scale graphic. It is particularly difficult to have a large format printer set up well enough to print without “banding”. Banding is being able to see the swaths of ink laid down by the printers print head on each pass and can result in an awful looking print when viewed relatively closely. The most common causes of this are;

•The graphic being printed to fast, meaning wet ink is being laid on wet ink with each pass.

•The printer is to hot or cold. Large format printers have the ability to heat the material as it goes through the machine and if this isn’t set just right then the ink dries either to quickly, or not quickly enough.

•The advancement of the material (how much it moves forwards after each pass) is set incorrectly allowing for faded or darker lines where the ink hasn’t overlapped properly.

As you can probably tell, getting this right isn’t easy and requires a lot of time and care in the set up of the printer. More modern printers, like the ones we use, also adopt new technology to combat the effects of banding and “grainyness” with techniques such as variable dot sizing and printing in a wave pattern as opposed to straight lines.

The great DPI debate

With regards to graphic resolution, due to our print process, we require images to be at least 75dpi. Not 300dpi like other sites ask for. 300dpi is only required for a different type of printing process and so bare this in mind when sites say your image isn’t good enough. Your screen is usually set to 72dpi and so often if it looks good zoomed in to real size on your screen, it’ll look good in print.

The quality of print really makes or breaks the impact of the roller banner as a promotional tool and is why we urge people to research into who it really is that you are ordering from before proceeding.

•Aesthetics

Generally the more expensive the roller banner system, the more expensive it looks. A higher end roller banner without support struts will look sturdier and more styled. The cheaper systems will look more basic in design. This ultimately comes down to your preference but beware that although 2 roller banner systems may look the same, they could be of very different build quality.

•Does it come with a graphic?

Believe it or not we have heard of people buying a roller banner system online that despite being pictured with a graphic, doesn’t actually include a graphic. Read any site carefully. All roller banner systems bought through our site include a fitted graphic so no need to worry here.

•Text

It’s important to make sure all text is converted to paths or outlines before sending anything off to be printed. If your print operator does not have a copy of your exact font then their computer will convert it to a default font. This can cause the appearance of your text to change dramatically with little warning to the print operator. Outlining your fonts will eliminate any chance of a default font being used.



Some things to look out for when buying a roller banner… | Next Day Roller Banners
 
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