Wide Format Printing

Wide format printer, JFX2000-2513.
Mimaki JV300 Plus wide format printer
UCJV300-160 wide format printer

Choosing the best, large format substrates is an important decision that can affect the quality of your print, and the price of the process.

In fact, the sheer available quantity of different substrates is part of what makes large format printers such an economically viable solution, increasing the total number of applications and thus ability to achieve a return on investment. 

Email printing@ohio.edu for more information and a quote. 

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Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Substrate


If the product will be displayed outdoors there are some considerations related to moisture exposure, as well as UV exposure. Likewise, depending on how the printed material will be exposed, certain substrate considerations will need to be made.


Depending on how the printed material needs to be installed different substrate considerations need to be made, specifically whether a rigid or soft material should be used. Also, the mechanism used to mount the printed material may affect substrate choice, such as reactions to glue or whether mounting hardware can be used.


Size considerations are relevant for choices of substrate because of price and difficulty of installation. Likewise, certain applications for signs will be impossible depending on size, i.e. the expected viewing distance.

Large Format Substrates: Rigid vs. Roll

The main difference between printed materials is how they are fed to the printer.

The two main options are either roll-fed or a rigid printing system. Of course, whether or not you are familiar with large format printing, the utilization of rolled flexible material is common in smaller format printing techniques. Similar to those applications, the different flexible substrate chosen will still have to reflect the type of imagery, size, and ink choice. These substrates are typically limited to papers, or flexible plastic composites, which can be sold and shipped on a roll.

Alternately, large format printer applications can also produce rigid products with an extremely large variety of different options. This process is known as direct to substrate printing.

Again, certain printers will only be able to accommodate certain thicknesses of rigid printable substrates. But, the rigid substrate should still have a surface texture that supports the full color gamut of the printed image in order to capture the full resolution of the images.

Roll-Fed Printing


Coming in a wide variety of colors, weights, and textures, using paper is a great solution to printing large format products. Depending on the resolution of the image being printing, Paper may be a good choice as the sheer variety of options present a low-cost solution to nearly any need.


This wide format printing material is often sold by the roll, and can feature a removable or non-removable application process. Vinyl is often used for large banner or wallpaper, and can be easily cut and shaped for your application. Vinyl can also support full color images, and though more expensive than paper, is still a low cost alternative.


Large format canvas prints are often the ideal solution for extremely high resolution printing needs. This substrate is typically used for art or photographic prints which will endure a heavy degree of scrutiny. It is often also sold by the roll and depending on the material is one the more expensive end of rolled substrates.

Rigid Printing

Foam Core example from Printing Services


Foamcore (or Foam Board) signage is extremely lightweight, easy to handle and is suitable for cost effective indoor signage. Rigid enough to be mounted on a wall with or without a frame, Foamcore signs offer a high quality yet budget-minded solution for all your customers’ large format advertising needs.

PVC signage example from Printing Services


This rigid substrate is essentially a thin PVC sheet that can be used indoors or outdoors for inexpensive sign solutions. Different thicknesses or stocks can be picked depending on installation preferences, such as freestanding displays or temporary signage.

Coroplast printing services substrate example


This corrugated plastic material is made using an extruded polypropylene sheet and is lightweight and cost-effective. It’s waterproof, weather-resistant, well suited for indoor and outdoor use, and offers an affordable visual communication solution for just about any application.

Sign printed on aluminum by Ohio University Printing Services


Aluminum substrates which are 100% aluminum or made of a composite with other materials can be printed with or without initial treatment. Though it is possible to print aluminum from a roll, depending on thickness, general this substrate is used in direct to substrate printing on a rigid body. A variety of colors and finishes are available for the composites, though the overall cost of aluminum substrate is much higher than paper or vinyl.

Image printed on acrylic material by Ohio University Printing Services


Acrylic printing is often one of the most expensive options for large format printing, largely due to the extremely vivid nature of the image resolution. A certain degree of depth and color gamut is possible with acrylic that would be difficult with paper. Also, the longevity, durability and colorfastness is nearly unparalleled with any other substrate.

Roll Material Descriptions

  • Banner — Gloss Finish — 13oz Banner is a single-sided, polyester scrim banner designed to be lightweight and versatile. With a specially formulated topcoat, it produces consistent image quality and optimal color reproduction. The material can be easily finished with grommets, sewing or hem stitch, and is designed for indoor and outdoor durability without lamination.
  • Mesh Banners — are optimal when weight and wind are a factor in the installation process and add to the banner’s life span. Used for Construction Sites, Fence Banners, Sporting Events, Building Banners & Stadiums
  • Adhesive Back White Vinyl — Gloss or Matt Finish — Used for Stickers/Labels, window graphics and various signage.
  • Quickstick — is a repositionable and removable adhesive textile product made of woven recyclable polyester. It is coated to achieve maximum graphic definition and allow for excellent ink load while also being scratch resistant 12 mil, recyclable polyester textile, Removable & repositionable adhesive, Matte finish & Tear resistant.
  • Canvas — known for its bright white finish and the ability to produce solid blacks, vivid colors and smooth gradients. The strong, but flexible, 1:1 weave makes for easy stretching without cracking.
  • Semi Gloss — is a bright white finish photo quality paper that is used when creating high quality advertisements, Photo Prints, and promotions.
  • Matte Paper — is a super smooth bright white photo paper designed with high performance and high quality in mind. Featuring a barrier coating that seals the base paper, you can produce images with a high depth of color and shadow detail without show through and cockle.
  • Dreamscape Wallwrap — Peel and stick wall coverings are thicker and more durable than other wraps it will not stretch or tear easily with unique textures to hide wall imperfections reduce glare and light hot spots. Smooth or Textured Finish.
  • Catwalk — designed for short-to medium-term applications. Featuring a non-slip, textured surface that requires no over-laminate, this film is ASTMD-2047 certified, and suitable for surfaces that are in both dry and wet locations, like poolside graphics or marble floors. Dimensionally stable and digitally printable, CatWalk is a great solution for a variety of indoor floor and surface applications. Note: Not for use on hardwood floors.
  • Window Perf — is an adhesive-backed vinyl that is perforated with a pattern of round, evenly spaced holes. Window perf is sometimes called “see-through vinyl,” or “one-way vision film,” because it partially blocks vision from the outside, but not from the inside. Available in: 50/50, 60/40 70/30 & 80/20
  • Magnet — is a magnetic sheeting for printing. This versatile magnetic substrate allows you to print directly to magnet material without the need to over-laminate. The material can be cut to any shape with cutters, plotters, or even a pair of scissors. Common uses: Ideal for temporary signage, graphics, in-store and POP displays, outdoor signage, vehicle magnets/car signs, promotional magnets, and more

Wide Format Equipment


    Mimaki JV300-160

    The JV300 Plus Series inkjet printers delivers a remarkable range of applications. Gamut-extending eco solvent inks enable you to accomplish anything from fine art reproduction, wall d cor and stunning backlits, and outdoor displays. Fast printing speeds up to 1,140 SqFt (105.9 SqM) per hour – High quality print resolution of up to 1,440 dpi


    Mimaki UCJV300-160

    UCJV UV-LED delivers an amazing array of applications that are instantly dry, making it possible to laminate and/or cut immediately after printing for the highest efficiency in workflow. Unique multi-layer printing produces innovative graphics for backlit applications while advanced printing techniques and precision cutting capabilities enable delivery of complete campaigns that include signs, posters, banners, labels, decals and more. Meanwhile, industry leading ink performance brings the versatility of white with the quality, stability and reliability of an original Mimaki solution.


    Mimaki JFX200

    The JFX200-2513 wide format UV-LED flatbed printer can produce a diverse range of output for both indoor and outdoor use. It is well suited for a range of applications such as installation-ready rigid signage, posters, wayfinding, decorative panels, custom pieces, printing jigs, and more. Its landscape-oriented format is designed to maximize floorspace. The UV-LED lamps offer reduced energy consumption and a longer lamp lifetime.

    • Landscape-oriented table can print on one 4’ x 8’ board or a variety of pre-cut pieces, and onto objects up to 2” thick
    • User-adjustable layout pins
    • High quality print resolution of up to 1,200 dpi
    • Variable Dot Technology and Mimaki Advanced Pass System (MAPS) for smooth gradients and solids
    • Dual-zoned vacuum table holds media flat
    • Multiple ink formulations