Wide Format? Or Display Graphics?

I’ve noticed a distinct trend these days to replace the term “Wide Format Graphics” with “Display Graphics.” I’m not sure who is driving this change, designers or the print industry. It first came to my notice through a print trade magazine that appeared to embrace the change.

I work in a weird portion of Wide Format printing that also includes DIGITAL DISPLAY GRAPHICS, as in those things that go on LED/digital ink messaging boards, menus and billboards. They are two different things and not always interchangeable, especially in how the file production has to happen. The bigger the imagery gets, the less interchangeable those terms are.

Not digging it.

(2.5 more years…I hope…)


They just can’t leave things alone.
I’ve worked in the same industry for years and its always been Wide Format.
Using a HP Latex 360 for years…

yeah, the writer of the article was all ready to embrace the change because Wide Format is considered an insider descriptor, not a “general public” descriptor. Ya know what, if you’re writing a trade article in a trade magazine, maybe you should keep the trade definition.
Who cares what the public calls it (most of them just call em “stickers.” :roll_eyes:)

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Technology is changing so fast that terminology and professional jargon can’t keep up — for example, typefaces versus fonts.

Another term I’m no longer entirely comfortable with is digital printing in reference to high-quality inkjet (or toner-based) printing. Unless someone makes prints using traditional methods, all printing today is digital. In offset printing, it’s digital all the way through creating the printing plate, which doesn’t strike me as much less digital than spraying physical ink droplets. I read one trade article recently that weirdly defined digital printing as any kind of printing where the printing machine is connected wirelessly to a network rather than via a cable of some kind, which makes no sense.

As for wide-format printing, I’m not sure where I first heard that term. I’ve always interpreted it as large-format printing, but I have no idea how the term came to be generally accepted. As for display graphics, I don’t see why that’s a better term than wide-format or any more “general public” oriented. In typography, display type has always referred to large point sizes (unless the definition has changed without me noticing). The public doesn’t know any of this anyway.

Digital display graphics doesn’t seem especially accurate either. Why not large-format LED? I’ve got to admit that the term digital ink makes me cringe. It sounds like a cool-sounding marketing slogan.

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Wide format differs from Large format. I’m not sure quite where the cutoff point is for Large format, but it’s somewhere around the size of an E-sized architectural drafting printout. Wide format seems to start at the 54" media mark and goes up to 2-meter, 3-meter and 5-meter wide machines (though the latter might sometimes be called Grand format.) As I like to mention, there are two machines in the world that go to 12meters wide (39.3ft) They are just called by their names, Infinitus 1 and 2.

When I think digital printing, it excludes press printing because you are still using a mechanical press imprinting on media via mechanical transfer (though it’s controlled through various digital processes.)
To me this includes toner based printing. Those are still just “photocopiers.” LOL!
On the other hand, everything about ink-spew technology is digital.

I dunno.
I guess I should ignore it all more.

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I used to work at a wholesale print shop “Signs365” and they had a Grand-format banner printer that took rolls up to 16ft wide.
That was a monster!
I’m not familiar with the Infinitus 1 and 2?

5meter is a 16-footer. Yeah, they’re big. Two of my local vendors have them and I love doing presschecks just to see them.
Here is the Infinitus.


Oh my dear Lord!
I never saw such a thing!
I thought the 16 footer was huge but this is crazy!
How do they even change rolls for this thing?
It must take forever to print with that print carriage going back and forth?
Must be omni directional I would think…
Thanks for posting this…

It prints surprisingly fast for the distance that head has to travel.
Here’s another one showing the media load. I’m pretty sure they roll the media on, to roll it off as it prints, but I really have no idea. Would love to see it in person someday if I ever get near Stockholm.
Max size is 40’ x 160’ (39’ x 159’ -ish when finished.)
As you can guess, your choice of media is…restricted. I usually use Cloth 201(makes great stage drops,) but have done Sharkstooth scrim too.
And they have a sweet hanging system that uses Keder bead and rail. No tying drops. Just hang the rail and slide in the bead.

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God help you if you end up with a headstrike or wrinkle!

Just wanted to say, for the record, I don’t work for them. But I do have the pleasure of working with them from time to time. :slight_smile:

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Who makes the gigantic sheets/rolls of material those big beasts print on?

If I had to guess, either Germany or Israel. That’s were most of the good fabric media comes from.

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