Dean Herr

Wide Format Printers – Making informed purchasing decisions

wide format printers

Wide Format Printers | Who should own one and why?

It wasn’t long ago that the real need for wide format printers fell basically on two segments; the construction/architecture industry and graphic arts poster reproduction. Today there tends to be a wider range of industries jumping on the wide format printers bandwagon.


Why is this? To tell you the truth, it’s all about pricing and the need to have the ability to make these larger than life reproductions. The market has seen vast improvement to the technology and with more and more manufacturer’s entering the arena; the laws of supply and demand have increased competition.

Not just for Architects anymore.

New industries have also been born from the increase in the technology. Take a look at the vehicle wrap industry. It wasn’t long ago that if you required any type of logos or graphics on a vehicle, the artist would hand paint or cut out stickers. Give a person a graphics arts program and a couple of wide format printers and they are in the vehicle wrap business in no time. Whether they are qualified or not is a discussion for another day.

Because the pricing models on wide format printers and the cost to operate them have changed so drastically over the last 10 years, more of us are creating our own custom banners. Being able to make marketing banners “in-house” as opposed to waiting for the local graphics company to produce has increased marketing efforts to even the smallest of companies. A really nice 24” x 36” marketing piece can be produced for well under $10. This makes keeping advertising fresh affordable to most any size business.

Changing the game with lower cost of ownership

Along with the lower cost of ownership, we have also seen a plethora of software packages come to market that allow even the most unskilled layman to produce beautiful advertising. So now that we don’t need the professional presents of a graphic designer, we can make marketing changes quickly and effectively on our own with our wide format printers. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not making the claim we can discard the occupation just that producing a pricing banner is much easier than it ever was.

Architects and Engineers, especially those in smaller agencies, would never think that it was fiscally responsible to own their own wide format printers. That has all changed now! We can not only offer them a solution, in many cases, prove why it’s not economically wise for them to own.

Wide format printers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices ranges. Finding a partner that can help you navigate the waters and discovering which solution is right for you is most important. With all of these choices now-a-days it’s key to not only make the right decision but to always be mindful of the costs pre-sale as well as post. The wrong choice in wide format printers could end up costing more than the output they produce. Always consult a professional!

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