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A question we get often from marketers, designers and even print companies is “What really is the difference between large format, wide format and grand format printing?”. And it’s one of those things that many people don’t think really matters because it seems they are used interchangeably for something that gets printed that is “Really Big”, but having a distinction can be useful to ensure that when you are talking about printing something very large it is a capability that the print service provider you are working with can handle.

So we felt it necessary to create an article that once and for all defined the differences between these 3 categories of big, bigger and biggest printing so that you are better informed, can have more productive conversations about it and to be honest it will make you a little smarter than your peers in the marketing, design and print space (Which is always a plus!).


What is Large Format Printing?

Large format printing is anything printed at 17 inches wide up to 60 inches wide.

In this category you’ll find a number of products that don’t seem very  large up to some that feel pretty substantial.


Large Format Printing Examples

  • Even Poster
  • Small Business Sign
  • Small Vinyl Banner


What is Wide Format Printing?

Large format printing is anything printed between 60 inches wide up to 100 inches wide.

In this print category you’ll find products that get pretty big up to some that seem gigantic!


Wide Format Printing Examples

  • Large Signs
  • Big Event Banners
  • Wall Graphics


What is Grand Format Printing?

Large format printing is anything printed at more than 100 inches wide.

With this group of printed products you are going to see the biggest and most prolific prints that draw attention and keep it.


Grand Format Printing Examples

  • Large Scaffolding Wraps
  • Billboard Signage
  • Huge Building Sized Banners


Large Format Printing vs Wide Format Printing

(or the reverse Wide Format Printing vs Large Format Printing)

Since the primary difference between these two is a size you won’t actually find much of a difference between the two other than Wide Format being printed larger than Large Format.

Many of the same products can be printed within these two categories, but you’ll often find a lot of printed work that is on the smaller side of the Large Format category that is clearly not considered wide format. Things like medium size posters or smaller signs.

To be honest a lot of printers and marketers will make the claim that Large Format Printing and Wide  Format Printing are the same, but it’s our experience that they really do need to be broken down into their own categories.


Large Format Printing vs Grand Format Printing

(or the reverse Grand Format Printing vs Large Format Printing)

Large Format and Grand Format are very different. Aside from just the difference in size, you’ll find that the products are very different as well. Grand format printing will include products such as printed scaffold wraps for big buildings, billboards, gigantic banners like you see in Vegas, but on the Large Format Printing side you’re going to have a lot of smaller banners, business signage and commercial real estate signs as example.


Wide Format Printing vs Grand Format Printing

(or the reverse Grand Format Printing vs Wide Format Printing)

Essentially Wide Format is different from Grand Form for many of the same reasons Large Format is different from Grand Format. It’s all about size and the products that get printed. There is also truth to them being different int that those who come looking for Grand Format printing typically have a very specific solution they need created for a very specific purpose. Where a lot of wide format projects aren’t that complex or hard to produce.


Our goal was to settle this subject once and for all. To be honest I think we did a pretty good job here. If you have more questions about what wide format printing vs large format printing vs grand formatting is then reach out OR better yet, reach out  to your local printer who can do that work for you. Just tell them we sent ya!