Large Format Printing and Custom Wallpaper Murals

wallpaper mural

Sometimes your home printer just doesn't cut it for certain printing needs! For those larger scale,high-resolution jobs, it's wise to hire the professionals, who specialize in large format printing. This printing style, along with its photographic equivalent, provides up to 16 times the resolution of standard 35mm film, making it especially well-suited for wallpaper, banners, or other signage for businesses, restaurants, sports venues, or lobbies.

Large format custom wallpaper murals can range in size from under 100 square feet to over 250 square feet, meaning that no matter the size of the banner you need, these printers are able to make it for you. Typically pricing ranges from around $7.00 per square foot for the smaller jobs to around $5.25 per square foot for those jobs over 250 square feet. Though these wallpaper murals are an investment, because they're printed on fade-resistant UV inks, they can last indefinitely.

So how, exactly, are these wallpaper murals made? First, the customer needs to supply the digital image. Though the higher the resolution, the clearer the image quality, any digital camera larger than 6 megapixels on the highest setting will work just fine. Using digital imaging software, technicians reformat and retouch the image to ensure the sharpest image possible for printing.

Once the image is appropriately retouched for printing, a large format printer is selected that can accommodate the correct image size. If you look at these HP models, for instance, you can see that range in size and volume (how quickly the images can be printed). Often times these commercial printers can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the model.

As we mentioned above, by using UV-resistant inks, you can greater increase the lifespan of your wallpaper. By not using UV-resistant ink, it's likely that any signage in direct sunlight will fade in just a few months. The type of surface that the image is printed on depends upon your needs. If you think you might want to reuse or reposition wallpaper, selecting the removable wallpaper with an adhesive backing is a better choice. This can made out of either fabric or vinyl, the latter material being recommended when budget is a concern. For projects with heavy use of black ink, a smooth wallpaper requiring permanent installation will give the best results.

One of our friends, Mega Print Inc., is a large format printing company we'd recommend. They also use PVC-free wallpaper, which is more environmentally sustainable. Though PVC is one of the most commonly used sign materials since the mid-1900s, it is not biodegradable or recyclable, and is therefore not a material we would use in our large format printing needs.

If you have any other questions about large format printing, or want to share your best idea for a wallpaper mural, don't hesitate to enter your comment below!

How Printing Can Be Green

It's no surprise to most that home or office printing is not friendly to the environment. Beyond the obvious amount of paper waste, many types of printers use complex internal printing mechanisms and ink cartridges that produce a lot of added waste. As the two groups forming the Environment Industry Associations report, every year 300 million empty cartridges get added into the waste stream. Because it takes 1 gallon of oil to produce a single ink cartridge, the environmental impact is enormous.

eco-friendly

However, with advances made to printer quality, recycling, and awareness over printing practices, your printing experience doesn't have to wreck the environment in the process. Printing green also has an added benefit--efficiency. With more efficient practices, you'll save yourself money in the process. The following tips are intended to be starting points for thinking about what impact your home or office practices have.

  • Print double-sided on post-consumer recycled paper. It seems like a no-brainer to print on both sides of a sheet of paper, but surprisingly few people do it. By using double-sided printing, you instantly reduce your paper waste by half. At the same time, it's important to find post-consumer recycled paper, meaning the paper is made of recycled pulp from other consumer products. Many stores like Staples or Office Max will have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) labels to indicate these practices have been verified.
  • Print on the lowest quality ink setting, except in necessary occasions. Factory printer settings typically aren't set up for the lowest quality ink setting, but unless you are printing professional color documents or photographs, there is no need to print outside of the 'draft' setting. You can significantly reduce how quickly you use up the existing ink in your cartridge.
  • When shopping for a new printer, consider ENERGY STAR labels and intended usage. Like the FSC labeling paper products, ENERGY STAR labels consumer and professional electronics and appliances on how effectively they use energy. When shopping, be sure to look for the distinct light blue logo. Thinking about intended use is a good consideration when making a printer purchase. One of the first questions to ask is, "Do I need to print only in black and white or color?" Monochrome printers use only one ink cartridge, reducing waste, whereas color printers can have four or more separate cartridges that can increase waste.
  • Recycle your cartridges! This is the single most effective way of reducing cartridge waste. When throwing out a cartridge in the trash, it'll likely end up spending decades in a landfill. With increasingly sophisticated methods for repurposing old cartridges, there is really no reason not to. Earth911 even has a search for companies that re-purpose cartridges by city.
  • Ask yourself, "Do I really need to print this?" While we are an ink and toner business, we also want to make sure you're printing only what you need. With new digital systems for reading, signing, and storing documents, printing out items, especially related to work, may not be necessary. Consider synching email, documents, photographs, or other items to your smartphone, tablet, or reading device to save on printing output.
  • Finally, and perhaps easiest of all, power off and unplug your printer when not in use. Unless you expect a busy day of high-use printing, having a printer on and/or plugged in uses a lot of residual energy. This will help reduce your monthly electric bill as well.

Though these are just some of the tips we have for printing in a more eco and wallet friendly way, there are many other tips we haven't included. Leave your favorite green printing trick below.

Homemade Cards Make a Creative Impression

Yes, today is Valentine's Day, that holiday where you go out and buy your loved one a card, flowers or maybe chocolates. Luckily, you're just in time to make your own card for this Valentine's Day! Homemade cards are a way to show your significant other (or anyone else, for that matter) how creative and thoughtful you are. With so many options available, taking the extra time to make a card from the comfort of your own home goes a long way.homemade cards

Making a card from home might seem like a daunting task, but the process is actually very easy. Though you can go to your local craft store (like Michael's) to purchase scrapbooking supplies for cutout letters, rubber figurines, and ribbons, this isn't a requirement. As long as you have a thick 8.5 by 11 inch card stock in the color of your choosing, an envelope, a working printer with multicolored ink, and Microsoft Word, you're all set to begin making your own masterpiece.

The steps for making the card are simple:

  • First, you need to get your inspiration! What holiday or event are you creating a card for? While Valentine's Day is the obvious example for today, what if you wanted to make a card for Father's Day? Luckily, the internet offers plenty of examples, particularly the social image sharing website Pinterest and handmade goods marketplace Etsy.
  • With your inspiration in mind, open up Microsoft Word. If you are familiar with more advanced programs like Photoshop, feel free to use those, but for those without graphic design knowledge, Word will be your go-to choice. A standard greeting card size is 5 inches by 7 inches. Since you are printing two sides, the height would be 7 inches and the width should be 10 inches. Make sure that your page is also set to landscape orientation.
  • In order to determine which side is which, you'll need to use the draw tool to make a line down the middle of the card. How do you know where to put it? Word uses a ruler at the top of every page. Since the width is 10 inches, you need to mark it off at 5 inches.
  • Next you must determine which panel will be the outside of the card and which will be the inside. If you plan on only printing an image on the front of the card, the right-hand panel on your screen will be where you need to place the image. If you are printing on both the inside and outside, you will need to create two separate pages in Word, the first page functioning as the cover and the second page functioning as the inside. Double check to make sure you've set things up correctly by doing test runs on your normal printer paper.
  • With the page set up, now the fun can begin! Feel free to add any images or graphics you feel are relevant. Do you want the card to be personal, funny, cute or playful? Using the right image can do a lot to set the mood/tone of a card. Here, you can also use the text box feature to adjust where you position the text on the page. Take time to experiment with fonts. Just remember not to use the text to put your name in the card. You'll want to sign it later!
  • When you're satisfied with your test design, go to File => Print and do another test copy. You'll want to make sure everything is in the right spot on the page, and nothing goes outside of the printer's margins. Once satisfied, be sure to remove your regular paper and insert the 8.5 by 11 inch card stock into the printer's feed. Before printing, go to your printer settings to ensure your print quality is on "best" or "high quality." Though this uses more ink, it will give you better image quality.
  • Click print, and voilà, you've got your card ready!

Though you can glue on all of the other craft items at the end, you don't have to. Just be sure to write a personalized note and sign your name to make things official. Though it may have taken a little bit of time to get all of the graphics and images just right, others will take notice and thank you for your creative efforts!

So get crafty just in time to say "I love you" to that special someone. Feel free to share your best designs, tips and tricks below.

Design and Innovation Meet with the Little Printer

If you subscribe to regular print news, play crosswords, check your horoscope, write out lists, or have engaging conversations with friends via social media, the Little Printer might be just right for you! Created by BERG Ltd., a design studio located in London with a heavy focus on mobile/cloud technologies, the Little Printer is a device using thermal, inkless printing that measures no more than 5 inches deep, 4.25 inches high, and 3.3 inches wide. With four faces to choose from for the front design and a series of available apps, there are a wide variety of possibilities for using Little Printer, especially for those interested in a simple, user-friendly interface.

What We Like About the Little Printer

It features one of the easiest printer setups we know. All you have to do is plug it into the wall, use the Ethernet cord provided to plug into a wireless router, and then print out a registration code. After entering that code into your iPhone, Android or Windows phone, you'll be able to instantly set up content to start printing.

It emphasizes the necessity of printing. Sure, there are tons of apps where you can save lists, play crosswords, and read news headlines, but with all of the choices available today, isn't it easy to just get lost in all of this technology? With Sunrise, for instance, you can use Google Calendar, Facebook, LinkedIn and other applications to create a daily to-do digest. Rather than scanning through a half dozen apps, you'll have a simple list that prints out of The Little Printer.

It's design-focused. Too often printers have a tendency to be overly complex or just aren't good to look at. Berg takes a different approach by committing to design-friendly printing for their core mission. Using only black and white printing that borrows from modern lithographic and pixel art, means Little Printer is able to deliver a consistent product that requires no user-based adjustment in style.

Potential Limitations

As we know from Apple's iOS interface, using smart, tightly controlled design means having limited options, at least initially. Reviews of Little Printer have noted that while the existing apps are functional and deliver high quality printing results, there are simply not enough to justify the cost of this new 'social printing" that is specific to Berg's cloud services. If you want the full selection of the Apple, Android or Windows applications, you might want to consider looking at more traditional printing options for your mobile device, including those that can handle color printing methods. Other options, including Canon Mobile Printing, are better suited to those who might need to get photographs or Microsoft Office documents printed.

Berg is looking to remedy this particular problem by offering a full-length Publisher's Handbook that offers best practices for designing Little Printer-friendly publications for future use.

Another limitation is cost. The printer retails for $259.99 plus a $30 flat rate shipping fee from the United Kingdom. This means that if price is one of your concerns, you might want to look at other products currently on the market. But for those who already have a full-service printer and are looking for small scale, easy-to-use social printer, Berg's Little Printer is the perfect addition to your arsenal!

Currently, the Little Printer is on back order in the United States until April 2013, but you can place your order now online.

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Recent Tweets

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While we might love printing, maybe our feline friends aren't such big fans! Or are they? http://t.co/xvPdeclZeU #printing #cats

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"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." -Dieter Uchtdorf (RT if you agree!)

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There's a new development every day in #3Dprinting! A company just introduced a printable flexible plastic. http://t.co/btTbJQrSxn #tech

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"Inspiration grows in even the tiniest places." What is inspiring you this Sunday? #quotes http://t.co/UX7AUhWYu5

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