Is Large Format Printing Profitable? A Comprehensive Guide

Large-format commercial printing is now the most affordable, efficient and cost-effective way to execute large-format marketing materials. If achieved this way, success with the wide format can be very rewarding. The six commercial printing companies consulted for this article claim that they owe between 20% and more than 60% of their current revenues to what they define as large format production. And everyone expects stocks to grow.

If you want to make money in large format printing, you should first consider the growth opportunities and cost-effectiveness of this kind of business opportunity. It is more affordable than traditional printing methods, and it can help your business get the message out there in a more consistent and effective manner. The process begins with designing and plotting sheets for large-scale printing. Then, the printer adjusts the sheets so that they print at the same color, quality, and size. Finally, the large-format printer prints the design on large sheets of vinyl. Once the print is complete, a lamination process is needed to protect the signage, especially if it will be outside.

Growth Opportunities

The global wide format market is set to grow significantly over the next several years, thanks to increasing demand for custom prints from consumers. The report highlights growth opportunities, market drivers, challenges, and more. It also provides information about competitive landscape, including product launches, acquisitions, partnerships, and mergers. With these opportunities, print service providers can further improve their competitiveness and drive their business growth.

The APAC region will be a major growth area for large format printers in the coming years. The region is home to developed economies such as Japan and South Korea. China, on the other hand, has been the fastest-growing economy in the world for the last two decades. The region also produces large amounts of signage and apparel. In addition, the economy in India is booming, so demand is expected to continue growing there.

As the number of people who travel increases, the demand for large format printing also grows. According to NAPCO Media Research, nearly half of all commercial print options opportunities fall within the wide-format printing category. This includes building graphics, POP/display graphics, vehicle wraps, compliance and safety signage, window graphics, fleet graphics, and more.


For businesses, large-format printing models can help them achieve their branding goals through the use of vibrant, high-impact images. These large prints can serve as billboards or banners and increase awareness of a product or service. Digital printing industry can also draw people to a store or retail outlet. Today, many large format printers use digital printing techniques to deliver large-scale graphics in a fast and efficient manner.


When it comes to profitability, the long-term success of wide-format dome printing requires time, capital and a willingness to take calculated risks. For example, you must determine whether a piece of equipment will support a profitable operation. Profitability also depends on the sales process, so it's important to hire sales professionals who have a thorough understanding of all of the processes involved.

Commercial printers must be proactive in marketing and selling their wide format printing services to ensure they remain profitable. Without a well-defined plan for sales, they can't hope to compete with superstore printshops for share-of-wallet. To remain competitive, commercial digital printers must actively sell advertising services to small businesses. Otherwise, they risk losing the opportunity to sell wide format graphics and collateral.

To ensure profitability, wide format print service providers must balance waste and labour costs. Each minute spent planning photo print jobs is a minute of lost profit. Additionally, every square inch of unused substrate costs money. Automation can help minimize both waste and labour.

Growth Trends

The growth trends for large format printing can be broadly categorized into two major categories - commercial and residential digital printing market. In 2018, the commercial segment accounted for the largest share of the global market. Commercial large format office printers are primarily used for advertising and in-house promotions. They are also widely used for indoor and outdoor signage. Advertising with large signage boards and hoardings attracts targeted audiences and boosts sales and cost savings and become a competitive advantage with the use of profitable applications like industrial print applications.

In contrast, closed borders and national closures are also affecting the large format printer market. Although this impacted the global distribution channels, the demand remained stable. As a result, companies that cannot outsource their printing requirements to overseas markets are turning to automated print-on-demand (POD) technologies in their domestic markets. These solutions use intelligent algorithms to meet the printing needs of a particular region.

In terms of geography, APAC dominates the market, primarily due to the presence of key players. The region is expected to experience strong growth during the forecast period, especially in the signage and advertising sectors. Furthermore, the booming economy in India is also contributing to the growth trends in the large format printing market in the region.

Some large format printing projects are designed to be mounted outdoors. For example, posters and billboards are placed outdoors for long periods of time so they must be able to maintain their quality despite exposure to various weather elements like rain or snowfall.

Large format printing like banners

is able to withstand constant exposure due to its UV-resistant materials that make them durable enough for outdoor use.


To survive and outperform in this market space commercial printers must change their approach by actively selling advertising services while minimizing waste costs through automation technologies like PODs (Print On Demand). With these strategies in place businesses can ensure profitability while taking advantage of growth opportunities presented by APAC markets.

Large format printing offers businesses an affordable way to get their message out there with high impact visuals that draw attention from potential customers while being able to withstand outdoor elements like rain or snowfall.

Eric Zaremski
Eric Zaremski

Incurable pop culture guru. Typical bacon evangelist. Hipster-friendly zombie enthusiast. General travel lover. Hardcore zombie guru.