If you’re in advertising, marketing, branding, construction, or any other industry that involves print wide-scale visuals, a wide format printer is an essential tool. Unlike a standard printer, this model produces crisp text and high-quality images, making it ideal for photo-heavy tradeshow graphics, banners, vehicle wraps, posters, murals, and other similar printouts.

Unfortunately, the initial cost for this type of printer may be a little discouraging. However, its long-term benefits outweigh the upfront investment required. Here, we’ll discuss reasons for buying a wide format printer and the factors to consider when choosing one for a smooth printing experience.

Reasons for Investing in a Wide Format Printer

You might have conflicting thoughts about whether to buy a wide format printer or outsource your printing needs. While the former appears the affordable option, it’s more expensive in the long term, especially if the daily or weekly printing output is high. Besides that, you’ll also lose control over the print quality and delivery time.

Here are some reasons why buying your wide format printer is worthwhile.

Maintaining Consistency in Your Printed Materials

Brand consistency matters in all aspects, including your printed designs. If you outsource your printing work to different companies, you’ll have no control over the output since every wide format printer is likely to print slightly differently from the other.

Conversely, with an in-house wide format printer, you’ll have the freedom to decide the ink colors, text, and print quality to ensure uniformity. Moreover, you can put up a set of guidelines that everyone follows for similar results. Having consistent print designs helps to make your brand easily recognizable through visual cues. Also, you’re able to build credible relationships with your audience as they understand what your brand stands for.

Saving Time and Money

Some business needs are always unpredictable. For instance, you may need 200 marketing posters or banners in a short time. If you outsource your wide format printing services, you risk losing control over the timelines. With your wide format printer, there’s no wait time. You walk to your production printer and produce whatever number of printouts you want without delay. To reduce the cost per page when outsourcing your wide-printing needs, you have to order a large quantity. With your in-house wide format printer, however, you buy your printing materials in bulk and can enjoy quantity discounts, which lower your overall printing expenses.

Enhancing Printing Production Compliance

Some industries, such as finance, health, and law, have printing regulations. Whenever you entrust your printing needs to a third party, you have no assurance they’ll follow these regulations to the letter.

As such, you might unknowingly violate these guidelines and incur fines, which can taint your business reputation and reduce your profitability. By bringing in a wide format printer, you’re able to adhere to regulations and avoid non-compliance issues.

Exploring Creative Printing Option

Modern wide format printers come with advanced features that can produce unmatched visual quality. If you have an in-house printer, you can explore such features and improve your printed designs. This helps your team learn in the process and become more skilled in providing solutions for all your large-format printing needs.

When you outsource the services, you’ll never have such an opportunity, and you might fail to keep up with emerging trends.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wide Format Printer

Although there are many benefits of having a wide format printer, no one-size-fits-all solution exists. So, when choosing your printer, there are some essential factors to take into consideration

Black and White or Color Printer

While wide format printers are popular for producing colored materials, some aren’t color and produce black and white texts and graphics. But there’s more to color. Wide format colored printers can be single-colored or multi-colored—the most advanced multicolored printers feature eight to 12 ink cartridges.

Whether you choose a black and white or colored wide format printer depends on the type of printing job you do. For instance, if you print drawing presentations, posters, banners, photos, and other technical documents, you’ll most likely need a colored printer.

The Cost of the Printer 

The cost of a wide format printer goes beyond the purchase price. You also have to consider the expenses of running the system. Sometimes, you might find a relatively affordable printer but with a costly toner cartridge. In this case, the long-term operation of the printer will be more expensive. When making cost considerations, therefore, ask the vendor about the hidden costs of consumables such as paper, ink, and toners.

In addition, ask about the maintenance and upgrade costs needed to keep the wide format printer operable and compatible.

The Performance and Speed

Typically, each wide format printer has a recommended speed on the technical specifications. It indicates the number of pages it can print in one minute. While that’s an important consideration, you shouldn’t base your decision on it. The reason being, wide format printers have to warm up before they start to operate. Furthermore, they require extra time to process digital forms before the actual printing job starts.

To determine the performance and speed, you can check the internal memory. However, this test will need to be carried out by the vendor. Besides the processing speed, you should also assess throughput or the ability of the wide format printer to concurrently process new files while printing the previous ones.

Suitability to Users 

Before choosing a wide format printer, consider its ease of use. For instance, if you intend to print standardized documents, the printer should have templates to make the work easier. Likewise, if each file has a unique format, the settings ought to be easy to adjust for the user to retain control over the machine.

Moreover, if the wide format printer has multiple users, ensure that its user interface is straightforward. This way, everyone can operate it without causing it to malfunction. In addition, ensure it’s easy to load paper rolls and add toner or ink. Be that as it may, it’s advisable to choose a vendor who can offer training to your team.

Choose Your Wide Format Printer With Confidence

Purchasing an in-house wide format printer is an excellent step to boosting productivity and maintaining quality in your printing designs. Better still, it will help you cut down on expenses compared to outsourcing the printing services. However, it’s important to factor in all the important considerations before buying your wide format printer to ensure it aligns with your business needs.

If you’ve made up your mind and want an in-house wide format printer for your Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Greensboro businesses, Kelly Office Solutions is the right brand to work with. We’ll help you evaluate your business needs and select a wide format printer that’s appropriate for you. Reach out to our team, and we’ll start the selection process.