Wild Format Technology is all about you

HP’s PageWide technology can be used to print anything from newspapers to posters. It can also be used to produce three dimensional objects.
HP’s PageWide technology can be used to print anything from newspapers to posters. It can also be used to produce three dimensional objects.
Written by  11th July 2016

This is the first in a series of articles explaining how you can use wide-format digital printing technology to produce exciting and innovative media concepts. 

Wild Format digital printing lets you express yourself as never before. It’s a technology for printing on any surface, in full, glorious and enduring colour. We call it Wild Format, because what you do with it is up to you and there are no boundaries to what is possible.

You can totally let your imagination go, and express yourself in print using technology that’s cheap, accessible and available on demand.

Wild format digital printing gives you unprecedented creative print possibilities, whether you want to change the pictures on the wall, or revamp your wardrobe. It's all about you and turning your ideas into reality.

HEXIS, The battle, World Tour.

How we got here

There’s nothing new in the idea of print, but with digital printing everything is different. The technology makes it simple and inexpensive for anyone to create and produce their own printed materials from silks to ceramics. Wild format digital print is about printing on any suface at any size, and at a quality you won’t believe. 

We didn’t get here overnight. The systems used to create low cost bespoke digital print have been around for years. The technology has steadily evolved to get better and better, producing printed pages that look at least as good as their traditional, costly and complicated equivalents.

We think digital, and digital print is a natural extension for our nimble digital mindsets and fragmented communications. We manage our lives via social media and mobile apps and we live an online life. We always want more and we want it now and we can use print to differentiate our ideas and messages.

FESPA.com banner 620 x 110

Most of us get that digital printing adds a new dimension to how we communicate, so we are comfortable using print as another component in our communications models. We’ve been thinking bespoke birthday and anniversary cards, and personalised party invitations for a few years now.

We’re comfortable ordering customised postcards from a mobile device. It’s easy and cheap to print photos from a mobile phone, or get customised business cards from a website.

Maybe you print photobooks of your holidays or print special Facebook diaries. Maybe you’ve created anniversary memory books for special occasions. Whatever you’re used to printing right now is just the start of what else you might want to create. Now you have many more options because digital printing technology is moving at such a speed. This is where Wild Format comes in.

Wild format takes you further

Wild format digital print offers a whole other dimension for individual expression, one that lets you share your ideas as never before and going far beyond conventional print formats. You can use digital printing technology to take your ideas much further than party invites.

How do you fancy printing your own designs onto wallpaper and flooring? Would you like to update your home with new textiles and bespoke printed doors? Or how about new personalised ceramic tiles for your bathroom and kitchen? And banners for your next party? Wild format digital printing technology makes all of this, and much more, possible. 

Wide format digital printing devices are very similar to the inkjet printers that many people have on their desktops. HP for instance uses the same basic thermal inkjet technology in its desktop printers and in its line of Latex and Designjet printers.

The difference with wide format digital printing is that the inkjet printheads are configured to print across a very large width, as much as five metres in the case of printing engines from several manufacturers. The massive range of colours, ink durability and flexibility, and of available substrates, is unprecedented.

They give you the opportunity to create printed banners, signs, shop displays, carpets, glass panels and even wood and metal sheets. All of these materials can be printed with your own designs and because this stuff is printed with digital technology, the production process and output is affordable too. We are just at the beginning of an amazing journey that lets you turn your imagination loose.  

Over the coming series of articles we’ll be writing about the technology, the materials options, how you get your prints finished and what you need to know to get perfect results. The Wild Format article series is about giving you the know-how to exploit this amazing technology. We look forward to hearing from you, if you have any specific puzzles you’d like us to help you solve.

This article is supported by AgfaDigital DotsEFIEskoFujifilmHP and Mimaki.