When it comes to getting the most out of your wide format printer investment, media matters. Selecting the right media can greatly impact the overall quality of printed output; help attract new clients; streamline construction workflow or even generate sales at the point-of-purchase.
Gone are the days when white coated paper was the only media choice. Today, there are hundreds of printable substrates available, and the challenge of matching the right media to the right application can be daunting. Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A, outlines the top five questions that should guide your decision making process and will help you make a smart media decision.
- What’s your application? From AEC, to GIS and retail to schools and universities, each industry presents unique wide format printing needs and challenges. The first step is to analyze how you primarily utilize your wide format printer – are you printing short term, point-of-purchase signage or do you require architectural renderings and client presentation materials? Your application needs will guide your media selection.
- What are you trying to achieve? Printed output provides a powerful opportunity to differentiate your business. Are you seeking to reduce errors and streamline workflow or are you more concerned with closing a deal with potential clients? The right media choice can have an impact on how you achieve your ultimate goal.
- How will the output be used? Evaluate how and where your printed output will be used. Indoor vs. outdoor use requires different media; as does output that will be showcased on an easel rather than hanging on a wall. Sustainability and length of use (e.g. short-term vs. long-term) should also be considered.
- What’s your budget? Think big picture. Media costs should be factored into your total wide format printer investment. But, keep in mind that newer media options are often far less expensive than you may think and using low quality media can undermine the performance of your wide format printer.
- What media options are compatible with your printer? From the most basic four-color CAD inkjet printers to the newest model, wide format printers offer a broad range of printing capabilities. However, these capabilities are often under-utilized. Ensure you fully understand the spectrum of media your printer can handle – and take advantage of these options.
In addition to answering the five questions above, making a smart media decision also depends on a good understanding of the wide variety of media options that are available. Media options most commonly suited to the needs of AEC companies, GIS firms, retailers and educational institutions include: presentation bond, synthetic paper, gloss or satin photo paper, canvas, vinyl, Tyvek, backlit film and self-adhesive products. While this can seem overwhelming, taking the time to understand the options for your wide format printer can help you more effectively match them to your specific applications.
While often overlooked, choosing the right media for your applications can deliver significant benefits. Including the ability to differentiate your organization, sharpen your competitive edge, exceed customer expectations and more effectively leverage your wide format printer investment.
To learn more about the wide variety of media options that are available today and how the right media choice can expand your wide format printing horizons, please download the Canon Solutions America whitepaper “Smart Media Decisions for Your Wide Format Printer” here.