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The History of Large Format Printers

Posted on Mon, Jul 27, 2015

What are Large format Printers?printer-history

Large Format Printers are some of the most useful tools in today’s society. We use visual aids for everything from marketing and advertising to workplace communication, and sometimes an extremely large document is required. This is where large format printers come in, but what is the history behind these modern tools and where will large format printing go in the future?

How Large Format Printers Began

The advent of the large format printer can be traced back to the very beginning of the digital printing age. A company in Manhattan Beach, California called Nash Editions was formed in 1991, and they were the first to enter the world of large format printing with a machine that was extremely basic compared to what companies can do now with large format printing and cost upwards of $126,000.

The machine was the IRIS 3047, which had been designed to work with digital proofs and was not actually intended for printing of items to last for a long period of time, and it wasn’t until a musician named Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) and his tour manager realized that the printer could be used to reproduce large format fine art.

The Early Years of Large Format Printers

The early years of large format printing started with the 1994 large format printer made by Durst. It was the first RGB laser silver-halide printer that was designed for large format printing. It was joined by the Epson Stylus Color Printer that same year – a printer that actually printed photo quality for the first time. The Epson wasn’t a large format printer, but it showed where the technology could be taken.

In 1996, Iris Graphic released a new large format printer that once again showed their innovation and skill in the field with the Iris 3047, the first large format photo quality printer, with ink from Nash Editions. What followed over the next few years were slight improvements and advances in both photo printing and large format printing.

The Modern Era of Large Format Printing

From 2000 to today, the technology was still being improved, but it leveled off towards the end of the decade and large format printing became a standard practice with companies using large format materials for everything from marketing to signage for various events and functions. Companies, such as Governor Business Solutions, continue to carry the tradition of large format printing excellence forward and these days, a large format print can be extremely high resolution and bright and vibrant for many years to come.

Some quality and valued large format printer brands include: Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Oce. For more information on any of these printing devices, please contact Governor Business Solutions, your printing specialist, for a free demonstration and price quote.

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