Understanding the Importance of Overlaps in Wide Format Printed Graphics

Understanding the Importance of Overlaps in Wide Format Printed Graphics

In the world of wide format printing, particularly in applications like wallpaper, overlaps are more than just an afterthought. They play an important role in ensuring a seamless and professional finish.

What Are Overlaps?

In wide format printing, an overlap refers to the area where two printed panels meet and slightly cover each other. Rather than aligning panels edge-to-edge, overlaps ensure there's no visible gap, providing a continuous visual flow.

Why Overlaps Matter in Wide Format Printing

Consistency in Appearance:

Wallpaper or large printed graphics should provide a continuous, uninterrupted visual. Overlaps prevent unsightly gaps that can arise due to minor shrinkage or misalignment during application.

Ease of Application:

For those applying the graphics, especially wallpapers, overlaps can offer a guideline, making it easier to align panels correctly.

Protection Against Wear and Tear:

Over time, with environmental changes, panels can shrink or expand. Overlaps provide a buffer against such changes, ensuring the design remains intact longer.

Tips for Perfect Overlapping

The Right Width:

While overlaps are beneficial, they shouldn't be too wide. Typically, a 1-2cm overlap is sufficient for most wide format printed graphics.

Smooth Out Bubbles:

When overlapping, ensure no air bubbles form between layers. Using a squeegee is invaluable. 

Mind the Design:

When dealing with intricate patterns or designs, it's crucial to ensure that the overlap doesn't disrupt the visual continuity.

Challenges and Solutions

While overlaps offer numerous advantages, they come with challenges. For instance, overlaps can be noticeable if there's a significant colour difference between adjoining panels. In such cases, it's essential to ensure accurate colour matching during the printing process.

Overlaps, though seemingly minor, can significantly impact the outcome of wide format printed graphics projects. By understanding their importance and mastering their application, you can guarantee a flawless finish, be it in wallpapers or other large graphic displays.


Having trouble preparing your print files with the right overlap?

By utilising Tiling+ within Caldera RIP, the task of creating wallpaper drops, splitting graphics for exhibition stands and even wrapping a bus is made simple.

Once you have set your overall size and entered your allowances for drop widths, simply drop in your artwork and you’re ready to go. Plus it will even generate a PDF to hand off to your installers for a step-by-step install guide.

Chat with us today about how Caldera can improve your workflow.