At Caravan, many of our printable products can be printed out LARGE: 4 feet by 3 feet, but a lot of our customers feel a little intimidated by this process. Don’t worry! It’s easy and it’s inexpensive, and we will show you how!
Click here to see our whole range of products that use large format printing! (Warning: It's pages and pages!)
We've created a little fun video for you- but if you don't feel like watching the video, just look below for easy, STEP BY STEP process to help you succeed!
HOW TO PRINT LARGE FORMAT
1. GET THE FILE
When you purchase files from us, you will get an email with a download link. Click on the link, and save the file somewhere safe on your computer, like a Caravan folder where you can keep all our fun downloads together. Still overwhelmed about how to get the file? Watch this video here for help.
2. WHERE TO PRINT?
Now you need to choose where to print your file. We recommend Staples because we have the most consistent good results with them. Most Staples copy centers have a large printer for ENGINEERING PRINTS or blueprints, and pricing is pretty consistent at about $7 for a 3 by 4 foot print. Keep in mind, you’re paying by the foot, so if you ask them to print something a little smaller, you’ll be paying a little less!
Whether you are using Staples or any other print shop, we recommend CALLING AHEAD the first time you want to order prints. Ask them if they have a large black and white printer that is capable of printing engineering prints or blueprints. If the answer is NO, keep looking at different locations. If the answer is YES, ask them if they prefer you to email the file or bring it in on a jump drive.
3. EMAIL THE FILE TO PRINTER
This is my favorite option because it's the easiest. (Sadly, some printers don't take emails, so check with your printer ahead of time) Simply send an email to the address you got during your phone call, and attach the files you would like printed! Depending on how many prints you are doing, you may need to do a few separate emails. I have had Staples reject an email before because I put too many files into the same email. In the email, ask that the file be printed on the black and white engineering printer, and specify your size. For me, a typical email looks like this: “Will you please print the attached files on the black and white engineering printer at 36 x 48 inches? Thank you!” Remember, 36 x 48 inches is usually the maximum size, but you can ask for any other smaller size. I say something like, “Hi! Will you please print the attached file 24 inches wide?” They’ll size to that width, and I don’t have to worry about telling them the exact height.
4. SAVING THE FILE TO A JUMPDRIVE
You can also put your file onto a jump drive if you have one! Simply plug your jump drive into your computer’s USB port, and drag the file from your computer onto your jump drive. When you go to the print shop, you can hand over your jump drive and tell the worker which files you would like to have printed on the black and white engineering printer. Still need help? Check out this video here.
5. GET YOUR PRINTOUT!
This is the most fun part! The employee will hand you a gigantic print, and you should expect to pay about $7! (Always confirm price BEFORE placing your order so that there are no surprises here!!) Also, we promise this should be an easy errand- something you can do with your kids!
WHAT PAPER IS THIS PRINTED ON?
We are all about keeping cost down, and we happen to like the default paper stock used for engineering prints! (In our experience, Staples doesn’t ask you what kind of paper you want; in fact, we don’t even know if they offer other options.) That means this is not a fine art print and it’s not amazing paper. It’s like what you put in your printer at home. What else do you expect for $7, right? The good news is, even with cheap production and materials, the print in your home looks AMAZING. Get it up on your wall, and you won’t remember that the paper is thin, and none of your friends will notice!
HOW DO YOU HANG IT ON THE WALL?
This totally depends on your creativity and crafting skills! To be totally honest, if I am hanging one of these prints in my home, I use a combination of thumb tacks and painter’s tape (tape the edges and tack the corners). DONE! I don’t worry about a frame; the hugeness of the print ends up speaking for itself. Of course, you can get way more creative! I’ve seen some people attach a dowel to the top and bottom of the print, and hang it from the top dowel. This gives it a finished look and is still cheap! Others have mounted their prints onto a hard backing like plywood, foam core, or matte board or canvas. If this is giving you good ideas, go and get started! If you still have no clue what to do, then thumb tacks and painters tape are for you, my friend!
WHAT IF THEY ASK ME ABOUT COPYRIGHT?
The staff may ask you about rights to reproduce this work. Your PDF of instructions includes a copyright release, or you can simply tell the employee that you downloaded this artwork for personal use from caravanshoppe.com, and they can look us up and easily see that you do have the right to print as many copies as you like!
HOW ARE THEY GOING TO LOOK PRINTED OUT THIS BIG?
These large prints are BLOW UPS of smaller artwork, so we like to say that they are “perfectly imperfect.” We have chosen artwork that we feel looks good blown up to this large size, but if you look REALLY CLOSE at your printout, you may notice that it looks a little fuzzy. This is normal, and what you should expect from this product that is meant for such low-tech printing. Don’t worry! They look AMAZING.