Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Large Format Printing: Fooling the Viewer’s Eye

My fiancee and I were driving back to our apartment tonight, when she noted a large format print banner hanging from the side of a multi-tiered parking lot. Being somewhat unfamiliar with the neighborhood (we’re still displaced from our burned-out house), I saw what I expected to see: a graphic image with a type treatment hanging above a section of the parking lot wall composed of bricks.

“Since when do bricks have creases and folds?” my fiancee noted. I looked again and realized I had been fooled. The parking lot wall was completely white concrete, and the bricks had been included on the large format print signage. Wow.

The French have a term for this: “trompe l’oeil,” which according to Wikipedia means “deceive the eye.” Wikipedia goes on to describe trompe l’oeil as “an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.”

Now this is a term I had heard a lot in my prior studies of the fine arts, both drawing and painting. Until today I had not really seen this artistic technique used within the commercial arts field. So I was particularly pleased.

Trompe l’oeil most often (at least in the paintings I have seen) refers to a still life of either flat objects against a flat background or three dimensional objects against a flat background.

If you check out Wikipedia, you’ll see a painting by William Harnett called Still Life Violin and Music and another painting by Evert Collier, simply noted as Trompe l’oeil painting.

The former includes such items as a violin, sheet music, and a horse shoe hanging up against a wood door with metal hinges (the key is the flat background, which acts as a bulletin board of sorts).

The latter painting includes various printed scraps of paper and a quill attached to a wall with leather straps. Again, the wall is integral to the design, as it is in the first painting. In both cases, the fact that the background is flat, facing or parallel to the viewer, and immediately behind the other elements of the still life all contribute to the illusion of perspective that makes these paintings intriguing to the viewer.

How Does this Relate to the Large Format Wall Banner of Bricks?

Once I had realized that the bricks in the large format print signage had been inkjetted onto the vinyl substrate, and that they were not a part of the parking lot, I was intrigued. How, I asked myself, could these appear to be so real?

First of all, like the trompe l’oeil paintings shown in Wikipedia, the background of bricks was flat, parallel to the viewer, and immediately behind the other elements of the design on the signage. One thing I would add is that the image of the bricks was patterned and regular, like the door in the Harnett painting Still Life Violin and Music and the board with leather straps holding pieces of paper and a quill pen in Collier’s painting.

In both of these paintings and in the brick images on the large vinyl mural, the regularity of the background pattern, across the viewer’s immediate field of vision (as opposed to being set into the background of the painting), tricks the viewer’s eye and makes this element of the painting seem real: whether it be a door, a board, or bricks. The manipulation of perspective in each case deceives the viewer.

What You Can Learn for Your Own Graphic Design Work

Good graphic design draws upon many elements of the fine arts, not the least of which are subject matter and perspective. The main difference between the large format print signage on the side of the parking lot and the two paintings in Wikipedia is that the former is selling something: in this case it was selling homes in the new development for which the parking lot had been built. Commercial art is still art.

So as you prepare your graphic design pieces for commercial printing, be mindful of the fine arts. You may find inspiration in their techniques or subject matter.

Another thing to consider is that good commercial art grabs the viewer’s attention, and playing with perspective (such as photographing the subject of an advertisement with an intriguing perspective or from an unusual vantage point) will catch the viewer’s interest.

Moreover, many people find humor in trompe l’oeil. This is because they think it is one thing at first glance, but then it turns out to be something entirely different. (In just this way, what I thought were actual bricks in a wall caught my attention once I saw the folds in the banner and realized they were only images of bricks inkjet printed onto signage.)

In short, humor and the unexpected can make your graphic design work stand out. If you can intrigue the viewer, you will get him/her on your side, and he will be more open to the message your large format print signage conveys.

2 Responses to “Large Format Printing: Fooling the Viewer’s Eye”

  1. The business of t-shirt printing is well grown, and hence you can easily get custom designed t-shirts at a competitive price. Now individuals and business owners can get the t-shirts printed as per their (or their corporate clients’) needs and budget limits.

    Finding custom t-shirt printers involves searching various shops and businesses that can do the job for you.

    Also visit my webpage … T Shirt Printing Ipswich

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment. I agree. T-shirt printing is also a great way to get a company brand image out there among the people.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved