Large format litho printing – when size matters

Home Blog Large format printing Large format litho printing – when size matters

When size matters, think large format lithography (or litho) printing. Dennis Maps is a leading specialist in the field, with many years’ experience of creating high-quality prints. “We pride ourselves on our quality service and attention to detail. Whether it’s a small or large run, the same care is given to every job,” says Roger Gilson, the company’s Operations Director.

Print maps, posters, books and more

Dennis Maps is one of the world’s leading map printers and the trusted print partner of Ordnance Survey. We use large format litho printing to produce a range of large paper maps for a variety of clients. The bigger paper size allows an impressive amount of cartographic detail to be reproduced, in a way that a smaller sheet of paper or a screen of an electronic device couldn’t achieve. It’s not just for maps either – it’s an excellent choice for printing large format posters, books and catalogues, too. In short, this type of large format printing is the best technology to create large volume, high-quality prints, and to do so cost effectively.

Dennis Maps KB162 large format litho printing Rapida 162 machine

How it works

Lithography was invented in 1796 and originally involved the use of wax, oil or fat. Luckily, it’s progressed since then! Fast forward to the present day, and the printed image in offset lithography is created through a chemical balance of water and oil-based inks. Large format litho printing isn’t as widely used as other forms of litho printing, and therefore requires a specialised approach. It involves much vaster sheets of paper, a bigger plate setter, larger printing plates and a sizeable printing press. This really does make it stand out from the crowd.

Think big, think Dennis Maps

Dennis Maps can trace its heritage back to 1850, continuing a 171-year history of large format printing in the Somerset town of Frome. Today, our specialist machines allow for accurate colour reproduction of fine detail, no matter the job. Our KBA 162a large format press can print to a maximum sheet size of 1200 x 1620mm, in up to six colours. The printing press can run at high speeds, too – up to 10,000 sheets per hour in large format, perfect for printing in large volumes. We know the choice of paper is important as well and have a range of different materials to choose from, including waterproof and weather-resistant options. Dennis Maps can help you to arrive at a size and finish that’s the perfect solution for you.

Music to your ears

We were thrilled to use our large format litho printing service to create The Great British Music Map for our customer Marvellous Maps. It’s a celebration of Britain’s renowned music scene and is packed with musical references – think place names used in album titles, the location of a music video, or a place that inspired a song. It also features festivals, live music venues, and music trivia galore. You can even use it to plan a music-themed road trip – the reverse of the map includes a route around Britain’s top 50 music locations. The suggested playlist will provide the perfect soundtrack to your travels and have you humming the whole way along.

Celebrating London’s green spaces

We were excited to print the ground-breaking London National Park City map on our large format press, too. The massive map features 3,000 parks, woodlands, nature reserves, city farms, and all the open spaces that make up the capital, according to London National Park City. The map was distributed to members of the public for free – helping them make the most of the city’s green spaces.

Mapping Britain’s mountains


Dennis Maps also prints HARVEY Maps unique British Mountain Map series, a selection of walking, hiking and climbing maps that cover mountainous areas of the UK. The products have a 15m contour interval, unlike the usual 10m contour lines, making for a much clearer view. They also use layer colouring as well as contour lines to show relief, making it easier to differentiate between mountain tops and valleys. And best of all? We print them on waterproof Polyart, to withstand the changeable British weather! “…When the finished printed map returns from Dennis Maps, the feeling of satisfaction and pride in what we have achieved is always the same,” says Adam King, CEO of HARVEY Maps.

Get in touch with us for more information on our large format litho printing services.

Think big, print big, think Dennis Maps.

Dennis Maps is one of the leading map printers in the world, producing more than two million maps and charts every year. We offer comprehensive pre-press services, large format print solutions using both large format litho printing and large format digital print technologies, plus specialised map folding and map finishing techniques.