Large format printing specialist Circle Graphics brings big ideas to life while minimizing impact on the planet
America is a very different place than it was when Jared Bell printed the first large format advertisement in 1835. Measuring 50 square feet, the ads drew New Yorkers to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and heralded the creation of another spectacle that would outlast the traveling show: out of home (OOH) advertising.
Bell’s circus promotion may have been the largest ever printed, but it was far from the first. The ancient Egyptians carved messages on stone pillars as a way to broadcast information to the populace, and Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th-century invention of a printing press with moveable type brought posters to the masses.
It took nearly three decades after Bell printed the first jumbo poster for entrepreneurs to monetize the displays — billboards — by leasing them to eager advertisers. Over time, the popularity of outdoor advertising blossomed, and in 1891 the introduction of the Associated Bill Posters’ Association of the US and Canada (now the Out of Home Advertising Association of America) brought billboards permanently into the limelight.
In 2019, North American advertisers spent nearly $10.4 billion on traditional outdoor ads. In the same timeframe, they spent an estimated $2.72 billion on digital OOH. (The difference between traditional and digital ads is interactivity. In traditional, we see static images for a day, week, month, or season, and with digital we are engaged by animated messaging that changes every few seconds.)
As advancements in technology make advertising more dynamic and impactful, the future of OOH is moving at light speed — and that pace is ideal for the trailblazers at Circle Graphics.
A world leader in super wide and large format digital graphics, the Longmont, Colo.-based company develops novel products for OOH advertising, including billboards, street furniture, transit, and place-based products. Their décor division offers products for wall décor, art reproductions, and professional artists and photographers.
Grand brand builders with an eye on the environment
Circle Graphics' combined 407,000 square feet of production facilities in Colorado, Missouri, California, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio feature more than 88 grand (also known as super wide) and large format digital printers, as well as custom automated finishing equipment. Thanks to their experienced staff and proprietary software automation tools, Circle Graphics’ OOH prepress department handles over 20,000 files daily. Every year, they print more than 431 million square feet of images.
That level of print production can leave a big carbon footprint and devour significant natural resources, but Circle Graphics prefers to leave a more sustainable impression on the planet. Minimizing waste, preventing pollution, and managing natural resources ethically are key priorities as Circle Graphics maintains its dedication to being a socially conscious corporate citizen.
In addition to printing billboard images that are impervious to UV rays and mildew, Circle Graphics’ woven polyethylene Eco-Posters are a chlorine-free, 100% recyclable alternative to paper posters. Additionally, their CG Cable System poster installation system, designed for use with Eco Posters, has made the need for glues and poster paste a thing of the past.
Another mainstay is the firm’s dedication to providing the industry’s best service, collaborating with their clients to help them build, evolve, and sustain their brands. Their sweeping out-of-home client list is testament to the company’s commitment to excellence; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a major global brand that hasn’t engaged them. They operate 24/7 and can turn graphics around in merely 48 hours. Their intuitive online portal makes ordering and the often complex process of transmitting digital art painless.
The Décor division specializes in producing wall art, lifestyle products such as wall coverings that the consumer can color by hand, canvas art, and products for events and commercial applications. In 2020 alone they produced and shipped over 6 million wall décor pieces, processing at least 50,000 image files per day.
Like their OOH division, Circle Graphics’ Décor division is intensely collaborative. Services include art curation and creation, marketing and merchandising, print-on-demand, and customer success. Their subject matter experts offer insights and assistance with everything from helping to idealize products, providing e-commerce technologies and market analytics, to shipping. Experienced integrators, Circle Graphics offers both REST-based and SOAP-based web services. From ideation to implementation, the Circle Graphics team supports their customers at every turn.
It may have been a long walk from the first billboard to the Jumbotron, but, in the 21 years since the company was founded, the cadence of change has accelerated beyond advertisers’ wildest dreams — and Circle Graphics is positioned to lead the industry to a brighter and more eco-friendly future.
Circle Graphics is the world's foremost producer of grand and large-format digital graphics. They are an industry leader in creating innovative products for outdoor advertising, business signage, wall decor, art reproduction, and the professional photography and art communities.
Their combined 407,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities across the United States house over 88 grand and large format digital printers, custom automated finishing equipment and coating capabilities to produce printed recyclable materials up to 16 feet wide.
The prepress department processes more than 20,000 files per day with the aid of proprietary software automation tools. They operate around-the-clock, seven days a week to deliver extraordinary customer service, and print over 431 million square feet of material annually.
20 Ninth Avenue
Longmont, CO 80501