Sign & Digital Graphics

December '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2014 • 91 high quality sublimation paper as it will require less ink load for efficient transfer and result in a better image and reduce ink use and expense. The downside of dye sublimation is that it requires special post-printing equipment such as a heat press or calen- der that can perform the image transfer from paper to fabric. In cases where a print shop may not have this specialized equipment there are direct print textile materials available for both standard sol- vent or eco-solvent inkjet and aqueous inkjet printers. There are a wide variety direct print textiles ranging from very sheer fabrics to heavy flag material. There are even some adhesive-back tex- tiles that offer a uniquely soft look and feel for a number of mounted P.O.P. dis- play applications. Pop-up Stands Pop-up stands are no longer just for trade shows. As a result of the increasing number of media options, pop-up stands can be a very good solution for in-store environmental graphics or display back- drops. The final construction of pop-up stands should target a composition of 22 mils thick, which generally consists of an opaque backing layer, imaging layer and textured laminate. When constructing a pop-up stand, it is critical that the panel be both heavy enough to stand firm in the framing and durable enough to be rolled up and shipped to retail outlets. Below are a couple of ways for completing portable pop-up stands: Encapsulation—Encapsulating digi- tally printed inkjet paper or film between an adhesive backer and textured laminate. This is the oldest method, but today most graphic houses have switched to newer methods because fewer materials and steps are required. Paper in particular as an image layer is weak because it is easy to crack an edge or corner during the packing process. Block-out Films—There are heavy weight printable block-out films now available that mimic the multi-step encap- sulation construction method. Printers can now source heavyweight, printable block-out films that allow for printing and simple 3-mil to 5-mil PSA lamination to achieve a 22-mil construction. Backlit Displays Advancements in digital printing and media technologies have made it easier to produce high-quality, cost- effective backlit graphics. As with the opaque displays, it is recommended that sign makers use matte, textured, luster finishes for the construction of back- lits, which are commonly imaged on polyester or polycarbonate-based films. Polycarbonates are reverse printed and then viewed through the film or from the non-print side. Polycarbonate films are available with a textured finish on the viewing side of the film. Polyester backlit films are also becoming increasingly popular among users of solvent printers. There are four parameters to consider when producing graphics for light projection displays: calculation (amount), location (where), application (how) and duration (longev- ity). This information will determine the best methodology for producing the graphic. Semi-opaque materials present the ideal form of media for P.O.P. displays because they ensure that they remain translucent enough for the graphic to look great under the reflective lighting on the retail floor. The best choices for in-store backlit displays are white films or polypropylene media that offer 90 percent opacity. Films that feature 40 to 50 percent opacity are preferred options in lower light environments. Conclusion Retailers are placing emphasis on bare bones tactics in order to garner sales. With the increased availability of media options, sign makers can produce high- end signage that fits in with the décor of even the most upscale retail environ- ments, resulting in a substantial mar- ket opportunity to create eye-catching indoor P.O.P. displays and graphics. SDG Direct print textiles, including heavy flag material, can be effectively used in the retail environment. Pop-up displays are convenient, easily shipped and are eye catching in a retail setting.

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