Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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60 • July 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL layers of wood-ber veneer, which makes it great for signs, point-of-purchase dis- plays, exhibits, kiosks and framing. "Because it is such a sturdy strong board and can be bent and routed, you can make a 3-D design," Branham says. Sintra is one of Branham's personal favorites. It is a bright white PVC board that is very lightweight, rigid and durable and is very easily formed into all kinds of shapes. "Because it is expanded PVC, a plastic, you can put heat to it, bend it and shape it. It has very good dent and scratch resistance and you can get it in multiple colors: green, red, blue, yellow, black and white," he adds. To show its versatility, 3 A Composites made a six-foot-tall, three-dimensional replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris out of Sintra. It looks real, with lots of bends and angles and high-denition graphics. Fome-Cor board is the original graphics arts foam board. It was initially developed for school science fair displays. It is sturdy, easy to use, affordable and very lightweight, making it very popular for temporary signage applications. It is also very easy to cut with a razor blade or with dies. Fome-Cor is also used for screen printing or digital printing appli- cations. "It is a good economical board. You don't want to use it on complex displays," Branham says. He points out that Sintra or Gatorfoam are better for more com- plex projects. Smart- X is a lightweight foam board. It is weather-resistant and has a high UV stability and humidity resistance. It is very rigid. This is the perfect foam board for retail window displays, he adds, or any area that is in direct sunlight or faces the street. "This will hold up well in that type of display," he says. Branham has seen many companies get very creative with Gatorfoam. One company made a sign for the side of its building that was layered in a way to look like 3- D grafti. Many trade show booths are made out of Gatorfoam because it is a great product for structural work. The newest trend is for companies to mix and match the types of foam board it uses to make a sign or display because each type has different characteristics like form- ability or durability. Some signs need a product that is round or curved, others need to be routed or carved. "In the past it was just printing to the board and cutting out a shape in the board. Now, with new technology you can make different layers and signs with all kinds of structure to it," Branham says. "It makes for interesting products." He adds that it goes back to advances in printing technologies and has worked its way up to 3- D options that allow signs and displays to get really intricate. "You can use the materials differently to make the design stand out and to give it that unique shape and that unique look. That is something that has not always been available," Branham says. Eagles In Flight public artwork on Gatorfoam. (Photo by Susann Sigmund, courtesy of 3A composites) The Gilman Brothers Company has a new flagship foam board called INFINITY, which is a styrene-faced foam board. (Photo courtesy of Gilman Brothers Company)

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