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LP Stretch solves AOPA’s Dilemma

LP StretchBecky Richter, Mike Kline, and the gang from AOPA approached Imagination Center looking for a solution for Sun ‘n Fun in Florida. They were looking for a large, professional backwall display that was easy to set-up and light enough for transport on their company planes.

The LP Stretch tension fabric display was the solution.  The LP Stretch uses fabric printed with the dye-sublimation method.  This allows a single full color graphic fabric to be attached to the frame via Velcro.  Since the fabric is always attached to the frame, both the frame and graphic together collapse down to fit within a 34” x 14” x 14” carrying case.  The entire unit is very lightweight—an 8’ backwall weighs less than 34 lbs. compared to 95 lbs. for a conventional backwall display with graphics.  The unit is also extremely easy to set-up.  A conventional backwall take between 10 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the model and the experience of the presenter, to set-up. According to Mrs. Richter, “ Our staff has found the LP stretch easy to assemble and transport to the various aviation related shows.” The LP stretch goes from the carrying case to ready to show in under a minute, regardless of the level of experience of the presenter.

There are some differences in the appearance of graphics when using a stretched fabric solution as opposed to a conventional booth solution.  The fabric absorbs more ink than conventional media used for booth graphics.  As a result, while the colors look very good, they do not have the level of contrast normally seen with booth graphics.  Another consideration when dealing with stretch fabric displays is wrinkles.  After the units have been stored for a while, they develop some wrinkles, however, these wrinkles are typically not very noticeable and do resolve themselves after the unit is erected for a while. Mrs. Richter recommends “If lighter colors are incorporated into the design, we have noticed that the fabric shows some wrinkles but nothing that can’t be fixed with a steamer. The use of vivid and dark colors really “pop” on the display.”

The LP Stretch also had a price that is substantially less than conventional backwall displays.  A typical 8’ backwall display costs between $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 and professional full mural graphics cost an additional $1,000.00.  The LP  Stretch costs around $1,600.00 including frame, graphics, carrying case, and lights.

If you need more information on the Stretch or other fabric displays, please contact us and we will be happy to help.


The Blade...One Sharp Sign!

Blade Outdoor graphicsMaybe the blade cannot be seen from space, but standing nearly 16’ tall, it can reach out and touch someone blocks away.  The Blade is printed using dye-sublimation printing on nylon fabric.  The colors pop exceptionally well, providing the impact to get noticed.  This behemoth offers a variety of stand options including step stakes, outdoor spikes, drive on V stands that fit under your vehicles tires, and conventional stands.  If the wind blows, the graphics spin in the stand, reducing the risk of blowing over and adding motion to your sign.

This solution is great for any outdoor venue.  Whether you are promoting an open house, company picnic, golf event, or just drawing attention to your storefront, the Blade outdoor fabric display is a great attention getter.


Direct Printing

Direct printing is an upcoming technology that allows images to be imposed directly onto substrates.  This technology provides the capability to create distinct graphics solutions and effects not possible with conventional inkjet printing. With direct printing you can print on standard substrates such foamcore and gatorboard or on more unusual substrates such as metal, textiles, wood, or plastic.

How it works:
Unlike conventional printers where an image is printed onto paper and then adhered to a substrate, flatbed printing provides a similar effect in a single step.  The substrate is loaded onto the printer and is either pulled under the print heads while ink is applied, or remains stationary while the ink heads move over the substrate.  Some flatbed printers have 2” tall opening that allows them to print onto thicker substrates.  Interesting solutions using this method include printing directly onto doors or direct printing onto carpets.

The Inks
Most flatbed printers use UV inks, although some flatbed hybrids use solvent inks.  Both ink types hold up well outdoors, but the UV ink sets fair a little better in harsher environments.  These printers use the basic CMYK ink models employed by most ink jet printers.  Some flatbed printers also use a white ink in addition to the CMYK.  This addition of white ink is advantageous, and sometimes crucial because by flooding the substrate with white ink, it allows the colors to be more vibrant.  In situations where printing on a non-white substrate, such as Plexiglas, metal, or other materials, white is necessary if the image contains white or light colors.

Applications:
Direct printing has many applications addressing a variety of needs.  It can be used to print on 22 mil. PVC for booth graphics, metal or Plexiglas for displaying images in lobbies or wayside displays, carpet for trade show floors, doors for offices or conference rooms, and much more.  If you want to create an uncommon look and do not know how to create that effect, open you mind to the possibilities of direct printing. 

If you have an idea and want to see if flatbed printing will work for you, please call us and we will be happy to explore the opportunities with you.