Making it Stick
Michael Hidden, corporate graphic manager at Chicago, IL-based Freeman is impressed with the advances in the strength of both removable and more aggressive adhesives. “We can apply the aggressive adhesive to concrete sidewalks and they last for the length of the [trade] show,” he said. “We use the removable on the convention center floor and have no worries of leaving residue behind. We can use the product on stairs, on the escalator runners, and on the carpet without harming the convention center structure at all.” Freeman recently did some stair graphics for Chicago Dental.
Hidden is also excited about the advances in carpet printing, noting that a hot trend for carpets is using the show logo for aisle numbers at trade shows. “We print the aisle number right on the carpet with the show logo,” he reported.
Since Ultraflex came out with a thinner pile carpet with a thin rubber backing in a 16-foot width, Freeman has been producing 16-foot logos for show booths. “It’s easier to print on, dries a lot faster, and it doesn’t put as much wear and tear on the machines as the older, heavy, thicker carpet,” said Hidden. He says the future for carpet graphics is UV printing technology. “You get a better color gamut and do not have to worry about the drying issue.”
Another thing to keep your eye on, according to Hidden, are floor stickers. “I think the small stickers that are being used today will keep on getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “We are already doing 20-foot circles for shows.” Beyond that, Hidden can only imagine what the future holds for floor graphics, perhaps heat or touch sensor floor graphics. “When you step on them, the panel lights up or it leaves a hot print of your shoe,” he said. “I guess only time will tell.”