Wanting to look unique is the goal of many a teenagers in identity crisis, be it with skinny jeans, big baggy jeans, vibrant tattoos and hair color, or extreme body piercings. Pardon the pun, but when it comes to trying to be distinctive, some wide-format print firms are, well, no different. Often it’s more the printed surface than the ink that keeps end products looking good, especially in the wide-format print sector.
Some of these newer, differentiating products were on display at Graph Expo and at the SGIA Expo where they could be touched and seen, including flatbed printing on wooden panels. Comprised of 100-percent recycled fiber manufactured into a high-density fiberboard, one example is FiberMate media from 3A Composites, which is available in a 3.2 millimeter thickness and 49x97-inch sheets.
In late September, LexJet introduced 11-mil blockout media—Blockout PolyGloss and Blockout Water-Resistant Polypropylene—designed for multiple large-format applications. The new lay-flat polypropylene inkjet printable materials feature a gray back coat for additional opacity. They can be used as a cost-effective alternative to the typical polyester inkjet materials for trade show and in-store point-of-purchase (POP) graphics as well as long-term indoor banners and short-term outdoor banners, said LexJet.
“We already offer a fantastic water-resistant polypropylene, but our customers were looking for something more opaque,” says Jeff Leto, LexJet product manager. “The great thing about the new blockout polypropylene materials is that they’re economical and you can use them for practically any type of display graphics applications.”
The water-resistant materials have a bright-white, inkjet-receptive coating that yields additional color and contrast. Blockout PolyGloss is compatible with aqueous inkjet printers, and Blockout Water-Resistant Polypropylene is compatible with aqueous and latex inkjet printers. Both materials are available in 24-, 36-, 42-, 50-, and 60-inch rolls.
Meanwhile, Tex Visions offers unique products such as the Display Cube, a three-dimensional display wrapped in fabric and made of foam dense enough for sitting yet light enough for stacking. (See sidebar on page 21 for more textile printing developments.)
Another differentiator making its debut at SGIA 2012 is the new direct-print version of Innova Art’s patented JetMaster Display System. Designed specifically for flatbed devices, these specially coated blanks are printed and then immediately folded into dimensional signage, décor gallery wraps, or point-of- purchase (POP) displays. No tools or messy adhesives are required, explained the developer.
This summer Ultraflex Systems introduced Bali Hai, the newest embossment in its Wallscapes line. Featuring a fine, granular texture formulated without cadmium and lead compounds, it can enhance the look of any print or design and also helps to prevent glare without compromising image quality. Bali Hai also passes the requirements of CCCW-408-D for mold/mildew/bacterial resistance.
Wallscapes are high-quality, durable, flexible materials for use as wall coverings or upscale banner applications for eco-solvent, solvent, latex, UV, and screen printing. They can be installed using most commercial types of adhesives or can be sewn or grommeted for use in untraditional, canvas-like applications. General applications for Bali Hai include museums and showrooms, murals, office lobbies and conference rooms, residential, retail store and display walls, school and daycare venues, and tradeshow exhibits. In addition to Bali Hai, Ultraflex stocks three other Wallscapes embossments: Suede, Stardust, and Matte; all are available in standard 54-inch width on 75-foot or 300-foot long rolls.