Sign & Digital Graphics

April '19

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42 • April 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Fabric graphics in the soft signage market are growing rapidly in many applications including backlit fabrics in retail spaces, airports, museums, residential and commercial interior décor as well as durable fabrics for outdoor applications such as their PVC-Free Mesh 2582GFS (pic- tured) and completely waterproof Deko-Tex 7048SUN. (Image courtesy of Top Value Fabrics) Roland's new Texart RT-640M Multi-Function dye-sub printer was pre- viewed at the recent ISS Show in Long Beach, California. "This new inkjet gives users the option to use it either as a transfer dye-sub printer, or for printing directly to fabric," says Lily Hunter, Roland DGA. The company expects to launch the RT-640M in late spring. (Image cour- tesy of Roland DGA) "Advancements in printhead technology, including variable droplets, allow for images that are more photorealistic than ever before," says Lily Hunter Roland DGA. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) He adds that the evolving market and upward trends are also increasing for durable digitally printable fabrics for outdoor use. Things to Consider Compton says for shops looking to enter the digital printing market for soft signage from scratch, there are several important factors to consider. "First, you want to decide which segments of the market you want to enter and become proficient at with an eye on growth mar- kets and profitability." He says from the beginning stages you want to set a budget to determine what your expenditures will be to enter various markets. "Soft signage printing in the U.S. is primarily achieved utilizing a dye-sublimation or direct disperse pro- cess. This will require choosing the right fabrics for your applications, printer, heat calendar (press), software, inks, heat transfer paper as well as cutting, sewing and other necessary equipment. There are many options and price points to choose from." Do Your Research Compton reports that because there are so many options and offerings, he encourages output providers to do their homework. "One of the best ways to look at your options is attending major trade shows. This is where you can find, learn

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