Sign & Digital Graphics

May '19

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DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Vinyl banner materials, which can be pro- cessed more easily on inkjet equipment most shops already own, are an easy choice, but Compton cautions signmakers to consider the limitations of product quality before making what sounds like a too-good-to-be-true material pur- chase, especially in bulk. "It's critical to keep in mind that when it comes to cost in banner fabrics, you typically get what you pay for," he says. "While inexpen- sive fabrics may seem more attractive based on cost alone, print service providers will often find more defects in those rolls, adding to waste and overall cost." Bill Foster, national sales manager for graphics with Emigsville, Pennsylvania-based Herculite, Inc., makers of Bantex Digital Media, also warns that imported vinyl often underperforms, pro- ducing less-desirable results for your customers. "During the past few years, there has been an influx of imported, low-cost materials for banners and signs," he says. "While these materials are lower cost at purchase, their true cost is much higher because they do not allow sign shops to gain full advantage of their digital inkjet print- ers—lower-cost materials typically cannot run at maximum speeds and frequently result in wasted materials due to jams during production. "More importantly, these materials cannot deliver high-quality results, resulting in cus- tomers refusing the finished jobs and asking for reprints," he adds. "After only one poor print job, those customers typically seek out other resources." Not surprisingly, material manufacturers encourage sign shops to do their due diligence and explore some higher-quality options, which include a variety of American-made products. Herculite's Bantex Digital Media, a flexible com- posite textile designed and manufactured in the U.S., has been certified by HP for use most of its commonly used forms of ink, run with digital ink- jet printers. There are curl-free Bantex products, great for retractable banners, plus black-backed materials for complete opacity, as well as dou- 42 • May 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Fisher Textile's Bannyl Lite is an example of the high-resolution banner signage created for retail – which even smaller sign shops can master, often with existing equipment. For outdoor appli- cations, a durable, vinyl-infused banner product like Top Value Fabrics' Geomesh Latex is built to with- stand the elements.

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