Direct Print Signs Have Everyone Seeing Green

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There many ways to skin a cat and there are many ways to apply graphics to a substrate.  Most graphics in the sign business are printed.  Typically a vinyl, or like material, is printed on and then applied to a substrate.  MDO (Medium Density Overlay), coroplast, acrylics and aluminum are common sign substrates.  Vinyl is relatively easy to apply and has a high quality print resolution.  However, there are some drawbacks to using vinyl such as peeling and fading.  To ensure your print does not fade rapidly laminates are used to shield the print.  Peeling occurs when the adhesive used for the vinyl is affected by its surroundings.  For example vinyl signs that receive a lot of sun will breakdown faster than a sign in the shade.

To combat some of the issues of vinyl, direct printing can be a solution.

flatbed uv printing signs

Large format direct printers can print directly on the sign substrate, thus cutting out vinyl completely.  Direct printing requires a special type of flat bed printer that uses UV cured inks.  The UV cured inks allow direct prints to protect itself without the use of laminates.  Also, direct printing allows for seamless prints on larger jobs.  Most vinyl’s come in rolls up to 60” in width, thus prints larger than 60” require seams.  Recently we completed a lobby mural on an 8’ x 4’ piece of acrylic.  To give the print a different texture we opted to print the mural directly to the acrylic.  Not only was the resolution perfect, but the texture of the print was unique as well.  Direct printing is not right for every occasion but is extremely useful.  Also, direct prints cut down on vinyl which creates less trash and uses fewer resources.

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