April 13, 2013
Below is the latest information on materials, hardware and pricing. For more information, see the respective pages for each product, or contact us and we'll be happy to explain the features of any of our products.
Many of our new and updated products are due to the addition of a new printer from Fuji that uses UV curable inks and has the ability to print white. While we have always offered eco-friendly printing options, this new devices is our most eco-friendly yet. Unlike most other UV printers, this model cures the inks with LED light, so it uses very little energy, generates very little heat and creates no ozone. Like all UV printers, it can print on pretty much any substrate so it's very versatile, and the prints are incredibly scratch resistant and durable, which generally eliminates the need for a protective laminate. One of the reasons we've held out so long in adding this technology is because of the generally poor image quality of the devices we tried in the past, and the non environmentally friendly aspects mentioned above which most UV printers share. This device solved those concerns for us so we jumped at the chance are very excited at the new options described below that we are able to offer as a result.
Because of it's superior durability, we have plans to use these new UV curable inks for many unlaminated products to take advantage of this scratch resistance and provide greater value to our customers. Our textured vinyl wallcovering products are one example of a product that we plan to switch to these new inks. The added scratch and scuff resistance will make it less likely that a print could be damaged during installation or while in use on the wall. Similarly, some of our floor and window graphic products that are unprotected will be switched to these inks for the same reason. This type of ink is also excellent on fabric, offering outstanding color and durability, so we will be switching to this type of ink for all our fabric prints, and may add some new options as well.
This new ability to print white behind the printed areas of a graphic makes printing on clear materials much more desirable. Typical prints on clear materials can easily wash out in a window installation, or allow the color of the mounting surface to show through and affect the color of floor decals. Printing white under the graphic prevents this from happening, making prints on clear materials much more visible with more accurate and vibrant color.
Being able to print white with excellent density allows for some new and updated options on clear materials. One such change is to our popular Repositionable Window Graphics. Previously, this was printed on a blockout polyester film with a special face mount adhesive applied over the print to make a face mount window graphic. With this new white ink option, we've changed to a clear polyester film with the same type of adhesive so that we can print the same material as a face mount graphic with a white flood coat, a standard graphic where the back sticks to the window, or either way but with the unprinted areas left clear. Since this is all possible with a single material, we've been able to lower the cost by over 20% for most sizes while increasing the creative options.
Another similar change is to the Face Mount MagicStik. This material was previously printed in reverse on a low tac clear adhesive vinyl with a white vinyl backer for opacity. Because we can now print the white backing, the cost is lower and the option to leave the unprinted areas clear adds another possibility to this same material.
We've also added Crystal Clear Window Decal, a new optically clear polyester film that works the same way, but with a super clear polyester film and adhesive. It becomes almost invisible on a window making it ideal for graphics with clear areas. This will basically give us three clear window graphic options; Repositionable Window Graphic with a textured air release liner for easy installation, Face Mount Magic Stick for an inexpensive clear vinyl graphic, or the new Crystal Clear Polyester for a non-PVC optically clear alternative. Visit our Window Graphics page to see all the new options for window clings and graphics.
Floor graphics are another category of products that has been affected by the addition of UV Curable printing with white ink. We have several new floor decal materials that were made possible, or better, by the addition of this technology. The Multi Surface Floor Decal, CatWalk, ClearWalk and Asphalt Art are have a slip resistant textured surface that is printed on directly with no protective laminate. The superior scratch resistance of UV Curable inks allows these products to be durable even without a laminate, so it's allowed us to add these unique new floor graphic products.
The Multi Surface Floor Decal is our only floor graphic material that can be used on both carpet and smooth flooring surfaces, and it's removable and reusable making it an excellent option for many customers who previously had to order different products for each type of floor.
CatWalk and ClearWalk are special in that they are slip resistant when wet, and can be used in wet environments such as around pools, or even in pools, showers, tubs, saunas, etc., but they're also great in areas that get occasional moisture such as grocery stores or shopping malls. They can even be used outdoors on smooth sealed surfaces and for short term use on sidewalks and other similar surfaces. ClearWalk is a clear version of CatWalk for those who want a transparent background for their graphics.
Two other new floor graphic products are the Premium Carpet Decal and Premium Clear Floor Decal. The Premium Carpet Decal is an extra heavy 29 mil thick product that was designed to resist heel punctures from high heel shoes that is a common problem with normal carpet decals. The base vinyl is opaque so the carpet color and texture won't show through, and the laminate that makes the durability possible was designed so that it won't cause a loss of color depth and clarity like other heavy weight laminates. This makes for a great product for use in high traffic areas or in situations where you want to make a quality impression for the full duration of the event or promotion.
The Premium Clear Floor Decal is for smooth indoor surfaces where the background needs to be left clear. This can be useful for images that are difficult or impossible to die cut, and is another material where white ink printing is useful. When printing on this material without white ink, which is optional, the color and pattern of the floor will show through and blend with the printed image, which is not always desirable. With a white underprint, the areas that have some ink have white printed underneath them so the floor doesn't show through those areas, which helps them stand out better on floors that aren't already white. White can also be used in specific areas if necessary to allow for even greater creative options.
Visit the Floor Decals page for details and pricing on all our floor graphics products, include these exciting new materials.
An updated product that we've wanted to offer for some time is now available, also thanks to the new UV curable inks. Our Economy Trade Show material has been stuck in limbo for years. It used to be a product that we made to compete on price with the trade show display companies that made their products out of cheap laminated paper. We didn't want to offer such graphics because they weren't durable, but not everyone wanted to pay for the top-of-the-line Premium Trade Show material, so we decided to make it available for those who needed a budget product. Because we weren't happy with the durability, even with the lower cost, we've been producing The Economy Trade Show graphics as a lighter weight version of the Premium Trade Show material, but that didn't offer much savings, which partially defeats the purpose of an economy product. Over the past few years, most of the display companies have switched to using extruded PVC that is printed with UV curable inks for their graphic panels on pop up booths. Even though the print quality and durability aren't as good as our Premium product, and they cost very little to produce like this since PVC is cheap and the UV curable printing allows the graphics to be used without a laminate, they still charge as if they were high end graphics. We wanted to be able to offer something similar, but as always, we wanted our product to be better, so we're offering the new Economy Trade Show material that is UV printed on a 15 mil textured polyester light block film. We chose this material because while polyester is much more expensive than PVC, it is far more dimensionally stable so it won't be affected by changes in temperature during use, or in transit, that can cause the graphics to soften or distort. Also, he texture of the film mimics the look of the polycarbonate laminate used on the Premium product, so it would be very difficult to tell that this was not the Premium product just by looking at it. This way even customers on a budget don't have to have displays that make them look like they're on a budget. Even though UV curable inks are very durable, they are not as durable as a physical laminate like is used on the Premium Trade Show material, but for short term use or situations where the customer is willing to take some extra care with the graphics, they can stay looking good for a long time. This material is available now from our Trade Show Graphics page, and over the next few weeks, we'll be adding it as an option to compatible displays so that customers have a choice between these materials when they purchase new displays as well.
Another new addition is an advanced cutting system from Zund. This new system from Switzerland allows us to offer digital cutting of virtually all our printing and mounting materials with incredible quality and accuracy. This means products we currently die cut can be done more quickly and with greater accuracy so that both the quality and timing of these jobs will be improved, especially with rush orders. Cutting custom shapes from a variety of indoor and outdoor materials such as foam boards, coroplast, acrylic, dibond, alumalite, fiberboard, etc will now be possible as well. This will enable us to produce any kind of design our customers can dream up, so we're very excited to be bringing this capability in-house so that we have control over the timing and quality of the jobs that require this type of cutting. It will also enable us to produce custom POP displays and packaging mock-ups that require complex cutting and scoring. Once we are up and running with this new device we will be adding some new options to the website for these products so our customers who want to take advantage of these new capabilities can see what we're able to do.
There are many other materials we are looking at and testing, including new textured wallcovering materials, a new eco-friendly vehicle wrap material, as well as many other products that UV curing inks are making possible, so check back here frequently for the latest news on printing materials.
We are continuing to look for ways to improve our display hardware offerings, and in that regard, we have some new and improved products in our Retractable Banner Stands.
The Wave has been an extremely successful new product for us, as has the lighter weight and less expensive Wave Lite. But that doesn't mean we aren't continuing to try to improve even our best products. We're currently working on improvements to the Wave that will make it even more durable and more stable in the wind, and provide a more heavy duty travel case with wheels to help transport it from location to location. Our goal is to make it reliable enough that we can offer a lifetime warranty on this very versatile and popular stand, so stay tuned for more information on those developments.
The displays we offer from Space have become some of our most popular products. This includes the retractable Space Supreme, Infinity and Dual banner stands, as well as the portable Space Lite styles. Because of the increased sales volume, we were able to negotiate better prices on the Supreme and Infinity models, so we've able to offer them at the lowest prices ever, and best prices you will find anywhere on these well made banner displays.
We're also pleased to offer a new Space product, the Link banner stand. This stand was designed specifically with banner walls in mind. It has an attractive powder coated black base with heavy polished metal end caps and a unique design that allows the banner to almost completely hide the stand itself. This makes an excellent option for use as a stand alone banner stand, but it's when you put these retractable banner stands together that the beauty of the design is realized. Because of the angled shape to the base, when placed together at the proper angle, you can make a virtually seamless banner wall, which is something that can't be done with other retractable stands. There is even an angled connector to join the top rails and keep them in position. While you have to make a semi curved wall shape with these stands, the ability make a seamless retractable wall is something we get asked about all the time, so we expect these to be very popular. They come in 2 sizes so you can make walls to fit either an 8' or 10' booth space.
We are also expecting the arrival of a new banner stand from Signtific that has a unique magnetic attachment of the leader to the roller mechanism. There are some cheap knock offs on the market that we looked at, the quality of these products was not something we wanted to offer, but we did like the magnetic leader idea, so we arranged to get the original models, which are well made and have something unique to offer. We'll be adding those as soon as they arrive and we have tested them.
The prices have also gone down on the HopUp tension fabric displays, so those who are in the market for a fabric pop up should check them out, as they are not more affordable than ever.
There are quite a few new displays we'll be introducing in the coming weeks, including a new, high-quality outdoor canopy, a new style of flexible trade show display, and some new fabric display options, so be sure to check back here for more information on new products.
We are very committed to doing our best to make our printing and display products as affordable as possible. When manufacturers raise their prices, we are usually forced to raise our prices as well, but when possible, we find ways to absorb the extra costs or find comparable products that allow us keep our prices low. We do the same thing with printing materials, and we feel we've been remarkably successful having been able to hold or even lower prices on 99% of our products over the past year.
As is mentioned in the Display Hardware section, we have been able to lower prices on several popular products including the Metro, Space Supreme and Space Infinity banner stands. HopUp tension fabric displays have also gone down in price.
The high-end BannerUp Plus stands have also gone down in price to make them more affordable, although they are still the most expensive models we offer.
We are also looking into a new pricing structure for printing prices that will provide discounts based on the square footage ordered, rather than by the quantity. This will benefit people with larger size prints, as well as quantity orders of bigger sizes, so watch for that as our new website design goes live.
Prices for printing materials have stayed about the same, but we're always looking for ways to negotiate better prices for our customers, and we will be sure to let you know when there are special prices available on any of the products we sell, and alert you to any price changes as they occur.
We are in the midst of a complete redesign of our website that is going to change the underlying technology used, as well as update many of the features, and hopefully make it easier for customer's to navigate, order, and upload files.
By starting over with a more modern software foundation, we are striving to come up with the most reliable and easy to use site possible, so that our customers can have the best browsing and shopping experience. This is a huge undertaking and while we are fairly far along in the design process, it will take some time to get everything fully tested and all our products added to the new site, so it may be some months before it is fully ready, and in the meantime, we plan to stop updating the current site so we can devote our time to making the new site the best experience possible.
As always, if you have questions on any of these new products or services, there is a live chat link in the left sidebar, or you can find our e-mail and phone contact information on the Contact Us page. We're happy to answer any questions, so let us know if you need more information.