Trade show displays are available with a wide range of print material options, from basic to high end. While two retractable banner stands may look identical from afar, the real difference is in the quality of the graphics where you will be putting your brand’s name on, and how well the materials will hold up to repeated use and environments.
So depending on the type of application – short or long term, in-door or outdoor, permanent or portable – you can go for a high-end laminated graphic or a basic value vinyl option. Today, let’s compare two options for graphic materials that can make a huge difference.
Laminated Light-Blocking Polyester
This lightweight media features a DuPont Polyester base and a front glossy surface specially formulated to maximize the color gamut and give ultra sharp saturated images. It includes a light-blocking layer to eliminate backside light transmittal to prevent image wash out. The instant dry film resists tunneling, curling, edge fraying, and tearing during the rolling and unrolling process. Prints are finished with premium laminate for extended durability.
This is a very cost effective solution offering bright colors and dependable finish. Vinyl banners are made of two products—polyester mesh (scrim) and vinyl. The polyester mesh provides added strength, and the vinyl adds durability. Better options include a block-out layer. These are then printed with UV or solvent inks, both of them working great outdoors from 6 months to a year.
Image Source: Monster Displays
Image Source: Monster Displays
|Laminated Polyester||Vinyl Scrim|
Let’s look at the quality that can be achieved between the two media types.
The laminated polyester material is able to produce higher fidelity transfers between digital artwork and printed dyes. Notice how the gradients and smooth reflections of these bubbles look very true to life, with quality very close to the original artwork.
Scrim vinyl does not produce the same vibrant colors and has trouble when a “real world” color count is needed. On the other hand, solid shapes like Vector art are going to appear great on this material.
The spotty look seen here shows another risk of this material. It is more prone to “artifacts” showing up on pixel based graphics.
In general, solid colors and large lettering will look better than images with many hues, where chromatic aberration (that rainbow bleeding effect you sometimes see) is more of a factor. Notice however that scrim vinyl shows a more visible, rougher “tooth” to its denier knit.
Another unfortunate drawback of the vinyl fabric is the risk of rippling or “dimples” forming during the dye application process where heat is used to ingrain the ink within the fabric.
Comparatively, the laminated polyester printing has no texturing to distort the image. The lettering is very crisp.
Finally the strength of the laminated polyester is quickly apparent to the touch. It feels more tense and sturdy and the media dissipates light better, creating less glare across the signage so it is easier to read at different angles.
Scrim vinyl comes in 7 to 22 oz. thickness, but a heavier material is not necessarily stronger. This example was printed with standard 13 oz material. When compared to the laminated version, this is much more flimsy to the touch and prone to creases. The shine created off the material is also quickly apparent. Signs of fraying on the edges of the fabric can also be a concern when not handled carefully.
Though not all graphic materials are created equal, there are basic guidelines you can follow to reduce wear and tear and keep your brand ready to exhibit at your next show.
|Please follow these Directions to insure the best care of your Graphics:|
Have questions about the best print material for your display choice and budget? Our exhibit experts are always happy to discuss options and recommend the best display for your company’s needs.
The Monster Displays team can be reached at Sales@MonsterDisplays.com or call (888) 484-3344, we’d love to put our experience to work for you.