The first sublimation printers used in the sign industry were not inkjets, but those who used a ribbon technology that has been more akin to a thermal transfer 4-color procedure printing cloth/fabric.
They were great little print devices for run stickers and small signs, but with the introduction of press, they became too costly to be aggressive, although I know a number of sign shops that use them. It’s just cheaper to maintain the older machine running than go into debt for the technology. But it’s not.
How Dye Sublimation Inkjet Printers and Printing is Done and What Methods are Used
As I’ve written about a couple of times before, these were among the high end developments graphic industry in the past two decades. Where pictures are viewed up close, fabric has been the option for more classy events like trade shows, but the costs could be astronomical. In 2002 and 2001 we did a huge applique banner project at an astronomical cost for booster of a local state university. We were happy but had it happened a couple years later, we would have used dye sub printer, and would have been able to do the job for about half the price it did.
How and Why Inkjets are Simply Superior
Dye sublimation inkjet printers are unparalleled in creating a finished product that is gorgeous, and in efficiency, cost-savings when it comes to printing cloth. There’s not any other one on the marketplace that can do a one-off print of a photograph with results at an affordable price. There are other procedures, but these types work with materials that have polymers in them.
Not being a chemist, I do not know exactly why this is, so we would be enlightened by perhaps one of our readers that can clarify polymers in layman’s terms. While natural fibers such as cotton do not other materials like nylon do have polymers inside them. However, they generally work best on polyester materials.
One reason they’ve become so popular is that the fabrics exhibit color in a tone like a photograph, whereas inkjet printers on vinyl employ a dithering process which sprays the CYMK ink down in dots patterns which resemble a photograph. The product looks more real, while no gap may be picked up by the eye at a distance of five feet, when you put them side by side.
How Cheap is the Print Method? I Do Not Have a Huge Corporate Advertising Budget
They are great for some things, such as announcing a new tool or a new style of work boot or a sale on burgers at Burger King, but if you have an upscale product or service, consider that if your screen looks cheap, prospective clients may view your service or product the same way.
They may think your customer service won’t be great because your vinyl banner looks cheaply made if the company skimps on graphics, it may skimp on customer service. Perception becomes reality in the mind of the beholder, even if it is not true.
We’re currently finding that, especially in trade shows and conventions, but also in retail, poly knit and poly stretch fabrics have become immensely popular for lots of the reasons mentioned. In presenting your company at a trade show or convention to eyes, your first impression may be your final, if you blow it.
As with many types of advertising, you’ve got less than 10 seconds. Fabric banners work in this environment, and so do many of our customers.
Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Company for over 20 years. It isn’t what he thought he’d do with his life, but he says he knows too much to do anything else!
He’s been marketing these products online since 1998, and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!