Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 30

here was a time when consumers viewed inflatable products as
bargain-basement cousins to rigid objects. Think of the air mattress
rolled out on the bedroom floor for a middle-school sleepover or
the discount-store blow-up swimming pool in the backyard. Their
lifespans were measured in days.
That rap obscures the fact that quality inflatables are legitimate structures, and the companies
manufacturing and selling them have been in business for decades. What's changed is the rapid
expansion in the types of structures that have "gone inflatable," putting them in the public eye
like never before, as well as the developing technologies making new applications possible.
As inflatables have grown in popularity (see "Attention grabbers," page 56), consumers have
begun to discover that they can be equal to a rigid alternative-and often offer superior qualities,
such as portability. Ever try to pack a 10-by-20-foot billboard in a duffel bag? Inflatables for
recreation, entertainment, athletics and other applications are definitely on the rise.
CAN IT BE DONE?
The inflatable evolution can be traced in part to the advent of the internet, according to
Tom Meacham, president of Landmark Creations in Burnsville, Minn., which has been
manufacturing custom inflatables since 1986. The company is known for working with artists
such as Lizzo and the Talking Heads' David Byrne. For Byrne, Landmark created a 48-footdiameter inflatable globe for an exhibition in New York's High Line Park. Lizzo's career blew
up in 2019, in part due to her performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards in front of
a now-infamous Landmark creation (which won't be described in this rated-G magazine).
"When we first started, there was
no internet; everything we sold was to
a dealer base," says Meacham, who has
been with Landmark since 1993. "Once
the internet came along, it was easy [for
end users] to find a manufacturer directly,
instead of going through a middleman.
The ability to demonstrate what you could
do was certainly expanded."
Once potential customers had more
exposure to inflatable technology, demand
grew-along with innovation and more
varied applications.
"Advancements were driven up
from the end user," Meacham says.
"'This is what we want, can you do it?'
Our customers have always been the
driver of innovation."
It helped, Meacham says, that
advancing technology allowed inflatable
Computer-aided design and advanced printing technology make elaborate inflatable
manufacturers to move from sometimes
creations possible, such as this one from Landmark Creations of Burnsville, Minn.
Photo: Landmark Creations.
crude physical renderings of customer
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 11
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 14
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 21
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 24
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 31
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 60
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 61
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 64
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover4
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