Signs of the Times - December 2013 - (Page 58)

Digital Product Reviews Nine, sign and digital-print tradeshows provided myriad product views in 2013. By Darek Johnson ThisAssn.'s (ISA) Sign Expo '13 year's tradeshows - the Intl. Sign (Las Vegas); FESPA (London, Mexico City, Istanbul and Shanghai) and its next-door European Sign Expo that was developed in conjunction with the European Sign Federation; Graph Expo (Chicago); Print 13 (Chicago), produced by the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) in conjunction with ISA; and SGIA (Orlando) have certainly brought new digital-print machines, software, processes - and purchasing decisions - into light. The most omnipresent show, FESPA, will soon rematerialize in Munich and Johannesburg. Such tradeshow saturation - nine here - could make a sign or printmaker rethink their career choices. Is the best money in tradeshows, and not sign- or printmaking? Specialty zones are trendy in today's tradeshows. For example, ISA featured its Dynamic Digital Park; SGIA featured several zones, SGIA featured many exhibitors of print machines for soft signage, signs, banners and vehicle wraps. and Print 13 featured a wide-format innovation and application theatre. Most noticeable, perhaps, were the fabric-print offerings at each show, because both the technology and finished-product uses have expanded. Signmakers, initially, may shrug at fabric (soft-signage) printing, but studies reveal that fabric-based tradeshow graphics are increasingly Mimaki's new, Los Angeles branch office opened on November 14. 58 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / DECEMBER 2013 / popular. They may not have the image snap of printed graphics, but they add a different character to a show-booth environment and, most favorably, they're easy cargo - just roll (dye-sublimation prints can be folded) and box. Additionally, fabric-print machines can produce banners, flags and street graphics, which can be suspended or stretched in a tensioned frame. Although most major, printmachine manufacturers build a fabric printer, the traditional processes require extra steps. The time-honored method, paper transfer, gives sharper images (printing on paper helps control ink-dot gain on fabric applications), so it may be the best choice for closely viewed images. Direct-to-fabric printing isn't quite as sharp (the fabrics tend to diffuse the ink drops), but it features more ink/fabric penetration, which endorses it for such second-side applications as flags and see-through graphics. Generally, textile-media producers coat direct-to-print fabrics to help control the ink-dot gain.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - December 2013

Signs of the Times - December 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Universal Laser’s ILS9.75 and ILS12.75 platform lasers
Technology Review - CET Color’s 500K X-Press flatbed, UV-cure printer
New Products
The Hands Have It
Digital Print Update
The First Neon Sign in America
The USSC Design Awards
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - December 2013