Not sure as to whether your exhibition stand needs a refresh this season? Our 11 part guide will tell you whether it’s just an update or a complete overhaul that’s needed.
1. Graphics Outdated
Ask yourself, when was the last time you exhibited? Have styles changed? Like all design work, certain elements can look dated as trends evolve.
Exhibiting is about catching the eye of the visitor and grabbing their attention in the five or so seconds as they meander past. If your stand looks out of fashion or worse, badly designed, you’re losing potential customers before you even get a chance to show them your product.
Taking the time to update your image is a sure-fire way to reinvigorate not only your exhibition presence but also your employees working the stand. If you can inject some fresh energy, your team will inherit that buzz too.
Also, if it uses Comic Sans font, be honest, it’s probably time to go.
2. Message Changed?
Has your offer changed since your last exhibition? Maybe it’s a new product or concept that you’re demonstrating. Does your exhibition stand still reflect the new ideas or is it predefined by the last campaign?
A lot of exhibitors fail because their stand is not aligned with the message their team is promoting. As people, we remember things visually at least as much as the messages we are told. By ensuring that the words your team use are mirrored by the branding of the stand, there is double the chance of a potential customer walking away with your company top of mind.
You’ve already decided to exhibit – make sure you give yourself all the opportunities to make your message stick.
3. Magnetic / Velcro Strips Missing
It’s a sensible idea to check the stand over before the show. Is everything present and correct? Nothing lost whilst in storage? Everything slotting together the same as the last time it was used?
If it’s a pop-up style stand, it may use either magnetic or velcro strips. Take the time to check they are all still in place and fixed securely. They can have a habit of becoming loose over time as they are only stuck in place with an adhesive back. Make sure they are all there and don’t find out when stood scratching chins in the exhibition hall. If some are missing, they can usually be replaced. If damaged, check its repairable and give yourself plenty of time should panels need reproducing.
4. System Not Sitting Level
When you’re going through the magnetic or velcro strips, make room in your premises to build the full system. It’s the perfect time to reacquaint yourself and your team with the stand and think of it as a dry run before you assemble it for real. Check that all the bars and rods are still included and everything couples together simply and without having to force. If it doesn’t sit level, find out why and make sure you can get it straight before packing it all back up. It may be that rod A has been used with bar B and not C – check it all as per the instructions. If you’re missing the instructions, now is the time to get back in touch with the company who manufactured it for you.
5. Legs / Frame Bent
Maybe the reason why it’s not all sitting level is down to something that’s been damaged. The systems are usually made from aluminium so excess force can bend the bars. It’s important to erect them and put them away methodically and with due care. This is especially true if your company is looking to reuse the stand. If any part of the frame has been bent, spare parts may be available from the manufacturer. Give yourself plenty of time to arrange for replacements before the show just in case it needs more than just a new three-foot-long rod.
6. Case damaged
Not a serious issue once the stand is up but a potential pitfall once it’s being stored away. If the case or bags are damaged, they’ve already been bumped or banged. This means they’ve come under attack once, don’t let it happen again especially if the cases are now seriously compromised. This could well be the reason why the legs or frame has been bent and you don’t want it recurring.
Your stand may be shipped in by courier and pass through a number of depots during its journey. Give it a fighting chance to get to its final destination in good order. You don’t want to check everything before the show and then allow it to be damaged in transit.
7. More Shows Planned?
Is this year the start of a bigger exhibiting plan?
With every industry becoming more competitive and getting your brand out there more important than ever, many companies are choosing to exhibit at a wider number of shows. With the increase in social media and online advertising, exhibitions and trade shows are becoming one of the only places you can talk face to face with potential customers to find out their opinions and issues.
If you’re stepping up your game, an exhibition stand that’s more durable will be needed. One of the economy stands is fine when a company is only active at one exhibition per year. If you’ve made the decision to be involved in more, a heavier duty stand will show a better return on investment.
8. Changing From Pop-Ups To Shell Systems Or Vice Versa?
Company exhibition requirements can often change. An exhibition hall will have an area for stands and sections prepared for shell schemes. If you have previously used a pop-up system on the hall floor and are now moving to a shell scheme, check any existing stands will fit in. Create a scale mock-up on paper to ensure it’s not too overbearing within the space. It may be too tall or wide and look out of place.
The same preparation is necessary if you’re moving from a shell scheme. The panels that fitted within the scheme probably won’t work within the hall as you will have no existing structure to fix them to.
9. Lightweight options needed – exhibiting further afield?
Not all your potential customers might be based in the UK and the best show for your products may not even be in Birmingham or London. To get your company in front of the right customer fit to really move the needle, the show you need to connect with might be across the globe. If you’re shipping your stand internationally, transit weight is a big consideration. There are also new options in fabrics that could mean your team can take the stand with them in their luggage.
10. More people on the stand
One stand may work well for a couple of people manning the show but if you’re anticipating a good turnout, will it work with 5 or more team members? The more people on means the more potential customers they can deal with. With this, they’ll need more room to manoeuvre and interact. Think about the presentation flow – how ideally do you want to guide the customer through the story of your stand and product? More people also means more brochure holders, areas to talk and seats to take notes and discuss things further. Has your current stand got the space?
11. More Modern System – Modular, Arches, Totems, Display Cases and Demonstration Tables
Finally, exhibition stand design changes frequently with new formats and construction techniques becoming available every year. If you really want to stay ahead of the crowd and turn the heads of potential customers, look at the growing range of bespoke modular stands, arches, seating pods and more.
Unsure as to how to make the most of your exhibition budget? Feel like you’re just going through the motions when getting ready for the show?
Get in touch with our exhibition ideas team on 01782 413789 or email@example.com
Working alongside you, we’ll find the best way to inject a bit more impact into your next stand and show.
Digital Wallcoverings That Get Your Brand Noticed – A QPS Guide To Digital Wallpapers
Digitally printed wall coverings are rapidly becoming the primary way retail and leisure premises markets their message across internal walls.
Here at QPS we’ve completed many fit-outs that demanded unique brand messaging printed large scale across the walls.
With all this experience in completing digital wall mural projects both on time and on budget, I thought it might be a good idea to delve deep into the wallpapers we use and why we use them.
Different Options In Digital Wallcoverings
The three main alternatives we use are:
- Paste the paper
- Paste the wall
The common element of these three types is the face layer. They all use a similar PVC layer that helps the ink key and keeps the print scuff and water-resistant.
They are also all available in both smooth and textured face finishes. With a wall mural where everything is about the message, we recommend a smooth finish. Where a more ‘wallpaper’ type design and feel is needed, we’d opt for a textured look.
Paste the paper wallcoverings
Traditional ‘off the shelf’ wallpapers have always used the paste the paper method. Using a paste table and covering single wall drops of paper each time, paste would be applied to the back and the paper left to ‘book’ for a while. This ‘booking’ helps the paste bond and absorb fully into the wallpaper. This technique is still used for the paste the paper digital wallcoverings.
The paste the paper variations have a paper liner on the reverse of the media (the same as traditional wallpapers) hence why they are installed in the same way.
They are usually the lowest price point for a digital wallpaper and are recommended for lower traffic areas or short term promotions.
View our latest fit at Columbia UK offices:
Paste the wall wallpapers
The next grade up is the more premium offering and ‘paste the wall’ wallpapers can be used anywhere a stronger and more durable wallpaper is needed.
Gyms, retail, hospitality and other commercial settings all require a more hardwearing product and the fabric reverse of a paste the wall wallpaper ensures it’ll last and last. This fabric back is often called ‘non-woven’. If your message is going into higher traffic areas, make sure your wallpaper has this non-woven backing. Unlike the paper backed versions, a non-woven product is difficult to tear and a commercial decorator will feel right at home in handling it.
As the name suggests, ready mixed paste is applied to the wall one panel width at a time. Paste the wall wall coverings have become more popular over recent years and the adhesive can now be purchased from stores like B&Q.
Self-Adhesive wall coverings
The last media alternative we use when fitting wall graphics is a self adhesive wallpaper.
With our experience in handling self-adhesive vinyl, we apply this knowledge to the self-adhesive wallcoverings however, we do know that a decorator would much rather use a paste-able product.
With a self adhesive wallpaper we can work with overlaps if needed and they are also available with a ‘blockout’ opaque backing.
This blockout layer stops any wall blemishes or existing graphics underneath showing through.
The main downside of a self-adhesive version is that the adhesive type can’t be changed to suit the finish of wall.
We’ve completed wallpaper installs across new walls fresh with plaster, pre-painted emulsion walls, and walls with rough sections.
Each of these walls needed a different paste adhesive – emulsion and fresh plaster needs a self-seal paste, a rougher wall needs something a little ‘heavier’ in consistency to keep the panels in place.
By using the right product with the right paste, we can make sure the wallpaper (and your branding) stays in place and looking good for longer.
It’s this know-how that means we can get the job done the first time every-time.
To discuss retail, leisure or hospitality digital wallpapers, get in touch with the team at 01782 413789 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Waterslide decals or transfers are the most effective way of applying high definition graphics to three-dimensional substrates.
- Full colour and highly detailed
- Simple to apply
- Customisable in size and shape
- Can easily be made scratch-resistant
- Easily conformable to contoured substrate
Here at QPS, we’ve taken the same principles of waterslide decals often used for pottery and models and added our own expertise to make them much, much larger.
What Are Waterslide Decals?
Waterslide decals are full-colour graphic images initially printed on a backing sheet and then transferred onto a carrier by the use of water.
From this carrier, the image is placed onto the product and allowed to dry. Once dried, the carrier is removed leaving the graphic permanently fixed.
They allow for the decoration of complex three-dimensional objects to be produced simply and consistently.
How Are They Produced?
Most suppliers of waterslide transfers create their images on sheets designed for small format inkjet or dry toner machines.
This print technology limits the size to around A3.
Fine for models but not for bigger projects and items.
At QPS we use the same techniques as with the smaller decals, but by having both in-house large format digital print plus a screenprinting department, we can utilise the unique attributes within each department.
The large format digital printers first create the vibrant and highly detailed image.
The definition and clarity possible with these machines mean a larger graphic doesn’t have to be a trade-off in quality.
From bright eye-catching artwork to small point text, most custom requirements are achievable and our production team has the knowledge to make the most from your artwork files when producing waterslide decals.
After the image has been printed, we then apply our tried and tested screenprint solution over the top.
This solution acts as the carrier for the image – more of this in the application information below.
QPS Print’s Large Format Waterslide Decals
The big difference with other waterslide decal producers and ourselves is that we can produce transfers up to 800 x 600mm in one panel.
That’s a surface area approximately 4 times bigger than A3!
If 800 x 600mm is not enough, we can even tile up multiple panels to create even larger graphics.
Considering the durability of waterslide transfers, a much greater print size opens up a wide range of product uses across many different industries.
Who Uses Waterslide Transfers?
We’ve supplied them to a multitude of business sectors from amusement arcades and theme parks through to high street retail and engineering companies.
We know through our discussions with product specifiers that they could be of benefit to many more industries.
Many just weren’t aware that the technology is available to manufacture at the size we can.
How Are Custom Waterslide Decals Applied?
After the image has been printed and the screenprint solution applied, the large format transfers are applied in the same way as their smaller counterparts.
The whole transfer is submerged in water and the image is ‘slid’ off the printed sheet along with the screenprint solution carrier.
The carrier, complete with image, is then placed in position on the final substrate and is left to self-cure.
Once dry, the carrier is simply removed to leave just the printed graphic in place.
Benefits And Advantages of Waterslide Transfers
Once the carrier has been removed, the printed image is incredibly thin in depth.
In reality, it is only one layer of ink so it can follow any contour or shape as closely as if it was a second skin.
This cannot be replicated by applying vinyl graphics or by printing directly. If the end product has any 3D shape, direct printing is impossible to effectively print.
When applying waterslide decals, no heat is needed. Products which are sensitive to temperature or delicate are no issue.
In fact, the small amount of water needed to float the transfer onto the substrate is so minimal, waterslide decals could be the most effective option for many products that struggle with more traditional forms of graphics application.
If the product will be handled after printing, we recommend the use of a clear lacquer to seal in the image.
This clear lacquer (plus the print itself) is still so incredibly thin – the lacquer adds durability only.
Once applied, the image has zero chance of being scratched or picked at.
Large format waterslide decals and transfers are just one of the specialised print options we have developed at QPS.
Whether you’re the franchisee or franchisor, one of the most important elements of successful company branding is maintaining a consistency across your printed products.
From brochures to letterheads, business cards to banner stands, having a uniformity across what is printed is incredibly important. It is your brand after all!
Not only does it have to look identical throughout branches, but it also has to look right in the first place.
Printing For Franchisees
We work alongside franchisees that have to source independently but need to follow a corporate framework.
They are given specific guidelines and need to create printed products that fit in with the overall scheme.
Ensuring the same visual tone and consistency across the existing and new items is critical.
Our design team is here to make sure any leaps in making new promotional material are not into the dark.
We’ll start with the existing media and expand with ideas that fit. We’ll ensure the items that are outside the brand guidelines fit as if they were already in there.
This consistency of tone is perhaps the most important element when its the franchisee we’re working with.
They want to create something new to stand out at a trade show or to promote a new offering but without the franchise’s original input, it can seem difficult (or too time-consuming) to come up with something fresh and original.
This is where QPS comes in to help put together your ideas to get the vision up, printed, and running.
Print Management For Franchisors
When it’s the tranchisor we’re dealing with, their main focus is around practicality and facilities management.
They need to know that the right materials are being used. Not only for each purpose but also for cost efficiency and effectiveness.
And they also need to know that whether they have 10 stores or 100, each store gets the right material at the right time for the right promotion.
Whether the point of sale packs are the same for each of the premises or if they need to be custom collated, our despatch team make sure each delivery contains the right elements.
Dealing with a printer directly can massively optimise both of these important considerations.
Our production team know the best substrates for each print purpose and are in contact with material suppliers to know whats new and why it should be considered.
Your promotions may be unique to you but there’s a good possibility we’ve worked on something similar from window graphics to wayfinding solutions and often a new set of eyes and ideas can be of huge benefit.
We’ve got a few campaigns under our belt and sharing ideas and experience with our customer base is what keeps us motivated for new concepts. We’re sure it does the same for our clients!
If you’re looking for print as the franchisee and trying to source something different that will fit right in to current guidelines, get in touch.
Unique branding can be the difference between being seen as same-old or appealing to a wider and more interested market.
It might be a part of a franchise but its your bsuiness.
As the franchisor, if you’re here looking for a print partner who can manage your franchise’s requirements reach out to one of our account handlers.
It could be setting up a print on demand system or making sure your POS gets where it needs to be when it should – lets take some of the stress out of running your day-to-day print.
Your Guide To Making The Most From Your Ferrous Materials
Printing on to paper or self-adhesive vinyl is one thing, but there’s a real skillset needed when printing directly on to metal.
Any ink on metal has to grab the surface and stay resolutely in place.
It needs to be as scratch resistant as possible and, if it’s for a panel showing important information, it can’t be rubbed off or start to fade.
As a surface for inks to bind to, not all metals are created equally. These variables give printing on metal its own unique challenges.
Every metal surface will have had a treatment of some sorts.
How the ink reacts to this treatment can be the difference between a sharp looking permanent print or one that just isn’t fit for its purpose.
With collective years of print know-how, our screen print department can quickly tell the type of metal and the most efficient way to get the best results with it.
Couple this knowledge with our close long-term relationships with many national engineering companies and we can provide introductions and expertise on much more than just the printing of your metal products.
We can be a valuable resource whether you’re in the automotive, aviation, telecom, transport or medical industries.
In fact, if you’re in a business that needs any type of printing on metal, we will be able to assist in most elements of your production or, at least, set you off on the right path.
The First Steps To Printing On Metal
Once we know the type of metal and it’s end use, we can work out what inks to use and how to apply.
Some metals need pre-treating to create a stronger bond for the ink to grab on to. Others need to be fully cleaned or de-greased prior to printing.
Experience with a full range of metals means we can make the right decisions without having to spend time trialling and testing.
Although, we’re not averse to any experimenting to make sure we are using the best combination for your product.
Companies that use our direct metal printing service can send over files that have been output directly from engineering packages.
Files like .dxf need to be converted in to print ready files that we can create plates and artwork files from.
Our design department can turn these files into usable formats. We can even create complete new digital files from engineering drawings, schematics or your pdf designs.
Pre-formed 3D Metal Printing
When metal parts arrive here at QPS for printing on to, sometimes they are flat panels (like for graphic overlay printing) but often they have already begun the manufacturing process.
They turn up as machined and pre-formed parts taking the shape of whatever their final purpose will be.
The challenges with printing on 3D metal shapes are not only how to keep the panels in place when screenprinting. It’s also how to keep each individual part in place to ensure everyone is printed exactly the same.
In order to keep to this repeatable process when printing tens or even hundreds of the same item, we’ve had to become masters of jig making.
Obscure shapes and intricate pre-formed panels don’t worry us. We’ll make sure it stays where it should whilst the ink gets laid down!
Options With Inks & Metals
We can print virtually any colour onto metal.
There’s even a multitude of specialist inks that we can source if your requirement needs to be eye-catching or unique.
Our in-house screen print facility that can colour match a logo or corporate branding. We can individually print bespoke text or shapes to any metal object in the colours of your company.
From plain colours on serial plates to powder or wet coated finished items that need something a bit more special, we can produce the print to get your products noticed.
Printing Metals With Care
We recognise the value of your products and materials.
Print can be the final part of the manufacturing process before assembly. For something to go wrong here, we know it can have repercussions all the way back through production.
This is why we do everything to make sure we are not the weak link in your chain.
From personal collections and deliveries through to quality checks all the way through our factory, your product is in safe hands when here at QPS Print.
If you have a metal printing requirement or if you need some advice on the hows and whys of making the most of your metal product, get in touch on 01782 413789 or email email@example.com
PS: let the last word on our expertise with printing on metal go to one of the engineering companies we work alongside – KMF Group – and their Managing Director, Gareth Higgins MBE:
The QPS team ‘do a fantastic job for us, an integral supplier to our business, offering our customers a complete service’.
Following on from a previous post on reasons to deal directly with your printer, this post looks at one of the ways technology has made doing that so much simpler: web to print.
First, there was the post and mailing out the plans and drafts. Couriers crisscrossing cities with drawings and proofs.
Then came the fax and images sent over with a phone ring and a series of beeps and bleeps. Almost instant messaging but its usefulness limited by its small size.
From there, our industry moved on to email. PDFs sent in milliseconds across oceans from office to office. Proofs approved in a matter of minutes.
What a world we live in!
Web to print is the successor to the emailed order request.
As print evolves to make requirements easier to both ask for and fulfil, web to print is the system that forms the backbone of creating this dedicated process.
What Is Web To Print?
Web to print is the process of requesting print through an online portal set up specifically with your requirements in mind.
The portal can be totally personalised to contain your marketing or sales collateral.
From brochures to stationery, business cards to point of sale, any item that you regularly purchase can be set up and called off as needed.
Order requested and the information sent over directly to the printer.
All with the click of a mouse and in real time.
Who uses it?
From small to medium-sized businesses and enterprises right through to large corporations, if your company is buying in print, it will benefit from a web to print system.
It’s used in local government, healthcare operations, banking and insurance.
Retail stores will call off POS kits individually packed for each location.
Anywhere there is more than one location or more than one person sourcing print can benefit. It streamlines the process from searching for order books, previous purchasing history, and the ‘what was that called’ syndrome, to an easy to use software that can be custom made to limit it to all your team really needs.
It can even go further than that.
We can integrate your print requests not just to our production department but we can also build you a channel directly to the design team.
Need to amend a colour, a logo or a piece of copy? The personal link to our creatives means your updates land with the right person in real time.
Imagine that direct line straight to the printer.
There is no middleman or print agency, no to-ing and fro-ing to get urgent information. True print costs from the people carrying out your work.
What Can Be Ordered Via Web To Print?
The web to print catalogue can contain any or all the printed items your company orders.
It can be split into categories by the department or by usage.
We can even set up seasonal items that are only needed every quarter or annually.
There can be reminders that ping up when items may be getting low.
Clever notifications built on product history and intellectually worked out to ensure stock-outs are a thing of the past.
Mentioning history, a web to print browser will also show all previous orders by date, by order number, even by the person ordering.
For company’s that prefer the authorising of print before it moves to production, we can set up a queue system to a specified person or department. The order will be pushed there and, after approval, be moved over to our team to fulfil.
Oh, and all of this is available 24/7 365 days a year.
Forgot to order that important item? Log in anytime to get your request underway.
We’ve seen retail chains and restaurants benefit hugely from web to print.
As each location can have a unique layout and even a separate promotion running, being able to select individual printed assets from personalised menus makes the running of campaigns so much simpler.
Leave the handling of inventory to us. Your stores can focus on their business while we look after the rest.
Another plus point is being able to batch invoices either by time or by locations to anywhere that needs the bills.
Prefer to receive all the paperwork at month end and at head office?
Not a problem, the web to print system is completely customisable.
Running more than one location or having more than one person ordering can lead to ordering from different sources.
Colour shifts between prints, corporate branding not quite as expected. Differing paper stocks or signage substrates from manufacturer to manufacturer.
If you’ve ever had to match up collateral from two sources you’ll know the differences from printer to printer.
It’s the reason we calibrate all our machines to produce as close a colour match throughout QPS Print as we can.
By minimising the number of places your print can come from will maintain a uniformity across your brand and your message.
Finally, let’s be honest. By sourcing all from one place, it should also help when it comes to negotiating costs too.
So from large format print for exhibitions to letterheads and compliment slips for office use, if web to print is the way forward for your team, talk to ours on 01782 413789
When it comes to exhibition displays, there is a multitude of options.
Your choice will usually depend on whether you’ve got the floor space to cover or a booth to fill.
We’ve got options on filling the floor space with a Pop Up Stand or roller banner. At the end of this post, there’s info on our new exhibition display range.
This post, however, looks at ensuring your message is big and bold across that exhibition booth.
If you’re heading to the halls and you’ve rented one of the spaces that have been sectioned off, these spaces go by the name of shell schemes.
The shell scheme booths are usually all lined up alongside each other and have three sides and an open front.
Your exhibition results will depend on those three sides. Its what will carry your brand for the next three or four days.
Making The Most From A Shell Scheme
Now, there are things to take into account before you dive into which shell scheme graphics are right for you.
Think about how you want your brand to appeal to a prospective new client. How do you want to be conveyed? What first impression do you want to give?
If someone has 5 seconds to see your stand, will they know what you do and, more importantly, why they need to do business with you?
It needs to be visually attractive with shell scheme graphics to catch the eye and the attention.
It also needs to be uncluttered and not too busy. Your message has to be instantly recognisable with your branding purposeful and centre stage.
Designing for shell schemes, like all print and display, can be difficult if you’re unsure as to what is important.
That’s why we have a team of creatives here at QPS Print to help make your message meaningful.
Don’t go into an exhibition with confusing graphics that no customer could ever understand. Exhibiting can be expensive, don’t leave it to chance to get it right.
As well as the shell scheme designs, our expertise is in having the knowledge (and printing equipment) to make sure your shell scheme panels are produced on the right media.
Substrates for Shell Scheme Graphics
One of the simplest ways to produce shell scheme graphics is to print onto rigid substrates.
Foam PVC – check out our guide to foamex – is the perennial favourite as it is lightweight, robust and cost-effective. It prints well on our UV flatbeds and can be used imaginatively with stand-offs and routed out sections.
Its main disadvantage is that it cant be folded or rolled up so transporting can be challenging. Being PVC it is also non-recyclable so if you’re not planning on using again, think about how you’ll dispose of responsibly.
If rigid panels are required but also you need something with eco-friendly credentials, a substrate such as Dispa board may be the right choice. Display card could also be an option but be aware that it won’t be anywhere near as durable as foam PVC.
All these rigid panels are fixed to the shell scheme by Velcro. Easy to erect and just as simple to remove when the show is over.
Lightstop Graphic Panels
The next option for shell scheme graphic panels is a polyester or PVC film.
Printed on either our UV roll to roll or solvent printers, these panels have a scratch resistant film on the surface to prevent any handling mishaps.
They are lightweight, hardwearing and can be rolled up, popped in a tube or case and easily transported around.
These panels can be fitted on the shell scheme again using Velcro or, more popularly, they will have universal fixings which lock into the scheme’s columns and supports.
There are a number of systems for different shell schemes – if you need advice on making sure you’re purchasing the right ones, get in touch.
Shell Clad Systems
These systems either have the lightstop panels described above or use fabrics to create a seamless display.
The graphics are fitted to the shell scheme in a way that covers the corner and the three sides to give the booth a much more appealing and uniform look.
We can demonstrate different adaptors and how they work at our premises in Stoke-on-Trent.
A shell clad system can last many exhibitions and the graphic panels can be updated and reprinted as required. Make sure you get the right system for your business and it will serve you well for many a trade show.
This guide covers the most popular media options for shell scheme graphics. From rigid PVC to lightstop panels and soft fabrics, once you know what’s important – transportation, cost, ease of use – one of these products will fit your exhibition plans.
From there it’s then about knowing whether it’s Velcro boards for a one-off show or a shell clad system that will last for years.
Exhibition graphics manufacture from QPS Print. To talk to someone about shell scheme graphics and which system is most effective for your company, call 01782 413789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on soft displays, have a read of our guide to fabric signage here. If something a little less than a shell scheme or pop up stand is needed, our complete info on roller banners is here.
PS – if you’re looking for pop up stand systems, roller banners or anything else to make your next exhibition stand out, email email@example.com and we’ll reply with our brand new Exhibition Brochure.
Environmentally Responsible Print & Display
After finishing off a post about Dispa board, it got us thinking about other eco-friendly signage options for print and display.
With the reduction of plastic usage all over the news, an overview of environmentally conscious media seemed like a timely article to add to the site.
As you’d expect from a digital and screen printer, we get asked to use many weird and wonderful substrates. Looking back over some of the ranges we know and have printed on gave us these options for recycled or recyclable Point of Sale products:
Not all of these substrates would be a direct non-PVC or eco-friendly swap. Each product has different plus points depending on its suitability.
Some of the reasons may be down to cost. Fluted corrugated cardboard such as e flute or b flute is incredibly cost-effective for short-term free standing display units (FSDU) for example.
Other reasons may be inherent within the product itself. We’ve found 3A Composites’ Smart-X to be very stable when used in store windows.
Of course, the main reason to use a particular product could well be because of the environmentally friendly aspect of the media.
Eco-Friendly Signage & POS
Display board is widely used for hanging signs in supermarkets – look up the next time you’re in Tesco. Short-term promotional prints that can be taken down and sent to be recycled after their offers have expired.
If a more lay-flat card is needed, a jump up in quality is the Katz board or Antecote Lite. As recyclable as standard display board but with more of a beermat type inner layer that helps keep it stable when used in warm (and cold) environments.
Shelf strips for supermarkets would have predominantly been printed on PVC but when one of the superstores wants to change over their displays, all these PVC strips have to go on to landfill (at a charge….)
By changing over to polypropylene – brand names include Priplak or Vita – and at the end of their life, all those strips can be recycled.
It can be the difference between paying thousands to dispose of your print, to actually being paid by a recycler who’ll take it away.
The same for fluted polypropylene or Correx – check this post on Correx printing for more on this versatile all-rounder.
A product we’re seeing more of is the honeycomb type cardboard. Branded as Falcon, Dufaylite or Reboard, it’s easy to rout and cut and perfect for FSDU’s and store displays.
The two thicker substrates here – Smart-X and Stadur Easyprint are eco-friendly options for when solid foam PVC would be the go-to product.
Smart-X is 100% polystyrene. Stadur is a bit more durable with its polypropylene outer liners and a polystyrene inner layer.
Stadur is available up to 50mm so even for some heavyweight signage applications, it’s an eco-friendly signage product that will fit the bill.
Self-Adhesive PVC alternatives
That covers the rigid board options for eco-friendly signage but what about self-adhesive vinyl or banners?
Thankfully, there are a few options for non-PVC media. There’s not a vast range but most suppliers will have a polypropylene flexible banner for short-term use.
Popular brands such as Orafol have their polypropylene self-adhesive – Orajet 3174 – as do Avery in their MPI 3901 range. Non-PVC alternatives are out there, you just have to do some digging to find them.
To find out what environmentally friendly product is best suited to your application, talk to us on 01782 413789.
We’ve worked with clients right across the print and sign spectrum.
Stuck finding the most effective eco-friendly signage options or other traditional grades? We bet we’ve created something similar before.
When its comes to hospital signs and wayfinding, having the right information clear and up front is critical.
Visitors need to find their way around without issue and any difficult to understand signage is just not acceptable.
We understand that hospital signs, as with our work with museums and their specific signage requirements, need to be able to be understood quickly and with zero chance of misreading.
Crystal clear to grasp plus highly visible to spot makes for the ideal hospital signage scheme.
It’s not all about the font type or colour of vinyl though.
The creative department here at QPS Print will make sure that not only is your hospital’s signage compliant with all necessary criteria and simple to understand, we’ll also make sure it’s on the right materials for both practicality and cost-effectiveness.
There’s no point paying for outdoor substrates when your sign is for internal use only.
Equally, if your hospital wayfinding is outdoors in all weathers, you need to make sure its manufactured using materials that are going to last the distance.
Not only is the correct hospital signage vitally important, it also needs to be fitted in an unobtrusive and almost invisible way.
Within busy hospital departments, closing down areas to fit wall graphics or wayfinding signs can be impossible. Our installation team will do everything to minimise any disruption.
QPS Print’s planning and project engineers oversee the work prior to the team arriving to ensure a smooth operation is already underway even before work begins on site.
Once all the hospital signs have been fitted and work completed, the area is returned to as it was before we arrived.
You’d be right to expect our work to be of a high standard. We also value the same high standard from all members of our team whether it’s clearing up after the job or producing your print before it ships out.
These standards are reflected in the research and discussions whilst in pre-production through to the in-house manufacture and finishing here at QPS Print.
We work alongside your team to find the right products and the best way of using them to make the most from your budget and meet your requirements.
It’s through these discussions we’ve been able to offer different ways of producing site-specific and innovative hospital signs.
Focus on Innovative Hospital Signage
One of the innovations we’ve been pioneering is the use of antibacterial wallcoverings.
Wall murals look fantastic in children’s wards, but with a little design thought they can be used in many other places around the site.
We’ve used them in reception areas incorporating way finding elements along with graphics and images.
Fire-retardent, highly durable and fully customisable, printed hospital wall murals are a unique way to create a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
For use either on sections of walls or complete dry-wipe panels, we can apply a dry-wipe or wipe-erase laminate to any wall mounted graphics.
For staff notices or regularly updated announcements, a dry-wipe panel is a cost-effective way to get important messages out quickly, simply and cost-effectively.
As well as dry-wipe panels, there is also a wide choice of window graphics that can also be used in hospitals.
We’ve got a post that looks at the growing range of innovative ideas for printed window graphics.
There is also a growing range of recyclable materials that we can use for your hospital signage.
With the focus on minimising the use of plastics, talk to us. We’ll research eco-friendly options for your hospital signs.
Not only does the use of recyclable materials offer ecological benefits. The cost of removal when the hospital signage needs to be replaced can be significant if it includes certain plastics or metals.
Opting for products that can be either recycled or can be sent through normal waste channels can have major cost benefits.
One of the substrates we’ve been showing clients is the new Dispa board – full eco-credentials and great for internal signage. Click for our post on Dispa board and it’s unique properties.
As you can see, we’re not all about producing basic hospital signs and wayfinding (or signage for any other industry). We’re about finding the right product and application fit for your brand and message.
And we’ll make sure your project is all completed on-time and on-budget.
To find out more about recycled signage for hospitals, antibacterial wallpapers or any other sign requirement, get in touch on 01782 413789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed graphic overlays are the ideal choice for custom machine control panels.
Designed to keep information clear and easily understood, fascia panels can be produced in a number of different ways depending on their use.
At QPS Print, our wide range of print equipment (plus membrane products to use) guarantee to make sure your graphic overlays start off in great shape and stay usable for longer.
High quality and ultra durable regardless of any heavy-handed operator!
Designing Graphic Overlays
Whether its your first membrane panel project or your one hundredth, we know every requirement is different.
Thankfully, we have people who have worked on overlays for use in many industries. We’ll know how to keep the costs down and quality high.
If you need assistance in putting together the artwork and design for the panels, talk to our creative team.
Some fascia panels need to put clarity of information first and be ergonomic in use. Others need to convey the manufacturer’s brand and style.
Get in contact if you’re unsure as to how your panels need to be presented, and we’ll work with you to get it right.
Graphic Overlay Printing
Our preferred production choice is to print on the reverse of a clear or ‘frosted’ mark resistant substrate.
If your fascia panel is for information only and infrequently touched, we’d recommend a PVC film.
For a printed membrane panel that is going to be used regularly – buttons, switches, a keyboard or dials – tough polycarbonate is a more durable choice.
We print on the reverse of both of these products so the image is safe from scratching regardless of whether its polycarb or PVC.
The printed graphic is viewed through the base product making for a longer lasting, whilst still optically clear, finished panel.
Even constant use can’t make a mark on the image.
There are technical data sheets available for all the materials we can print on to and for the inks that we use.
Get in touch to discuss if your requirement is quite specific.
We can produce graphic overlays for use in temperature extremes, with increased chemical resistance or for panels that will get constant use and abuse.
Our production department will source the right material for you. Just let one of the team know the panel’s intended purpose and we’ll do the work in finding the best solution.
While production will source the right material, our design creatives can assist with making sure what goes on the product is exactly as required.
Areas that need to show LEDs or information screens are left clear.
If needed, our design department can make sure your image file has all the right info in place and ready for production.
Alternatively, for a more opaque fascia, white ink can be overprinted behind the entire membrane.
Having a complete screenprint facility as well as digital UV printers, QPS can work alongside your team to find the most cost effective solution for control panel overlays.
Does your switch panel require only spot colours? We can make up the screens using your artwork and produce by screen printing.
Need a full-colour image for your membrane keypad? Then, printing digitally using UV curable inks will create fascia overlays with impact.
Both technologies can print on the reverse of the substrate. Whether it’s screen print or digitally manufactured, your finished panels will be completely scratchproof and their instructions can’t be worn away over time.
Fascia Panel Finishing
After the panels are printed, QPS can finish the membranes ready for installation.
Need a self-adhesive coating applying? We can hand them over to our finishing department to laminate a backing film to the fascia’s reverse.
Many of the overlays we produce are shipped out with an adhesive applied. It makes for a much simpler final in-house application.
Different adhesives have different purposes.
We have adhesive films that can create a strong bond between the graphic overlay and panels that are textured or dimpled.
There are specialist adhesives that work more effectively with low surface energy substrates. Our experienced production team will guide you to an optimal end product.
Finishing doesn’t end with a self-adhesive being applied.
Fascias can be trimmed with straight or radius corners.
We have a number of platen machines that can punch out an accurate, repeatable shape over hundreds or even thousands of graphic overlays.
Our digital flatbed cutter can trim panels down to size quickly and effectively if something a little more intricate is needed.
Custom printed graphic overlays from QPS:
- Use the right material for your intended end use
- And utilise the right print technology for your end application
- Vibrant, scratch proof and super durable
- Can be produced as cost-effective prototypes or full production volumes
- Are available in virtually any size and many different thicknesses
- Can incorporate your brand, logo or any bespoke design detail
- Perfect for industries including aviation, automobile, engineering, telecom, electronics, security….and more
For information on other services QPS offer, have a read through these posts on museum wayfinding and signage, tile sample display boards and window graphic solutions.
Got a graphic overlay requirement? Talk to us on 01782 413789.