Last post generated a lot of comments and some great questions. So we hope we have some great answers – here goes!
Q: How long should I expect my graphics to last?
A: Hate to do this – it depends. Laminated graphics, if well cared for, stored properly and used correctly should last 3-5 years. A practical life (assuming imperfect treatment) is likely to be 1-2 years. Un-laminated graphics has a usable life of 6-12 months or 2-3 shows, whichever comes first. Fabric graphics can last 5 years or more if well cared for. Vinyl graphics (typically banner stands) have a life of 5 years or more, depending on exposure, etc.
Q: What are the most common reason graphics wear out?
A: The most common reason to replace trade show graphics is that he company image, branding or campaign has changed. But as far as wear, de-lamination can occur if the graphics are stored in a hot environment (the laminate and the media expand at different rates in heat, and the laminate separates). Kinking, pinching and bending of inkjet panels are common.
Q: New graphics cost almost as much as a new display – what’s your advice?
A: If your display is more than 3 or 4 years old, we would recommend replacing it and getting new graphics. The reason is simple – it may be in great shape and may even have a lifetime warranty. But getting your old model serviced will get more difficult. And new displays have a much greater range of accessories and options. So you’re really not saving much by keeping your old display. And many display houses will give you a trade in credit for recycling your old display.
Q: I want to know how important the DPI is on graphic prints.
A: DPI (dots per inch) is a measurement that indicates how densely your printer in applying ink or dye to your media. Higher DPI generally means a finer image and better graphics. Commercial quality graphics typically fall in a range between 150-600 DPI. In practice, however, more than 600 or 720 DPI tend not to be noticeable by the naked eye of an untrained professional. Our advice would be not to spend more to get DPI resolutions greater than 720 DPI. Your display house can provide a graphics guidelines to optimize your graphics.
Q: I have heard about “eco” printing methods – what are these?
A: The printing industry has gone to great lengths to reduce its environment impact in the past decade. The SGPP is a trade association dedicated to these efforts. The most visible effects of these improvements to customers are likely to be the increasing range of eco-friendly inks and media. Eco-friendly inks limit the emission of harmful airborne compounds in the inks and in the printing process. Examples include UV-cured inks, aqueous inks, low-VOC inks and latex inks. Print media is now available using recycled materials, including vinyl, PVC, paper, polyester and cardboard composites.
Impact Displays is a full service display house offering trade show displays and large format graphics solutions to meet a wide range of uses and customer budgets.