August 10, 2006 |
A news article recently published in Image Reports a leading digital print trade magazine has drawn interest to Nimlok’s in house exhibition fabric graphic printing capabilities.
A crucial part to delivering an exhibition stand is providing high quality exhibition graphics; Nimlok digitally produce the graphic element, originating either from our internal graphic design capabilities, or graphic design supplied from our customers. The majority of graphic output is by inkjet on fabric and / or polyester substrate. The dye sublimation technique is at the fore front of our exhibition fabric graphic production; as well as producing a printed fabric graphic; we can also print onto exhibition stand carpeting and mats using this technique.
In the exhibition environment, a typical exhibition graphic will go through a lot of handling. The graphic can be applied and demounted several times a day, and in some cases, is shipped all over the world. With this in mind, we do not print an exhibition stand graphic onto paper because the layers can separate during the handling. Nimlok use specially developed, coated polyester (to reduce the chance of damage), along with an over laminate that has the same expansion and shrinkage properties, thus creating a highly durable graphic for your exhibition stand.
Our Nimlok US division based in Chicago spotted a trend in exhibition fabric structures using an alloy frame with a stretched fabric covering. With the technology available at the time, print capabilities on large fabric were limited. It was recognised that in order for it to be a success, we needed to be able to produce a seamless, full colour exhibition graphic across the whole of the fabric surface area. UK Creative Director Garry Clement-Boggis had already been working with a specialist on a digital dye sublimation process and believed that he had a solution for this requirement using this new method of printing.
A modified 2.6m wide Roland SJ1000 inkjet printer and Monti Antonio callender heat press was purchased by Nimlok from a local dye-sublimation printing specialist, I-Sub. Rather than the normal print process of placing the inks on top of the received fabric, this method sublimates the inks into the fabric. The only way to remove the print from one of our displays is to destroy the fabric itself! Dye-sublimation provides durability, colour vibrancy and quality of resolution on the fabric. Nimlok are proud to be using such an effective method of printing on their stands..
Dye-sublimation opens up the use of fabric, not only can we print onto elastane fabrics but also fine voiles and the fabrics remain flexible, unlike other methods that cause the fabric to stiffen. We have also discovered another benefit of dye-sublimation printed fabrics – they are washable. A printed graphic can withstand 150 or more industrial machine washes as well as being lightfast outdoors for over two years. They can be used to create a stunning visual effect on any exhibition stand, and in the case of translucent fabrics, the print looks just as good from the back as it does from the front.
In exhibition stand design, a fabric graphic started off by replacing a Foamex graphic, which then progressed into fabric structures and sculptures. Fabric is now at the fore front of stand design and creates an environment where you can ‘experience the brand’ which is becoming a fundamental part of the solution.
Nimlok recently exhibited at the Exhibiting Show which demonstrated our new concept in exhibition stand design. With fabric graphics in abundance, the exhibition stand design had seriously high impact. Raised up over the centre of the stand was a giant cube of aluminium tubes covered with elastane fabric, and strategically positioned hanging voiles, we could be seen across all of the exhibiting hall. The stand design of our exhibition stand enabled us to create an expensive look and feel, in a cost effective way. The architectural presence effectively enticed visitors to the exhibition stand to experience a plethora of high resolution exhibition stand graphics and full colour textiles, showcased within the stand environment.
For Nimlok, fabric is an essential component of our huge modular exhibition stand systems, ensuring versatility, value and dynamic impact whilst observing reusable values.