Choosing the Right Media, Part 2

After reading our blog, “Choosing the Right Media Part 1”, last month, now you have the knowledge of what media is and how to go about choosing the correct media for your project. The next step is introducing you to some of the media we have at SpeedPro Imaging Santa Rosa. First, we will go through three of our most popular media. These items include calendered vinyl, scrim banner, and poster paper. Next, we will introduce you to three of our specialty items – canvas, photo paper, and backlit film. Finally, a bonus media at the end. And please remember, the media that we have on this list is only a VERY small portion of what SpeedPro Imaging has to offer!

 

Popular Media:

 

Calendered Vinyl:

Calendered Vinyl is a media that has broad range for graphics that can be placed indoor or outdoor. Calendered vinyl generally has a long lifetime, but lasts slightly longer when placed indoors. This vinyl is best suited for flat area. The types of graphics best suited for this media are mounted prints. Though less common, this media can also be used for wall and floor graphics.

 

Scrim Banner:

Banners are one of our most in demand products, so making sure we have durable banner material is important. Our scrim banner is great for both indoor and outdoor use. Scrim refers to the thread configuration of the material. The scrim is durable, thus making this media great for long-term projects. Scrim banner may come in gloss or matte finishes, and are finished with grommets so you can hang the banner. Banners are typically used for occasions such as open houses, grand opening, and special events.

 

Poster Paper:

Poster paper is another great media that is perfect for a number of different projects. Poster paper can be used indoor or outdoor, but the lifetime of the poster changes with the environment you put it in. Posters that are put outdoors typically have a shorter lifetime, so they are good for graphics that are only needed for a short amount of time, such as a sale or upcoming event. When placed indoors, this media can last a very long time depending on how long you want the image. If you use the poster paper for a tradeshow graphic or for a fine art/photography, for example, they can last years. However, poster paper tends to be less expensive, so if you only need the graphic for a short amount of time, this media is still perfect for such projects.

 

Specialty Media:

 

Backlit Film:

Backlit film is a semi-translucent material that is designed to catch and diffuse light from behind the graphic. It is a high quality image with rich density that offers bright colors. This material is perfect for a graphic that you want to stand out at night. You can put it in a light box or apply it to the inside of a window, which allows this media to stand out night and day. You can also use this media for things like menu boards, tradeshow display, and point of purchase (POP) displays.

 

Photo Paper:

Photo paper is a versatile media that delivers vibrant, photo realistic prints. It is mostly recommended for indoor use, but can be placed outdoors as well. The types of application for this media include posters, POP displays, and fine art/photography decorations. Like poster paper, the images can be used for short-term and long-term projects depending on the environment and the type of graphic that you wish to print.

 

Floor Graphic Vinyl:

Our floor graphic vinyl is a media designed for many different types of surfaces that experience foot traffic. This media is made of durable material that is resistant to scuffing and abrasions. The surfaces this media can be placed on includes concrete, asphalt, sidewalk, floor, and even select wall surfaces. Floor graphics are great for short-term promotional graphics and for directing foot traffic. Applications for floor graphics include fairs, retail stores, sports arenas, parades, and other event areas with pedestrian traffic.

 

Bonus:

 

Cast Vinyl:

I explained first about Calendered Vinyl but I found it necessary to now talk about Cast Vinyl as a bonus media (even though this is one of our most used media’s here at SpeedPro Imaging in Santa Rosa). This is the Vinyl that we use on all vehicle wraps. We use it for more than just that though. Any smooth surface that is curved or has contours we will use Cast Vinyl. This is because Cast Vinyl has the ability to stretch and not try to go back to its original shape. This allows for easier installs, longer lasting vehicle wraps, and a better adhering media.

 

So there you have it, a brief introduction to a selection of media we have at Speedpro Imaging. As I stated earlier, these are just a few products we carry. Our media list is always growing and improving, so we will always be able to find the best media suited for your project. Hoped you enjoyed getting to know your media, learn more at www.speedprosantarosa.com .

Advertisements

Canopy Tents

We are right in the middle of Spring but Summer is just around the corner, and it is time to start thinking about outdoor display season. With street fairs, festivals, athletic events and farmers markets, all coming up, SpeedPro Santa Rosa is leading the way with canopy tents and displays galore. But that being said, we have clients that use canopy tents throughout the year here in California.

SpeedPro Imaging Santa Rosa offers sturdy, beautifully printed, portable canopy tents that provide shade as well as some valuable advertising space. They’re portable, and can be used almost anywhere, with the canopy surfaces providing a variety of places to print your logo, message or brand where it’s visible above the crowd.

GreenGroCanopyPhoto

 

Here are three important things to consider when purchasing your canopy tent:

  1. Size – 10’ x 10’ is a standard size and easiest to transport and set up/take down. But we offer other sizes, including 10’ x 20’ models.
  2. Durability – You get what you pay for, and while there are some lightweight options out there in the market, poles can literally snap (or bend), and it will almost always happen at the wrong time. Our canopies are heavier to move around (which is why we recommend the roller case or strong nylon bag), but they stand the test of time.
  3. Color and Impact – Our top of the line tents are fully printed with dye sublimation printing, allowing graphics on multiple surfaces in full color – from photo imagery to graphics.

 

Mentioned above, SpeedPro’s canopy tents are available with full custom printing. We also offer full back walls and half side wall kits, to provide additional wind protection or physical barriers to direct customers toward the front of your display. Not only that, but the full custom printing of the back walls and side walls, provide incredible marketing opportunities for your business.

20170418_121917

Each kit includes frame, canopy top, tension ropes, soil/sod stakes, and carry bag with wheels. Available options include a hard shipping case and steel weighted base plates to secure the canopy on hard surfaces when soil stakes can’t be used. Also available, as mentioned above, are back wall and side wall additions.

Give us a call (707) 755-3151 to learn more about our range of tents – from square with pointed roof to curvy designs sure to grab focus at your next event. Or visit www.speedprosantarosa.com to see examples.

Monument Signs

There is a wide range of signs you can utilize to make your organization easy to identify. Monument signs are among the most distinct outdoor signs you can employ.

 

What Are Monument Signs?

20160421_125237_resized_1

Monument signs are exterior structures that are used to identify the entrances to any type of organization with a physical location, including apartment complexes, churches, shopping centers, schools, hospitals, corporate headquarters, entertainment venues, housing developments, and more. While being eye-catching and visually impressive, monument signs are generally designed to capture the building they are representing.

 

It is important that you know what alternatives are available as you look for monument signs for your enterprise. Here are 2 of our most requested options:

 

Post and Panel Signs

20170409_123128

These are beneficial for both single and multitenant facilities. Your post and panel sign system can be created using a broad range of materials. For high-end properties, you might want to consider carved sign foam or wood panels. On the other hand, there are many more straightforward alternatives when you are working with a tight budget.

 

Freestanding Architectural Signs

20151114_104846

Monument signs are commonly used by single-tenant venues. These markers are fabricated using a selection of heavy-duty materials to ensure they can stand up against the weather. Monument signs can be custom designed to match your building with finishes like wood, stucco, brick, and stone. Use external spotlighting or internal lighting to make your facility visible at night.

 

If you are interested in any of the varieties of monument signs that SpeedPro Imaging Santa Rosa can produce, contact us at (707) 755-3151 or visit www.speedprosantarosa.com

Choosing the Right Media, Part 1

How do you decide which media would be the best for your graphic? Before you can go about trying to decide the type of media you want to print your image on, it is important to understand exactly what we mean when we use the word ‘media’. In this blog post we will start by defining the word ‘media’, and then we will discuss how to go about choosing the correct media for your project.

 

The word ‘media’ can have many different meanings. Some people when they hear or see the word ‘media’ will automatically think about channels of communication, such as radio stations, newspapers, television, and magazines. Others might think more on the lines of ‘social media’, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In the Fine Arts, however, ‘media’ is referred to as the material on which an artist chooses to do their work. In the SpeedPro Imaging world, our definition of ‘media’ more or less matches the Fine Arts definition of ‘media’. Media, to us, is merely the material you use to print your graphics. Different media has different textures and finishes, which is why it is so important to understand the media you wish to work with before you begin printing.

 

To get started, we have generated a list of four questions that will better help you determine the right media for your project. After answering these four questions, you can decisively choose the best media for your graphic, and then we can get to printing!

 

The Four Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Media:

 

Question One: Where is the graphic going to be placed?

The placement of a graphic can determine many things. Where you place a graphic can affect such things as the size and the lifetime of the image. Is the graphic going indoors or outdoors? Simply determining where the graphic is going can help you decide on the durability of the media. Is there a certain space that the graphic must fit in? Certain media is better for certain sized graphics. It can also help with determining the finish of the media.  Gloss finish is usually used outdoors and matte finish is usually used indoors.

 

Question Two: How long do you need the graphic?

Do you need the large format image for short or long term usage? Temporary materials often use less expensive media, since they will not be needed for long periods of time. We do not want you to spend too much money on a product that you do not need. We want to make sure you get the most use out of your graphic, so knowing how long you need an image helps determine the material that is best suited for the time period it is needed.

 

Question Three: What surface will your graphic be mounted on?

Is the surface rough, smooth, flat, or curved? The surface you mount your graphics onto is crucial, since some materials are more movable than others. If you have a surface that is curved, you want to make sure you get material that can curve with the surface. Vehicles are usually always curved (see the cast vs calendered blog I posted last week). If you are just thinking about a poster, it is still important to know on what surface you wish to hang it.

 

Question Four: What are you trying to achieve?

Is the graphic only for decoration, are you trying to bring in new clientele, or are you promoting an event or sale? These questions are important because if you need a picture for decoration, for example, there is media that is better suited for photo realistic images and fine art.

 

Some of these questions can also be interrelated to one another. For example, knowing what you want to achieve can also help you answer the question of how long you need a graphic. Certain types of graphics promoting sales or events are only needed for short amounts of time, so you want to make sure you choose a media that will be good for such occasions.

 

Once you have all these questions answered, you are now better prepared to pick out the media that is right for your graphic! Now all that is left is having us at SpeedPro print your graphic out on the media of your choice and enjoying the view. The next blog post will cover what types of media to use in each situation.  Stay tuned!!

Mobile Marketing

Advertising that is fluid, cost effective and consistently reaching new potential customers, what a concept! Vehicle wrapping has revolutionized the advertising industry, changing how companies are planning their budgets and strategies. Any vehicle can advertise your message; cars, SUVs, semitrailers, vans, boats, motorcycles, airplanes and trucks! If it moves, it can be wrapped! What makes vehicle wrap advertising even more appealing is that it is affordable, costing a fraction of traditional advertising methods. It is estimated that within the next 3 to 5 years, the trend of vehicle wrap advertising will explode from about 10 percent of cars on the road to an estimated 40 to 50 percent as businesses look at ways to increase exposure while reducing costs. And, vehicle wraps can last up to seven years with proper maintenance! While a full wrap will attract the most attention, SpeedPro Imaging Santa Rosa also offers various partial wraps including window perforations. Below is an example of how effective window perforations on a vehicle can be. Call us today at (707) 755-3151 to see how we can transform your vehicle into a graphic, mobile advertisement!

20160802_100325

Stupid Things People Do at Trade Shows

Now, I’m not calling anyone “stupid,” so lower your knives and baseball bats. What I am saying is that people do really dumb stuff at trade shows. Consistently stupid stuff. Anyone who participates in trade shows could write a book on what they’ve seen over the years. Pre-show marketing and post-show leads would cover several hundred pages.

 

So, let’s ignore those and concentrate on the easy, quick fixes, the ones you can change now. The ones you can implement before your next show in a month.

 

Lack Large Format Graphics.

The biggest mistake you can make at a trade show is not having any displays or graphics. How can anyone possibly know who you are and what you do, if you don’t have your company on display? How can you initially draw people’s attention to your booth? How can you stick in someone’s head after they stop by your booth? The answer is simple, large format graphics.

“Remember that booth with the large display that had a picture of a giant wine barrel on it?”

“Yes of course, I have their business card right here, it has that same barrel on it, look.”

Whether it be a large pop up display or smaller retractable banner stands, the need for graphics is crucial for success.

 

Come Late. Leave Early.

Most shows allow you to enter the show hall early. This gives you time to organize the booth and make any last minute changes. More importantly, it’s the ideal time to walk the show, see industry trends, and get a better sense of what your competitors are showing. If possible, bring a colleague. That way you can compare notes.

It’s also a great time to talk to the other early birds. There are fewer distractions, and you’re more likely to have a casual, informative conversation. Staying late has similar advantages. Not surprisingly, tired exhibitors can be very revealing at the end of the day.

That said…adhere to the formal and informal rules of the trade show floor. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want a competitor to do in your booth.

 

Ignore the Competition

Many companies are arrogant about their competitors. They see themselves as “the leaders,” so what could they possibly learn? The answer is — a lot. Even knowing that you are still the leader is valuable when targeting new markets and developing your marketing strategy.

And, unless your company prohibits it, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Friendliness is not a crime. You may be surprised at what you’ll discover, and a friendly competitor has been known to send business your direction if the client doesn’t fit their model.

Tip: Beware of the red herring. Sometimes competitors can be sneaky smart about their sales, trends, and products.

 

Ignore Your Customers

It happens. It’s human nature. We feel like we don’t have to spend as much time with existing customers since we know them. However, your customers come to trade shows to learn about new products, services, and companies. They also come to mingle with colleagues, meet new people, and share challenges. They want to feel valued.

If a good customer says, “I was at the show, but —

  1. a) You were so busy no one was available,
  2. b) I just never made it to your booth, or
  3. c) I spoke to Bob (or Jane or Homer) and they said, “There’s nothing new happening”.

Then, you have a problem. A correctable problem, but a problem.

 

I hope all of these tips helped. As for the first, and most important tip, SpeedPro can help you with that personally. Give us a call at 707 755 3151 and we can get that trade show booth started with stunning and eye catching graphics. Good luck out there!

10957421_10150482605089946_5180382844569726965_o

Above is a customer of ours who is doing a great job at their trade show.  Large format graphics? Check.  Multiple employees helping a potential customer? Check.

Cast Vs. Calendered Vinyl: Manufacturing Process, Advantages of Cast

Here at SpeedPro Imaging, ALL of the vehicle wraps are created using a Cast Vinyl Film. We refuse to use calendered vinyl on any vehicle. One of the main reasons why cast is better than calendered is due to the different manufacturing processes. Below I will briefly explain the manufacturing processes of both vinyl’s and list the advantages of cast and disadvantages of calendered.

 

CAST FILMS

The term cast refers to the manufacturing process. The vinyl begins with a recipe calling for a list of ingredients known as the formulation. These materials are added to a bowl or mixing churn in a predetermined order while mixing at a specific speed and for a set amount of time to ensure a complete and consistent mixture. This liquid mixture, known as organosol, is then precisely “cast” onto a moving web known as the “casting sheet” and is then processed through a series of ovens which allows for the evaporation of solvents. When the solvents are evaporated, a solid “film” is left behind. The film is then wound up in large-diameter rolls for adhesive coating. The casting sheet determines the texture of the film. Because the vinyl is cast on the casting sheet in a relaxed state, this material offers very good dimensional stability. This process also allows the film to be very thin (most cast films are 2 mil), which helps with the conformability of the product. Material manufacturers recommend the use of cast films on substrates such as fleets, vehicles, recreational vehicles, planes or boats where the customer wants a paint-like finish that will last a long time, usually 5-12 years depending on how the film is processed.

 

ADVANTAGE OF CAST FILMS

-Shrinkage is the lowest of all vinyl films. Since the film has not had any stress applied during the manufacturing process it does not try to resume or shrink back to its original form.

-Durability of cast films is generally higher than that of other vinyl films.

-Cast films can be made very thin which produces a conformable product that allows application over substrates with rivets, corrugations, and complex curves. Also, once applied, the graphic is less vulnerable to abrasive forces.

-Cast films also maintain their color and other properties better than other vinyl films. This results in better performance of pigments and UV absorbers.

 

CALENDERED FILMS

Like cast, calendered film also gets its name from the manufacturing process. It is formulated with similar raw materials as cast. These ingredients are mixed and later kneaded. Materials are rolled out using large heated, steel rollers from the vinyl into a thin sheet. This process is called “calendaring”. In the extrusion process the prepared fine powder mix (“dry blend”) will fuse together into a homogenous mass, called “the melt”. The next step – “the mill” – consists of two counter rotating rolls, which can be heated up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The melt is continuously pulled into the gap and flattens out due to the pressure and temperature that is applied by the mill rolls. When the strip reaches the calender rolls, it passes between multiple gaps which increase the temperature. After each gap the film becomes thinner and wider. The film is still heated when it reaches the embossing station where different pattern and gloss levels are applied to the film. Each surface requires a different embossing roll – e.g. to produce a high gloss film a different embossing roll is required but also a special setting of the whole calender line. Now that the film has received its final dimensions and surface it needs to be cooled down and transported to the last process stage of winding.

 

DISADVANTAGES OF CALENDERED FILMS

-Calendered films are usually thicker 3-mil upwards

-Conformability is less, and shrinkage is higher.

-Durability for calendered films is less (1-5 years)

 

I know a lot of this can be confusing, but all you need to know is that when it comes to vehicle wraps, SpeedPro Imaging has the knowledge needed to produce the best wrap possible for YOU. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please give us a call at (707) 755-3151 or visit our website.