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Trends in textile signage printing

November 1st, 2010 / By: / Graphics

In my first column, I highlighted HP’s Latex inks as an ideal solution for the emerging application that is indoor textile signage printing. My second column argued that HP has an optimal offering for all types of textile signage, with Latex printers for indoor and the HP Scitex XL1500 Dye Sublimation Upgrade for outdoor, all-weather applications.

But beyond the theory, what are some trends that are driving the adoption of soft signage printing? Let’s look at the effect textiles are having on existing applications and on creating new ones.

One of the first trends driving the adoption of soft signage applications is the transition from PVC to textiles for environmental reasons. The organizers of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games took on a mission to “green the Games,” which extended to the responsible production of an estimated 50,000 square feet of signage.ÊThe World Winter Games turned to corporate sponsor HP and two of its customers, Splash!Events and Fusion Imaging.

HP–printed signage provided the World Winter Games with the prints it needed, while reducing the impact of the printing on the environment. Recyclable, flexible media was used instead of PVC banners, and Splash!Events used HP Heavy Textile Banner, which is recyclable through the new HP large-format media take-back program.

Digital textile printing opens the door to many new possibilities because of the important role textile applications play in the interior design world, which has a spill-over effect into textile signage. One of the trends PSPs should look out for is how digital textile printing can catch the imagination of designers and lead to the creation of new applications.

What could be driving this trend? First, the availability of versatile, accessible and user-friendly technologies, such as HP Latex Inks, makes it easier and more affordable than ever to get into digital textile printing without investing in a device specifically for these applications. Second, digital’s ability to do short runs and one-off jobs at a low cost allows designers to stretch the boundaries of the application with new image types, textures and effects in ways that were difficult and expensive with past solutions.

The low costs, ease of use and creativity offered by today’s technologies enable the creation of new types of textile-based applications—upholstery, lamp shades, curtains and garments—not available before the advent of new textile signage technologies.

Udi Nachmany leads HP Scitex’s application development initiatives and its partnership program within the HP Graphics Solutions Business.

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