architectural wall mural - Connecting Signs

What is Digital Printing?

We’ve written a lot about digital printing in the past with our blogs on event signs, banners, and vehicle wraps. But we’ve never really delved into what digital printing actually is! There are lots of different kinds of printing methods out there and it can be confusing to understand what printing method works best for your needs. Digital printing is a quick way to print anything created on a digital platform. The term, “Digital printing” refers to the various methods of printing a digital-based image directly to media. Just like traditional offset printing methods, digital printing relies on the precise placement of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black colors to create high-quality prints. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are mostly referred to as CMYK. Black is K because it stands for the “knock-out” color.

digital print wall mural

Types of Digital Printing

The two general, and most popular, types of digital printing are laser and ink-jet. In short, these printers read and process digital image files and transfer the digital image to a physical image by laying down ink or toner. Laser printers use powdered CMYK toner that is then burned onto the printing substrate which helps with the longevity and quality of the print. Ink-jet printers have CMYK print heads in a carriage that moves back and forth and sprays tiny dots of ink onto the printing substrate. Large format printing is dominated by ink-jet printers. Once the ink is laid down onto the substrate, the ink needs to be cured and off-gassed to ensure longevity.

Full Van Wrap

Large Format Digital Printing Applications

Digital printing allows for a user to print any full-color, digital-based, image onto their desired substrate. Substrates can be paper, adhesive vinyl, fabric, canvas, scrim banner, wood, aluminum, coroplast, etc. Substrates all have different uses and applications. Adhesive vinyl is utilized for vehicle wraps, vehicle decals, and wall murals. Adhesive vinyl can also be applied to a rigid substrate, like aluminum, but applying several large tiles to substrate can be difficult. This is where a flatbed printer comes into the picture. Flatbed printing allows for a user to print directly to rigid substrate without having to laboriously apply adhesive vinyl to rigid sign panels.

Hallway Wall Graphics

Hallway Wall Graphics

Digital Printing Uses in Advertising

In the advertising and signage industry, digital printing is vitally important and heavily utilized. Outdoor banners, yard signs, vehicle and trailer wraps, site signs, and a ton of other sign products are created with large format digital printers. Digital printing is perfect for advertising purposes because advertising signs need to be done as fast as possible in the cheapest way possible!

Fabric Banner Backdrop - Connecting Signs

All About Event Signs & Banners

Do you want your business to stand out at your next event?

Trade shows and expos continue to prove their value. Events like these help exhibitors and businesses raise awareness of their brands in a big way! However, standing out in a sea of competition is not easy. The best way to visually make a good first impression is with effective event signs and banners. So then what kinds of event signs and banners will work best for you? There’s lots of different options, so the following list is just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re still lost after reading this article, contact us by clicking here or give us a call at 970-493-0133 to get your event signs and banners started today.

 

Retractable banners

Retractable Banners

Retractable banners are the perfect type of event sign because of how professional they look and how travel-friendly they are. Another benefit is how cost-effective they are. Have a budget you need to stay within? No problem! There are also many kinds of retractable banners. Some are made specifically for outdoor events while others are made for indoor events. Some can be made with a telescoping pole that reaches over 12 feet tall and some are made for table tops and are 12 inches tall. Retractable banners are easily broken down which makes it easy to travel to your next event. Another nice feature that retractable banners have is that they are made so that you can change out the banner graphics when you want to change up your message.

 

 

 

 

Fabric backwall display

Back wall Banners

Back wall banners provide a backdrop to your booth display and gives your booth a more complete “look” with your logo and brand repeated throughout your display. Back wall banners can also be used as step-and-repeat banners for a fun photo backdrop. A simple vinyl banner with grommets will be the most cost-effective option, while a high-quality fabric banner installed in a collapsible frame will give you the most visual impact. Back wall banner displays are perfect for expos and trade shows because, like retractable banners, these items are also easy to break down and put up for when you need to exhibit at multiple shows.

 

 

 

 

 

trade show display

Complete Trade Show Expo Display

Table Throws

Usually (but not always) you will have a table or podium display in your booth exhibit where you might place brochures, business cards or other kinds of swag to give away to people passing by. Digitally printed fabric table throws can be another effective opportunity to showcase your brand. Fabric table throws are very versatile and can be made to custom-fit your needs whether you have a six-foot-long table or an eight-foot-long table, a round or square table, or need a four-sided table throw or a three-sided table throw. The most cost-effective table throws are one- or two-color vinyl graphics with a solid fabric background. However, to help your booth display stand out a digitally printed fabric table throw allows for any image you want to be featured on your table throw. Fabric table throws are washable and easily foldable for ease of transport.

Hallway Wall Graphics - Connecting Signs

Wall Wraps

Endless Possibilities with Wall Wraps

The concept of wrapping a vehicle can be applied to virtually almost any flat surface. An advantage of wrapping versus painting is that it is not a long-term commitment. As long as your wrap is taken care of, you can look forward to about ten years of effective advertising (less if your wrap is exposed to the weather or sun). Wall wraps offer a unique opportunity to advertise your brand or message. Premium wrap film technology allows for us to wrap over textured surfaces like CMU or brick walls. Wall wraps can add interest to a boring space or they can inform your audience.

Wall wraps can be laid on any textured surface

Wall mural project

Modern vinyl manufacturing has progressed so far and quickly from where it began. Textured vinyl film is a very classy and elegant example of what is possible today. Architectural films are made purely for interior design purposes. With finishes like: marble, brushed metal, wood, carbon fiber, dry-erase, stone, silk, leather, and much more, you’re sure to find the perfect wall wrap vinyl for your project. Seriously, these are simple and amazing alternatives to expensive materials that might not fit within your budget. It’s shocking how well these architectural films can transform a space!

Digital printing technology allows for virtually anything to be displayed on your walls, desks, or windows. It’s important to work with a graphic designer who knows how to create good vector art. A professional photographer can also be a vital resource to your wall wrap design if you’re interested in displaying photographs or photo-realistic illustrations. The other element to a successful wall wrap is to partner with a professional installer. There’s nothing more frustrating then having yards and yards of vinyl ready to install and then an unforeseen issue arises at the last second! All in all, it’s best to always have a good team to work with.

Wall Wraps from Connecting Signs in Fort Collins, CO

Meeting room wall mural

If you’re stuck looking for a professional and experienced partner to help get your project off the ground, then look no further! Connecting Signs is equipped to help guide you through all of your wall wrap needs. Give us a call today or click here to get started!

Home-builder Model Home Sign - Connecting Signs

Homebuilder Signs Greeley Colorado

Corrugated Homebuilder Signs

Yard signs ready for delivery!

Baessler Homes is an established and successful property developer located in Greeley, Colorado. They have been building high-quality homes in the Northern Colorado area since 1968. Building a house or any large permanent structure is an important job that needs to be taken very seriously and these guys are one of the best! Baessler Homes contacted us to print some of their homebuilder signs not too long ago. Our flatbed printer was perfect for these flat and simple signs that also needed to be completed quickly as well as in high quantities.

Homebuilder site sign

4’x 8′ Post & Panel Sign

The order process is easy! We receive files through email or a file sharing site that allows large files to be sent to us, and our team of designers ensure that the design is correct by sending a design proof that specifies all the important information. Once the design is final, the files are sent to the flatbed printer! This machine is extremely useful. If we were to print the designs on digitally printable vinyl (like vehicle wraps), we would also have to laminate them and then lay the vinyl on the panel. There’s more steps than that, but with the flatbed printer we’re able to cut the sign panel down to size, and hit “print”, and that’s it! For local companies like Baessler Homes, we offer delivery as well.

Homebuilder Sign

Model Home Sign

Rigid signs can come in a variety of materials because sometimes you need a sign to be temporary, but still be able to withstand the elements. Metal signs usually come in aluminum so that they’re not too heavy. Corrugated plastic signs are made from coroplast and are easy to carry for easy transportation. Sometimes vinyl banners are the best signage choice for builders because they’re easily attached to perimeter fencing. To allow for airflow, mesh banners are the best choice for fence banner signage. If you’re ready to place your order for homebuilder signs, give us a call or fill out this form and get your signs ordered today!

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Recycling Sign scraps in Fort Collins, Colorado - Connecting Signs

Recycling

Recycling Sign Scraps One of the first things we noticed about the sign industry when we opened Connecting Signs five years ago was all the scraps and waste from making signs and how to start recycling sign scraps.  The trash cans were full and emptied out every day – sometimes twice a day!

school flag from coneecting signs in fort collins - Connecting Signs

School Flag Fort Collins

Schools will usually have a mascot that represents the school in the community and at events.  The mascot is displayed in lots of different ways – murals, banners, and a school flag.

Finding Success at a Trade Show

colorful pixels - Connecting Signs

Sign Design – Raster vs. Vector Art & Resolution

Have you ever tried designing something on the computer? It’s not as easy as you would think! Graphic designing has come so far from hand-drawn thumbnail sketches. Sketching out your ideas on a piece of paper is simple and un-constricting. However, if you want to transfer than design to the computer so you can further manipulate the artwork, you must understand the program you’re working in. The most basic way to get your design on the computer is to simply scan it or take a picture with your phone (smart phone) and upload onto your computer. Modern sign design is like this, except the graphic designer needs to be able to edit and manipulate every element of the design. Customers who already have artwork (for example: photos, logos, text) can send these files to the designer who can then use their skills and knowledge to adjust your artwork and design your sign or vehicle wrap.

 

Understanding Vector and Raster Artwork

Consider the size of a business card. Now think about the size of a billboard. There is a huge difference in size between those two products. The artwork (size) for the business card cannot possibly work for the billboard. That has everything to do with the format the artwork in the file. Vector artwork (a term known very well by graphic designers) is the best to work with in large-scale printing because it can it be used for small-scale printing and large-scale printing. Vector artwork is created using special software programs. Vector art is made of points and lines; elements that scale to any size without losing clarity. Vector artwork is ideal and necessary for large-format printing. On the other hand, Raster artwork is made of tiny squares called pixels. Any image you look at on a screen (your phone, television or computer monitor) is a raster graphic. Raster graphics can absolutely work for large-format printing, but the image must be high resolution. Here’s a graphic to help understand vector vs. raster artwork:

 

Vector vs. Raster Graphics

Vector vs. Raster Graphics

Understanding Resolution

Raster artwork is made of tiny squares called pixels. Pixels are like puzzle pieces, that, when arranged correctly and put together make a picture. You can see individual pixels if you zoom in as close as possible in an image. Resolution is the term used to explain how many pixels make up an image. Low resolution means that the image you’re looking at has less pixels per square inch. High resolution means that the image has more pixels per inch. It’s important to know, however, that you can’t simply convert a low-resolution image to a high-resolution image. Only high-resolution can be converted to low-resolution, not low to high. Low resolution images are ideal for designing for a screen (like a website) or small-format printing (like business cards). High resolution images mean a larger file, but they are necessary for large-format printing.

Vector vs. Raster

Image Zoomed in to show pixels

Trailer Wrap Cheyenne

Maximizing Advertising with Business Vehicle Wraps

To generate leads and engage your customers, you need a solid marketing strategy with multiple forms of advertising. There are many options available and, of course, each one is suited to a specific field. Advertising to the public continues to evolve and change. You can maximize your advertising and target your audience better with multiple forms of advertising. A combination of digital advertising (like a social media campaign), an ad in a daily newspaper or magazine, a billboard, and a vehicle wrap is a great start! Digitally printed vehicle wraps (or graphics) continue to be a strong form of advertising for many forms of businesses. Vehicle wraps are perfect for advertising because they are versatile, cost efficient and they stand out!

busniess vehicle wraps in Loveland Colorado

 

If you do choose to wrap your vehicle to advertise your services, there are some important things to consider. Know that there are some limitations and if you expect your wrap to look like a piece of art, expect to pay for a piece of art. Each vehicle is different and each wrap job is unique. A graphic designer will work with you very closely to finalize the design of your wrap. A graphic designer with experience in designing vehicle wraps will be honest with you and listen to any concern you might have.

Lovlenad Colorado business vehicle wraps

Printing the wrap is the one thing that is totally out of your hands, so you will want to make sure you choose a reliable and established sign company. Here at Connecting Signs, we’ve got over 5 years of experience in designing, printing and installing custom wraps for our awesome customers. There are many years ahead of us, but you can rest assured that your vehicle wrap is in good hands here.

Recently we got the opportunity to work with an awesome company; JDog Junk Removal. They needed their work vehicle and trailer wrapped in matching military themed designs. This was a great and fun experience working with Chris, the owner, who needed a quick turn to get a jump start on his advertising. From the first call to the final touches on the wrap, the total time to complete this project was under a week! How can we help you reach your customers? Give us a call at 970-493-0133 or request a quote here to get started.

Flatbed Printing Fort Collins

Signs have been around for many, many years. Ever since people learned how to communicate and write words, they’ve been making signs. Even the first cave paintings could be considered, by some, to be the first forms of signage! Sign making started out with simple (but effective) hand painted letters and logos on flat pieces of wood or painted on the door of a work truck or directly on the side of a building.

Sign maker working in his shop

The technology evolved and times changed. Signs needed to be easier to produce and manufacture, stand out more. With the invention of the digital plotter, sign makers could cut letters from colored vinyl stickers and apply them directly to the sign panel or vehicle. This invention changed the whole industry and made it easier for anyone to produce and manufacture signs. Then came the large-format digital printer. It moved sign-making even more into the future with its ability to print on a variety of medias. With further advancements and improvements in the technology, large-format printing has become more and more impressive.

Flatbed Printers in Fort Collins

Custom prints produced with our flatbed printer

Flatbed printers provide us with the ability to print directly to rigid substrates. Simple yard signs can be printed, single or double-sided, ten to a sheet in bright, long-lasting colors. Using a flatbed printer in this way simplifies the process of producing these signs by eliminating 2-3 steps! Post-and-panel signs or site signs for construction sites and development projects are easily produced with a flatbed printer. Lobby signs or decorative interior signs are also simplified. Printing on clear or frosted acrylic is a breeze with a flatbed printer. The ink used in this printing method is UV ink. UV ink has the advantage of not requiring laminate to protect it. UV inks are also very fade-resistant and scratch-resistant! Printing directly to substrate with a flatbed printer also allows for direct printing to a variety of substrates. A cool example of this is printing to brushed metal. The image is clearly visible, but so is the brushed metal texture behind the ink.

flatbed printers in Fort collins

 

Here in our shop, we utilize a flatbed printer as well as our trusty large-format digital printer! We strive to provide the best products for our clients with the highest quality printed vehicle wraps and the most efficient and effective signs. What signs do you or your business need? Give us a call or request information here and let us make signs that work for you!