By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
Marketers are always on the lookout for new ways to display a brand. One of the latest display products growing in popularity are silicone edge graphic (SEG) applications.
These units involve a tension backdrop with an aluminum extrusion, resulting in an easy-to-use system that offers a clean, non-inhibitive frame that can be free standing or displayed on a wall.
The main attraction of SEG is the frameless appearance thanks to the elimination of visible seams and sewing lines. Due to its construction, very little of the frame appears in the front and the aluminum joints hide behind the scenes.
Founded in 1992 by Scott and Elaine Hagelin, Blue Wave Printing and Displays is well versed in display graphics. The print service provider began as a custom calendar printer, and has continued to evolve, offering a range of printing services from trade show displays to outdoor signs, photo products, plaques and awards, and media backdrops. Today, the shop employs a staff of 12 and recently moved into a new, 7,000 square foot facility in South Windsor, CT.
The shop’s newest product is SEG applications, which it started producing in July 2014. “These are some of the cleanest looking displays for trade shows. They are also popular because fabric can be folded up for easy traveling,” offers Eric Hagelin, marketing manager, Blue Wave Printing and Displays. He adds that the main selling point is the clean look it provides.
The company prints and manufactures the frames in house. Its standard size SEG is only 1.6 inches thick, designed to provide extra space in a trade show booth when compared against other displays. Standard unit dimensions include 8×10-, 4×8-, 8×8-, 8×16-, and 8×30-foot backdrop displays. A common double-sided point of sale display is the 32×84-inch backlit display. The shop offers custom cutting to serve other sizing requests.
“On top of that, we have aluminum structures that can be backlit with LED lights, which makes for an impressive look. Since we do all of our manufacturing in house, we can make custom works that will help our customers stand out,” says Hagelin.
Adding lights to the interior of a backdrop makes the depth four inches thick, and all components are housed inside of the frame.
As with any application, SEG comes with challenges. Hagelin says the biggest issue is stretch and shrinkage. “Starting with the fabric, the first obstacle is to make sure the fabric shrinks down to the exact right size. The more bleed the better with this part, because dye-sublimation (dye-sub) fabrics tend to shrink down during the heating process and every single fabric shrinks differently from the last,” he explains. “The next challenge is the silicone itself. The stretch of the silicone makes it very easy for the user to apply the fabric into the frame, but for the manufacturing, it can shrink a ten-foot length down two inches, which will not fit into the requested frame size.”
With its expertise and experience, the shop is able to predict and address challenges to ensure a quality product.
Red Carpet Ready
A local company hosting a red carpet event recently enlisted Blue Wave Printing and Displays to create an SEG application. Hagelin describes the job as a simple 10×8-foot backlit backdrop. In addition to producing the graphic and frame, the print provider offered its help to improve the design for backlit.
“The graphic designer wasn’t familiar with the way the light would shine through the back of the graphic, so we had to adjust the image on our end to darken the colors,” says Hagelin. This step helped so that the final contrast with the lights behind would output the correct colors.
Hagelin notes that since this was a simple project, the turnaround time was only three days, but that something more complicated could take longer. “We spent a bit more time on graphics than we do normally, but the result was nice.”
For this job, the shop also completed the install and removal of the frame.
Display graphics need to pop. SEG units offer a clean display that predominately features the promotion, not the frame. In addition, installation ease of use and travelability provide benefits, especially for trade show environments where these two features are essential.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Practical Framing.
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Jun2015, Digital Output DOSEG1506