By Olivia Cahoon
Brand owners seek floor graphics for promotional décor in amusement parks, exhibits, restaurants, stores, supermarkets, and theaters. Carpet graphics are also a comfortable and popular option for the trade show community.
Based in Milwaukee, WI, Olympus Group is a manufacturing company that provides products and services to meet promotional and branding needs. The company’s facilities are located in Milwaukee, WI and Orlando, FL and it employs more than 200 staff members.
Established in 1893, Olympus Group started as Eder Manufacturing, a U.S. flag manufacturer. Today it continues to produce flags and has added custom screenprinted flags, apparel, grand format digital printing, mascot costumes, and turnkey design and production services for out-of-home advertising and point of purchase displays. The products are shipped to thousands of customers in the U.S. and abroad.
The company offers custom printed flooring and carpet from its grand format digital printing sector. Its customers come from amusements and attractions, exhibit, event marketing, and trade show industries. “Printed carpet is very popular as a flooring option for exhibit booths and aisles,” explains Ryan Holzhauer, sales and marketing VP, Olympus Group.
Amusement parks seek custom printed floors for attractions while event marketers utilize it for additional branded material. Holzhauer says the company once produced a miniature football field using custom printed carpet as part of a traveling football-themed interactive marketing experience.
When carpet isn’t a feasible option, Olympus Group offers custom-printed flooring options like adhesive vinyl and G-Floor Graphic from Better Life Technology LLC. G-Floor Graphic is a heavy-duty vinyl material that is rolled onto the floor.
Most of the carpet Olympus Group prints for the exhibit and trade show market is used on booth floors or aisles. Booth sizes are generally 8×10 feet while aisles are 8×50 feet.
Dye-sublimation (dye-sub) is the process of choice for all carpet used for exhibits and trade shows. Susan Bradshaw, sales manager, exhibit and trade shows, Olympus Group, says the company originally worked with solvent printers. Today graphics are printed with a Mimaki USA, Inc. JV5-320DS and finished with a Monto Antonio 901-3600 transfer press.
Olympus Group uses Fisher Textiles’ GF 2000 Rebound for carpet applications. GF 2000 Rebound is a dye-sub printable, non-woven fabric with a maximum width of 126 inches. It is suggested for short-term exhibit graphics, flooring, and mats. The fabric features anti-skid backed printable carpet fabric for dye-sub and UV-curable printers. It is a textured pile carpet with a nonwoven face.
“It features a flat, low-pile surface and rubber backing. It does not fray and doesn’t require finishing,” explains Bradshaw. The product may also be cut into shapes.
Exhibit producers love carpet graphics. “The rubber backing prevents slipping, the edges are neat, and it is easy to vacuum or broom clean,” suggests Bradshaw. Spills are cleaned with a wet sponge and detergent. When seaming is required, Bradshaw recommends carpet tape on the back.
She believes there are no challenges with carpet graphics that don’t require seaming. Otherwise, seaming with dimensions over 125 feet with a pattern or text may be difficult. During the transfer process, heat causes the carpet to shrink and can affect the alignment.
“All fabric shrinks somewhat during this process but we have found that carpet can shrink more than anticipated and may not always shrink at the same rate,” says Bradshaw. To overcome text and graphic alignment difficulty, Bradshaw encourages customers to keep matching patterns and text away from where seams fall.
“If carpet needs to fill space precisely, shrinkage may prevent the final output from being exact—we try to allow an inch or two of leeway so that we can trim to fit the requested dimensions,” adds Bradshaw.
All of Olympus Group’s orders take one to three days for printing. Significantly larger multipiece projects take longer to complete. The average order for a single piece of carpet is completed in a maximum of three days.
Bradshaw warns PSPs to keep in mind that large areas of black carpet show dirt and carpet material is a dust magnet. “Black is the least attractive,” she cautions.
For promotional items, she suggests using small pieces of printed carpet as mouse pads or printed doormat-sized carpet for customers.
Understanding how carpet graphics are printed and sewn is essential to how Olympus Group creates profitable floor graphics. The company offers trade show and exhibit clients professional carpet graphics for booths and aisles with quick turnarounds and no carpet fraying.
July2017, Digital Output