By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
Backlit framing systems are a colorful, cost-effective look for trade show exhibits, retail stores, and public buildings. Several types of framing systems are available with backlit options. Silicone edge graphic (SEG) displays are a popular backlit framing choice due to lightweight characteristics, easy installation, and the ability to quickly change out graphics.
SEG Frames Take Over
Backlit framing systems are available in a variety of options, from SEG display systems to traditional frames with backlit options.
Traditionally, backlit frames featured a translight film sandwiched between a clear cover sheet and white acrylic diffuser. The graphic assembly was held in a backlit or edge lit light box, either by using a snap frame or hinged side access, says Bob Riley, CEO, DSA Phototech.
Today, a variety of backlit frames are available, including backlit LED frames, SEG push-fit fabric systems, LED snap-frame systems, backlit LED portable, and expandable and collapsible display systems, lists Natalie Whited, VP of marketing, Orbus Exhibit & Display Group.
SEG frames have simplified the signage and display market. With these systems, users easily and cost-effectively update their signage more often, comments Tara Lamb, president, Global Imaging. “Whether it be a retailer, exhibitor, event management company, or a museum, there is always an upside to fresh graphics and displays.” Once purchased, the frame’s lighter weight and simplified installation makes it quick and easy to update graphics.
“SEG framing has certainly reduced the demand for traditional Duratrans and other existing backlit systems,” agrees Paula Goodelman, VP of sales, Testrite Visual Products. In her opinion, advancements in LED technology outdate traditional backlit options. Additionally, SEG media offers fresh, new looks compatible with digital printing. “Everything stems from the development and improvements of LED lighting.”
Several industries benefit from backlit framing systems with particular interest for SEG displays in advertising and promotional markets.
In fact, SEG framing systems are now considered the new standard for exhibits and trade show events. This trend started in Europe and made its way to the U.S. “We’ve seen SEG backlit trade show systems at the big trade shows for years now, but we are finally starting to see it trickle down into the smaller, local shows,” shares Jennifer Smithson, product manager, Displays2go.
“Any environment benefitting from visual communication with its visitors would value from SEG backlit systems,” comments David Merzin, president, Brite Frame Fabricators. “Especially if that communication is currently costing them money.” Bright, backlit graphics are aesthetically pleasing and offer bold, impactful graphics. Utilized in wide format sizes, Merzin believes these systems draw the attention of preoccupied visitors and turn them into engagers.
Environments that can take advantage of backlit framing systems also include retail, beauty-focused businesses such as spas and salons, and public spaces like airports, restaurants, museums, and movie theaters. According to Whited, backlit SEG systems are widely used because they attract attention to the graphic/message, not the frame itself. “LED lights are long lasting as well and rarely need replacement.”
Trends to Watch
Backlit framing systems are now used more than ever. As a result, new features and trends are emerging to continue driving demand.
Customers look for “greener” solutions to promote energy efficiency, cost savings, and customer brand advocacy through corporate responsibility, shares Riley. For example, leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) is a popular green building certification program that helps building owners and operators be environmentally responsible. Framing systems that qualify for LEED credits offer LED lighting designs with low energy, use recycled metal content in frame construction, and are UL-listed and ADA compliant.
Another recent trend is the use of contour shapes for a more personalized trade show display. “Still using the same SEG fabric graphics, SEG frames with curving forms add depth to backlit displays,” shares Spencer Davis, product manager, PosterGarden. “On a ten-foot back wall display, a backlit image can look expansive on a concave curved frame.”
According to Christian Bahnweg, marketing copywriter, Tex Visions, curved displays are typically used to create a more intimate setting for audiences. The curve enhances the display’s paradigm with easier setup and a unique appearance. “You no longer have to worry about how to properly position your lights when they’re intrinsic to the system,” he adds. Lights incorporated into the display also help maintain ambience, with little distraction by overhead lighting.
Other trends include the use of animated backlit frames. Tony Rubino, managing director, Verde Fastframe, says animation allows the static image to look like the graphic is moving by highlighting certain image areas. “This is accomplished by programming an animation sequence of the LED matrix effectively turning individual LEDs on and off, thereby giving an impression of movement.”
Backlit framing systems display digitally printed graphics in a safe enclosure with easy assembly. Today’s SEG frames are taking the signage market by storm with trends emerging as demands grow.
The second part of this series provides a selection of available backlit framing systems.
Mar2019, Digital Output