By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Digitally printed fabric signage provides a luxurious look and feel to any message. Of course, the bonus is it is light in weight, which helps in both setup and takedown and saves in shipping costs. Many print service providers (PSPs) leverage their textile printing capabilities to offer fabric signage placed in framing systems. These frames are often times enhanced further with back, front, or edge lit capabilities.
Trifecta of Services
Moss, Inc., with headquarters in Elk Grove Village, IL, began in 1983. Today it has four additional locations—Chicago, IL; Salt Lake City, UT; China, and Germany—that employ 400 staff members out of 315,000 total square feet of space.
The company features a unique trifecta of service offerings. The original brand, Moss, Inc., offers fabricated and printed solutions for retail displays, environments, live events, trade shows, and conferences. Applications include fleet retail graphics programs, full trade show booths, and corporate headquarters interiors.
“By providing a powerful set of communication tools and media that efficiently and sustainably deliver important images and ideas, Moss helps people communicate, educate, motivate, and excite others. We fabricate nearly anything, print at rapid speed, and collaborate to optimally satisfy design integrity and budget requirements,” explain Mel Marzan, marketing communications manager and Keith O’Brien, e-commerce product manager, Moss.
With a goal to be “the most digitized partner in the industry” the print provider offers Moss OS to make ordering projects easier for its customers. The proprietary integrated solution is the backbone to both the Moss Customer Portal and Moss Select or mossselect.com. In total, the Moss OS processes more than 27,000 quotes and orders on a yearly basis.
The Moss Customer Portal is a web-based interface that allows customers 24/7 access to their projects. “Customers can initiate structural and graphic approvals, access to shipping alerts and quality control photos, and even leverage cross-team collaboration tools on their organization’s end,” say Marzan and O’Brien.
Moss Select launched in 2019. Specifically for silicone edge graphics (SEG)—even backlit, customers can upload and order graphics quickly and receive a finished product within 48 hours. Users of the web to print (W2P) site include resellers and end user businesses. Leveraging Moss’ experience in custom fabrication, Moss Select is an efficient, self-serve online store offering high-quality graphics to North America with production based in the U.S.
With a robust workflow in place, Moss is capable of creating graphics for a breadth of customers. Specifically for SEG frames, clients range from Fortune 500 corporations to small business. The displays are used at trade shows, conventions, office interiors, and retail. Sometimes they are one-offs, and other times customers order multiple framing systems for every new store or when a store remodels.
According to the company, Moss pioneered SEG frames with the Moss Groove system. Today it provides a total tension fabric solution and manufactures both the aluminum extrusion system as well as the graphics. The frames are constructed as freestanding, hanging, or wall mounted, and of course can include custom lighting.
Double-sided light boxes are available in both aluminum and plastic. A light weight range of plastic light boxes are easily transported and set up by an individual carrying it in an included shoulder bag. Aluminum light boxes can be custom sized, whether they are backlit or edge lit.
Fabric-based light boxes are crafted for permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary installs. A recent example, Moss completed an install of multiple perimeter LED-based SEG light boxes at McDonald’s headquarters.
Of the 25 digital printers Moss employs globally, eight are Durst Image Technology US, LLC dye-sublimation Rhotex 325 machines used for printing all of its SEG jobs, including orders from Moss Select. Its print technology is paired with multiple Monti Antonio SpA heat calenders, bullmer and Zünd digital cutting machines, and Matic automated sewing machines.
Truly a one-stop shop, Moss develops, tests, and monitors the manufacturing of its textile materials. Offering fabric for both lit and unlit frames, these are available in sustainable solutions featuring high recycled content.
“Our textiles are manufactured for consistent high performance. They are developed to provide a consistent white point and allow us to match print between different styles. Our global scale allows us to leverage our volume and develop these textiles at a very high quality with a competitive cost position. All media is reviewed for stretch, white point, opacity, consistency, ease of conversion, and manufacturability in print and sewing stages,” share Marzan and O’Brien.
Works of Life
Moss recently handled a job submitted through its W2P site, Moss Select, by Lifeworks. Lifeworks is a non-profit based in MN. It purchased SEG light boxes for its WorkLife exhibit, which helped raise awareness of the work experiences of people with disabilities.
Selecting perimeter LED edge lit light boxes with fabric SEG, Lifeworks uploaded and ordered its artwork on Moss Select and quickly received over six individual panels that displayed different messaging. The graphics were placed in Moss’ PIXLIP GO light boxes.
“I think we got the panels only four days after we placed the order. We set up the panels and the quality blew us away. We could not believe how the boards popped. The project was exhibited in large spaces with heavy traffic and I know that people will stop to take a look. Just in our office, three people asked for information about the product as their spouses are in sales and would love a solution like this,” notes Adrian Freeman, multimedia designer and producer, Lifeworks.
Trends in SEG continue to pop up as more people become aware of their affordability and ease of use, all while delivering an impact—especially in regards to adding lighting. “There’s been a trend in motion graphics, with both animations and print effects, and also interest in being able to control exactly where you want to place illumination behind a fabric graphic or used to highlight sections of a larger fabric structure. There is a strong interest in the ability to control light box characteristics such as light temperature, dimming, and RGB color,” note Marzan and O’Brien.
Moss is in a fabulous position to cater to these trends. With a storied history in the origins of SEG and its newest endeavor, Moss Select, the PSP is at the forefront of creating versatile SEG framing systems for all types of customers.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Focused on Fabric.
Mar2020, Digital Output