By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
Snap-and-shut traditional framing systems are a popular and affordable alternative for displaying graphics. Frames give posters a polished look and protect images from damage and creasing. Traditional framing systems allow users to easily replace materials by opening the frame and slipping the posters inside. Part one of this two-part series, discusses snap-and-shut framing systems and reasons they are popular amongst modern trends.
Snap-and-Shut Framing Systems
Snap-and-shut frames provide ease of use for quick framing solutions. All four sides of traditional framing systems snap open for a print to be slipped inside and shut—even without taking the frame off the wall. Snap-and-shut frames keep graphics safe while providing an extra visual effect. Other traditional framing systems include slide-in frames. “Both systems are used because of their durability and ease of use to change out graphics in seconds,” says Marc Tacke, sales director, VKF Renzel USA Corp.
Framing systems are used in outdoor and indoor settings in retail, hospitality, health facilities, food courts, government, malls, museums, offices, and sports centers. To handle outdoor elements, frames are also available with additional weatherproofing and sealant.
Charles Abrams, president, Access Display Group, Inc., recommends that graphic inserts are laminated for exterior use to provide additional protection from outside elements. Metal aluminum frames provide a tight, even, wrinkle-free grip on posters and signs. Abrams describes the most popular snap frames as comprised of two extruded aluminum frames joined by stainless steel spring clips that keep the two parts tightly joined. The bottom snap frame rails feature holes for wall mounting and cabinets.
Some manufacturers offer deeper snap frames for thick mounted graphics. Abrams says that for mounted graphics, snap frames are usually one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch thick. Because the top frame is most viewed, it is offered in a variety of designs like flat faced and curved. “It’s a low cost, contemporary design, and easy wall mounting combined with its quick changing features make the poster snap frame ideal for all kinds of framing applications,” he adds. Some frames include side or front locks for vandalism and tampering protection.
Snap-and-shut framing systems are also found in trade show settings. Devon Hoch, marketing manager, Tex Visions, says that the design allows advertising material to fit it rather than acting as a distraction.
Trends and Functions
Despite the recent influx of trending products like silicone edge graphics (SEG), traditional frame systems are still used. Hoch credits ease of use, low costs, and versatility to maintaining popularity. “Snap-and-click framing systems are by far the most popular because of a user-friendly assembly and cost-effective price point,” he says.
Dennis Torres, marketing director, Walls+Forms, Inc., agrees and finds that tension fabric frame systems are higher in cost and lead times. He argues that budgeting for the initial expense of trending tension systems makes it difficult to incorporate into a display group. “The sticker shock of these newer systems typically leads us back to more traditional options that allow most of the same functionality offered by tension, but at a much lower price point,” he adds.
As mentioned prior, popularity is credited to seamless installation techniques. The front of a frame snaps open and shuts close for fast graphic replacements. Some snap-and-shut frames feature a front-loading system to flip up the frame rails by hand and change out the graphics.
While Abrams suggests that SEGs look great, he notes that a larger footprint may be required. “Changing and updating material may require more time and personnel. Printing materials may also be costly and even costlier if numerous SEGs are needed in multiple locations,” he continues.
Some traditional framing systems offer LED functions to display light. While lit displays capture attention, Hoch says the only challenge with light functions is the display can’t shine a light on the eye-catching graphics without a power source.
When it comes to challenges regarding traditional frame systems, Torres finds the only trial is the large demand for quick availability and low price points. Due to the standardization of custom sizes, there is a high demand for framing systems.
Traditional Sticks Around
Snap-and-shut framing systems are still popular among retail environments due to ease of use and low price points. Customers purchase these framing systems to effortlessly switch out their graphics while simultaneously protecting them. Part two of this series provides a roundup of available traditional framing systems.
Click here to read part two of this exclusive online series, Snap and Shut
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Mar2017, Digital Output DOMAG1703