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当前位置:首页 > 杂志 > 2019年3月杂志_终极软标识:织物的崛起如何刺激了软标识市场的增长



It’s a chilly January evening in Las Vegas, 8 p.m. You’re a thousand miles from home, setting up your tradeshow booth on the floor of a convention center. Your flight got in later than expected, but with the exhibition floor opening at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, you’ve got all the time in the world to set up. You carefully reach into the heavy crate the event staff brought up earlier today and lift out one of your rigid substrates, only to realize the unthinkable has happened – all four corners of the 1/4-in. PVC board are broken, and there’s no way you can get a replacement here in time.


Disheartened, you glance across the aisle to see one of your fellow plane passengers inserting a final Silicone Edge Graphic, or SEG, into their own booth’s backdrop. The thin silicone strip on the back of the dye-sublimated fabric slips smoothly and easily into the recessed groove of the metal frame, pulling the material taut and displaying their company’s branding with an impressive vibrancy and brilliance.

心灰意冷,你瞥了一眼过道,看到你的同行将最后的硅胶边展布插入他们自己的展位背景中。 染料升华织物背面的薄硅胶条平滑轻松地滑入金属框架的凹槽中,拉紧材料并展示其公司的品牌形象,它的活力和光彩令人印象深刻。

In that moment you realize two things: One, if you ever bring rigid materials to another tradeshow, you’ll double – no, triple-check – that they’re packed safely; and two, you’ll never bring rigid materials to another tradeshow.


In 2015, an SGIA Journal author estimated 1 billion square meters of textiles would be printed that year, with a 30% annual growth forecast through 2019 (see “The Evolving Soft Signage Market: Part 1,” November/December ). From retailers to event organizers, corporate rebrands to pop-up shops, it’s clear that as consumer demand rises and the cost of dye-sublimation printers, inks and materials continues to drop, soft signage is making a big dent in the industry.




With production facilities in Minnesota and North Carolina, Imagine! Print Solutions is a 30-year-old graphic communications company with more than 1,600 employees. It’s also the parent company of Imagine! Express, a Minneapolis-based print shop with an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility specializing in commercial printing, direct mail and high quality fabric prints.

Print Solutions是一家拥有30年历史的图形通信公司,有位于明尼苏达州和北卡罗来纳州的生产工厂,拥有1,600多名员工,它也是想象力标识公司的母公司。Express是一家位于明尼阿波利斯的印刷厂,占地80,000平方英尺。专门从事商业印刷,直邮和高品质织物印花的工厂。

“Soft signage isn’t the largest portion of our product mix,” said Keri Sanders, director of customer experience, “but it’s definitely our fasting growing segment.” The shop’s EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340 and EFI Reggiani PRO 340 produce a wide mix of content for tradeshow graphics, corporate décor, museums and the hot trend taking over the retail world: 24- to 48-hour pop-up shops, restaurants and event spaces.

“软标识不是我们产品组合中最大的组成部分。”客户体验总监克里·桑德斯(Keri Sanders)说,“但它绝对是我们快速增长的部分。”该商店的EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340设备和EFI Reggiani PRO 340设备能够制造多种多样的内容,包括贸易展的图片、企业装饰、博物馆以及席卷零售世界的热门图案:24到48小时的弹出式商店、餐厅和活动空间等。 

Gone are the days of a single rigid backdrop for exhibitions and tradeshows, Sanders said. “We’re seeing more and more requests for creative booth builds, featuring one-of-a-kind structures.” With the popularity of silicone-edge graphics frames and other tension systems, clients are looking for new and interesting ways to set themselves apart on crowded show floors, an area where fabric – with its ability to create easy-to-install, eye-catching spaces – is a perfect fit. “We once used fabric to build an indoor barn for an equine nutrition-related client,” Sanders said. “No one had seen that before.”


Corporations and museums are also putting fabrics to use, whether to delineate space from one department to the next or to rebrand and refocus their mission and culture. With textiles, Imagine! can incorporate blockout backing to divide a room, or leave the natural fabric back as-is to allow for a more translucent effect, giving clients flexibility in the look and feel of their office space. In the tech space, Sanders said, Imagine! sees institutional companies competing with Silicon Valley tech giants, updating their offices or dressing up campuses to better recruit millennials.

公司和博物馆也在使用织物,无论是从一个部门到另一个部门的隔层,还是公司使命和文化的织物标识。织物可以用来当做隔断以分隔房间,或者直接将布料保持原样,以实现更加半透明的效果,为客户提供办公空间外观和感觉的灵活性。桑德斯说:“想象一下!在科技领域看到机构公司与硅谷科技巨头竞争,更新办公室或装扮校园,以更好地招募千禧一代。 ”

The most interesting growth industry, Sanders noted, surrounds pop-up shops for retail and events. This type of “here today, gone tomorrow” setup, often featuring a variety of lifestyle graphics and product mixes, can take place in any space, from an existing store that gets rebranded to an unused warehouse that’s transformed overnight into a pop-up shop. “With fabric,” Sanders said, “everything goes up and comes down quickly. It’s almost like you were never there” – except for the lasting impressions left on those who were lucky enough to be present.




After nearly 60 years in business, BPGraphics ’ team in Phoenix is well-known for their craftsmanship, expertise and exceptional work in large-, wide- and grand-format printing. Operating from its 66,000-sq.-ft.-plus production facility, the company offers a complete line of screen and digital printing and finishing in-house, according to Nicholas Spade, director of marketing.

经过近60年的经营,菲尼克斯公司在凤凰城的团队以其精湛的工艺、专业知识和在大宽幅印刷领域的卓越工作而闻名。菲尼克斯公司在其66,000平方英尺的土地上运营。该公司营销总监尼古拉斯•斯佩德(Nicholas Spade)表示,除了生产设备之外,该公司还提供完整的屏幕和数字印刷生产线,并在公司内部进行精加工。 

“Much of our work is still in OOH [out-of-home], such as building wraps, train wraps, billboards,” said Spade. “But smaller scale, soft-signage sales like fabrics, hanging banners, step-and-repeats and store windows continue to grow from one year to the next.”


Many airports, Spade continued, are replacing backlits with fabrics because they’re easier to change out and have sound-dampening properties in high-trafficked areas. Companies exhibiting at conferences and tradeshows, he added, are looking for more cost-effective, travel-friendly solutions, and seem to be moving from full booths to expandable three-wall setups that can fit in a travel bag.


One of the biggest advantages in the “shift to soft?” Shipping. “As transportation prices increase and it becomes more expensive to send giant crates with rigid signs across the country,” Spade said, “the allure of folding up an 8 x 12-ft. piece of fabric, throwing it in a small box and shipping it overnight for a fraction of the cost not only saves money, but makes rushes easier, too.”


And rush they can. On the shop’s PrinterEvolution Evo33 DS, a water-based dye-sublimation press, BPGraphics can produce up to 1,300 sq. ft. of graphics at 126-in.-wide per hour. The prints are then transferred onto a wide variety of fabrics using 400° of heat and extreme pressure from their Monti Antonio 901 Heat Calender.

菲尼克斯公司的Printer Evolution Evo33 DS(一种水基染料升华印刷机)可以以每小时126英寸的宽度生产高达1,300平方英尺的图形。然后使用蒙蒂·安东尼奥901热压延机(Monti Antonio 901 Heat Calender)的400°加热和挤压将印刷品转移到各种织物上。

The specialized equipment that creates fabric’s beautiful, bold textures and colors is more challenging to run than a traditional “ink on substrate” press.


“Dye-sublimation requires an entire second step – sublimating the inks (dyes) into the fabric through a heat calender,” said Spade. During this process, you have to consider that each fabric type responds differently to the required heat and pressure, and different-size graphics require different settings. A skilled operator is as much craftsman as technician.


Other issues crop up with fabrics that don’t typically occur with rigid substrates, as BPGraphics learned when they had to create 800 Super Mario-themed bollard covers for the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Target. For instance, how do you keep a material that’s designed to stretch from doing exactly that on a Zund or other digital flatbed cutter? “When exact cuts are required, then precise sewing, it takes time and patience from all parties involved,” Spade said. The result of that trial and error? A successful and popular campaign that garnered national attention.

其他问题出现在通常不会出现刚性基材的面料上,正如菲尼克斯公司在为Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Target发布时必须创建800个超级马里奥主题系柱盖时所了解到的那样。例如,你如何保持数字平板切割机上材料的设计完整?“当需要精确切割,然后精确缝纫时,需要所有相关人员的时间和耐心。”斯帕德说。出错的结果是什么?就如一场成功而受欢迎的运动引起了的影响力。 



“There’s nothing in digital printing that compares to the stunning color and rich quality you can achieve with fabrics.”


“There’s just something about fabric,” said Bill Stender, owner of SF Landmark in San Francisco. “Color has been my thing for 30 years, and dye-sublimation offers the most compelling color I’ve ever seen.” Serving Hollywood film studios and Bay-area businesses since 1982, SF Landmark offers everything from large-format digital printing and grand-format dye-sublimated fabric, to dimensional signage and major motion picture props.

旧金山地标酒店(SF Landmark)的老板比尔·斯坦德(Bill Stender)说:“这和织物材料有关。30年来,颜色一直是我的最注重的元素,而染料升华提供了我所见过的最引人注目的颜色。”自1982年以来,旧金山地标酒店服务于好莱坞电影制片厂和海湾地区的商业,提供从大画幅数字印刷和大画幅染料升华织物,到大尺寸标识和主要电影道具等一切服务。 

With its close proximity to the Moscone Center, the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco, SF Landmark sees no shortage of tradeshow business. “There are shows going on every week or weekend, all year long,” said Stender. And while rigid UV, roll-to-roll printing and dimensional signs have been lucrative in the past, fabrics and textiles have been steadily picking up steam over the last decade or so. Stender thinks he knows why: “Fabric has a particular sheen that can’t be achieved with other substrates. It’s softer, elegant, inviting. Clients love that you can get up close to it, touch it.”

旧金山地标酒店毗邻旧金山最大的会展中心莫斯科尼中心(Moscone Center),因此不缺贸易展业务。斯坦德说:“一年到头,每周或周末都有演出。虽然刚性UV、卷对卷印刷和尺寸标识在过去是有利可图的,但在过去10年左右的时间里,纺织品一直在稳步升温。斯坦德认为原因是织物有一种特殊的光泽,这是其他底材无法达到的。它柔软、优雅、诱人。”

On the shop’s EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340, 15-ft.-wide Klieverik heat press calendar and Matic sewing system, Stender and his team recently produced a series of near-seamless, 20-ft.-wide by 12-ft.-high backdrops for a local photographer, who Stender believes is among his most demanding clientele, as photographers “have an eye for color – it absolutely has to be right.” The result? A glowing endorsement: “The client said all he had to do was shine a light on the fabric and shoot. There weren’t any lighting issues like there usually are with rigid, digitally printed backgrounds.”

这家店的EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340高15英尺,斯坦德和他的团队最近生产了一系列接近无缝的12英尺宽,20英尺高的产品。当地摄影师说:“斯坦德对成品颜色的要求极为苛刻,因为摄影师绝对重视色彩的真实性。斯坦德的产品毋庸置疑是最好的,用他生产的织物作为背景,打上灯光,毫无色差,非常适合拍摄。”

Still, if you’re thinking about getting your shop into fabric, Stender cautioned that it’s not for the faint of heart. “There’s a steep learning curve involved. It’s a whole different animal than we’re used to with digital.” The different fabric materials, he noted, all appear relatively the same in their respective ordering books; however, they all possess varying thicknesses (which affects the transfer process), white points, stretch factors, weaves and more. “These are things you don’t really have to worry about with digital printing on rigid substrates.”

尽管如此,如果你想让你的店铺也制作织物标识,斯坦德警告说:“这是项挑战,它并不适合胆小的人,织物的制造涉及复杂的知识理论,这是一种完全不同的东西,也并不全是数字化模式。不同的面料材料在各自的订购书中看起来都相同; 然而,它们都具有不同的厚度(影响转移过程),白点,拉伸因子,编织等。这些都是硬质基材不需要担心的问题。”

In the end though, Stender insisted, “There’s nothing in digital printing that compares to the stunning color and rich quality you can achieve with fabrics.”