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September 1999


Flower Power

Printed furniture, curtains and floors are in fashion with the onset of new technology

The GlobalShop show this spring in Chicago was a psychedelic venture into the new world of large-format digital imaging. Exhibitors' booths were draped with sheer fabrics printed with repetitive, reversed images of daisies and spirals; floor tiles were laminated with high-resolution photos of forest floors and autumn leaves; giant walls were printed with computer landscapes and magnificent photographs blown up to wall size.

Breakthroughs in imaging, including large-format inkjet printers and transfer methods, allow visual arts companies to perfectly render large graphics on fabrics, vinyl, glass, ceramics and other difficult surfaces, says an article in Visual Merchandising & Store Design. Crazy for the new technology, visual arts companies are printing on everything they can – featuring quirky or custom symbols and designs on draperies, glass tables and furniture upholstery, or creating stunning color banners for promotions.

In fact, if you're looking for a large-format digital sign or banner for your store, many conventional companies – such as photo labs, screenprinters, sign companies and quick printers – now offer some of these services. Be wary and choose a company that has some experience, however, because this format often requires special knowledge, the article says. For instance, the printer should know to avoid dye-based inks for signs to be displayed near windows and to use matte finishes to prevent glare under spotlights. Be prepared for the printer to ask several questions about your intended use for the sign.

– by Stacey King

You have to create your own identity to attract consumers' attention away from your 200 or so retail neighbors.

Printed textiles and laminates by Jan Milne (top) feature fruit and flower imagery. Jan Milne, Glasgow, Scotland; phone/fax (44-141) 445-5554. Cies Sexton Visual (bottom) offers many ideas on floral and other natural designs customized to meet your visual display needs. Cies Sexton Visual, Denver, CO; (303) 534-4000.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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