February 2, 2018

The Printdesigns Guide to Dye Sublimation Printing

We are always telling our customers about our range of fabric display systems because we firmly believe that there are numerous benefits when compared to old pop up stands that use heavy, fragile graphic panels.

All of our fabric displays are printed using a dye sublimation process for the best possible printed results. We thought that we should take the time to explain more about the process given that many customers are unfamiliar with the benefits it provides when compared to other methods of printing.

There is a buzz around the term ‘dye sublimation’ printing in the exhibition and events industry and for a good reason!

The science behind dye sublimation printing involves the chemical process of sublimation which is where a solid turns directly into a gas without going through the liquid stage. What does that mean exactly…

After printing, the dry ink is heated between 180-200 degrees Celsius which turns the dye particles into vapour. This process involves feeding the print through a large set of heated rollers called a rotary heat press. When the ink particles cool and turn back into a solid, they become one with any polymer molecules present in the fabric and are therefore ‘fixed’.

Dye sublimation ink can be printed either directly to the material (fabric) or onto transfer paper which is then heated against to the fabric through the heat-press in order to transfer the image. We use one method or the other to achieve the best printed result dependent on the type of fabric we are using.

Our Fabri-Vu printer is capable of the highest quality dye sublimation fabric graphics


Dye sublimation printing comes into it’s own when producing fabric graphics because colours and vibrancy are far superior to other methods of fabric printing that involve printing ink that sits on the surface of the material where it could get scratched or cracked.

Our fabric graphics can be folded for convenient transport without permanently damaging them. Fabric display graphics can even be washed should they become marked or dirty in use.

We offer a wide range of portable display frameworks that are specifically designed for use with fabric. Why not visit our web store to view the huge range of Fabric Display Stands on offer or why not visit us in person to view our in-house printing and finishing facilities for yourself.




September 12, 2017

Why entrepreneurs should always be behind their own trade booth

Entrepreneurs can find it hard to release control when it comes to opening up their business to others. It’s especially hard if they’ve nurtured their business through the lean, early years, and are just now seeing their rewards flourish.

It’s not that wanting this kind of control over a product they’ve grown carefully is unusual, or is a bad thing in any way. What it does mean is that, if it’s a smaller business, the best person to be behind the trade show booth is the entrepreneur themselves.

Even bigger businesses can benefit from having the original entrepreneur make an appearance at their trade stand. Every business had to start from somewhere, and even the big business which dominate the high street began as a one-person operation, with a single idea.

They know the product inside out

An entrepreneur who helped to create the lines they are selling will be naturally more engaged than a new staffer whose only exposure to the product has been seeing them in the office and then selling them at a trade show. Entrepreneurs are fonts of knowledge, and have no need for flash cards to help if a customer asks a difficult question. New staffers, though, are typically underinformed about the product and shouldn’t venture guesses if customers ask them specific questions.

They believe in the product

With the best will in the world, it is more difficult to believe wholeheartedly in a product if you were not involved in its creation. You approach the product as a sceptical customer. However, if you’ve created it, pouring time and money into it, you have believed in it from when it was just an idea in your head. Naturally, this means your enthusiasm for the product will come across.

They’re hungry for business

Entrepreneurs, especially those who have lived close to the breadline while trying to make their business work, are keenly aware of how the market works and reacts. Things that are in vogue today may be completely ignored tomorrow. They know you should never rest on your laurels, and will be eager to find business where they can. A trade show is a golden opportunity they don’t want to waste or throw away, and an entrepreneur who has seen so many other products fade away and disappear will know how quickly everything can change.


September 8, 2017

How can you get noticed at a trade show?

Trade shows are a necessity for almost any business, whether you work in education, for a local authority, or in retail. And if you’re there, you can bet that your competitors will be there too, eager to vie for customers with you.

You can’t do anything to affect perception of your competitors’ brands. The only thing you can affect is your own brand; how it looks, feels, and presents itself to its audience.

Advertise to your clients that you’ll be there

If your clients like you, they’ll want to know that you’ll be at a trade show close to them. Let them know they can meet someone they’ve previously only spoken to via email or phonecall before. Corporates will typically book for many of their staff in one block a month or so before the show, so time your advertising there if you work B2B. Retail customers are a trickier bunch, and you should check your customer research to figure out when’s best to contact them.

Make your stand interesting

A minimalist stand in pure white and just one thing on the table is interesting; so too is a stand which has exploded in plenty of colour. Make your stand interesting to look at, and then make sure that the people manning your stand are interesting to speak to. People who look interested in speaking to others will attract more potential customers. Make sure any information you have on hand, like leaflets or brochures, are fun to look at and use too. If you miss this critical step, people will pick up your information and never read it.

Back up your claims

It’s easy to claim that you have plenty of top-notch clients, they are all pleased with your work and would buy from you again. But it’s worth having information that backs this up. Not only does displaying this make your company more credible, it also makes for a handout you can give out and make people remember you.

Focus on your strengths

If your company is excellent at infographics or animations, make sure you have a plan for a big screen where these can be viewed by customers who come to your stall. If you know your failure is in writing snappy slogans for your trade stand, don’t try. It’s always better to succeed than try but miss the mark when you’re presenting to customers.

September 6, 2017

Trade show tips for success

Trade show tips for success Before the big autumn product fayres hit, digital printing experts PrintDesigns have a list of tips for business who are getting into the swing of things after a summer spent focusing on their business.

“Autumn is so often a big time for companies who are looking to make a big impression at trade shows,” said Mark Thompson, Managing Director for PrintDesigns. “It’s best to sort out any potential issues before they become problems at the trade show which customers can see.”

PrintDesigns recommend that customers spend plenty of time thinking about the look and feel of their stall, including how they will display products and what kinds of customers will see them. If their stall does not accurately reflect their brand, looks badly put together, or is cluttered, customers won’t be tempted to visit.

They also say that customers should have a clear idea of the standout feature of their stand, instead of trying to do too many things at once. Features such as whiteboards or floor adhesives can be effective if the focus is all on them, or else they can be drowned out by other gimmicks on the stand.

PrintDesigns also urge customers to think about how they will measure their success at trade shows; whether it’s in email addresses collected, products sold, or something else. Without such a metric, it can be difficult to know if a particular trade show is better for a business than another a few weeks later. It also helps to have someone who enjoys interacting with customers in the booth, as they might be able to build a rapport with individual customers that will convince them to help make their booth a success.

“At PrintDesigns, we’re committed to making sure that our customers have the best trade show experiences of their lives,” added Mark Thompson. “These expos can be tough—and our job is to make it easier for them.”


August 31, 2017

What’s the difference between a JPG, a BMP and a PNG?

If you’re sending graphics to be used in posters or banners, it’s a sad fact that any small flaw will be magnified just by virtue of the fact that it’s bigger. Happily, though, there are ways to head off any image errors at the pass just by looking at your needs and knowing your file formats. That means that you’ll have to work out what’s essential for your stand, taking into account the size of the equipment you’re ordering and where you want the graphics to sit, whether you want them curved or straight, and have an idea of what the finished product should look like.

What are the main file extensions I should know about?

The three main image extensions you’ll see around (aside from the internet’s favourite of a moving GIF, which for obvious reasons can’t work on a banner) are JPG or JPEG, BMP and PNG.

JPG/JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Expert Group

BMP stands for Bitmap

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics.

All image formats can be split into three categories; lossless compression, lossy compression, and uncompressed.

What’s the difference?

Lossy compression means that when you save the file in this kind of format, the picture experiences a loss in quality. The more times you save this kind of file, the lower the picture quality will get.

Lossless compression means that the file, when saved, will not experience any loss in picture quality; however, these files are generally bigger than lossy compression files.

Uncompressed images are large, but experience no loss in picture quality because they remain uncompressed.

What file format should I use?

As JPGs or JPEGs are a form of lossy compression, it is best not to use these for sending big, intricate files; the quality will almost always suffer.

PNG is the most popular form of lossless compression image saving on the entire internet. It’s a fairly safe way of sending your artwork over email or uploading it onto a file sharing network. They also support a wide range of colours, which mean that your company’s signature colour is more likely to be successfully saved and sent.

BMPs have very large files, and unfortunately might not send easily over a network because of the amount of data they keep.

In conclusion, then, PNGs are one of the safer bets when it comes to sending artwork.