Sparkling metallic effect cast acrylic sheets from PBB

Written by Colin Gillman on Tuesday, 11 April 2017.

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PPB Ltd - an independently owned distributor and converter of point of purchase materials and substrates to the screen print, digital and large format markets - has added Crylux Argenta cast acrylic sheets manufactured from 3A Composite to its industrial plastics portfolio.

Crylux Argenta cast acrylic is ideal for high-end luxury applications, combining innovative interior design concepts with various manufacturing and surface processing methods, including thermoforming. Applications include luxurious POS/POP displays, quality shop fittings, interior design - restaurants, hotels, museums and galleries, furniture, lighting and signage.

The special colours look nice and will ensure that Crylux Argenta cast acrylic stands out from other acrylic materials. It has a unique metallic effect which goes a long way to draw attention. You can also print onto either side for further creative opportunities, and the front side is sparkling coloured and is characterised by a gloss and depth effect, while the metallic silver reverse side provides an opaque appearance.

Special colours and characteristics are proving highly popular as retailers are looking to differentiate luxury sign applications. Argenta certainly stands out from other acrylic materials as it has a unique attention grabbing sparkling metallic effect.


Self-adhesive materials specialist Ritrama appoints CMYUK as UK distributor

Written by Colin Gillman on Wednesday, 08 March 2017.

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Italian self adhesive materials manufacturer Ritrama has appointed CMYUK as an official UK distributor for its broad range of self-adhesive materials for wide format printing.

According to Ritrama’s Lee Ward, CMYUK is exactly the type of forward-thinking company that Ritrama needs to work with in order to achieve its expansion goals. “With excellent staff, knowledge and support, the company’s eye-catching marketing and on-line services and application videos make them the ideal match for us,” he says. 

Ritrama has plans to promote existing and new ranges being developed such as its Deco-Wall and Hi-Grip’s vinyls.

The addition of Ritrama materials provide CMYUK with an even greater reach into new areas across the display and sign-making segments.


Making wall graphics look brilliant with Phototex repositionable wall covering

Written by Jason Price on Tuesday, 14 February 2017.

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A lot of our work comes from the motorsports industry, which as you can probably guess means everything we produce has to always look twice as good as anything else in order to please our customers sponsors. After all, nobody in their right mind would ever sponsor a racing team that put crappy looking graphics on their cars!

We have two rules when it comes to printing for motorsports customers. The first is whatever we print has to look amazing and have built-in ‘sponsor appeal’, and the second is it has to handle really well when we apply it to the body of their very expensive racing cars. But it’s not all about vehicle graphics. We have to produce a broad range of wall and floor graphics for these teams as well and, historically speaking, wall graphics have always been a bit of a challenge for us to get right. This is why we thought we’d give Phototex a bit of a go.  

In a nutshell, Phototex is a self-adhesive fabric based wide format print media that can be used to create either short-term or permanent wall decor graphics - straight out of the box. 

On first inspection the material itself has quite a tight weave/texture to it, and a nice sheen too, which makes for a great overall even print finish. The finish of the material is also 'tight' enough for the ink to bed-in and not spread out into the weave, which would almost certainly de-focus the print. 

We ran the material through our OKI ColorPainter WS64 on a banner material profile, 8 pass run, and it worked perfectly with no banding issues. The artwork we set up was a mixture of photographic images and vectors with fades and tints, all of which went down without a hitch. We then profiled the material in and, to be honest, the difference was marginal, so a standard banner profile will work ok. 

As mentioned above, we do quite a bit of wall art for the teams offices and other associated businesses, some of which we update a couple of times a year. This gives us the headache of stripping off self adhesive from painted surfaces, which never ends well, but now that Phototex has hit the scene, those worries are no more! 

We have used similar products in the past and have found them to be quite difficult to print on successfully. This was mostly due to the depth of the weave and that the adhesives never seem to be quite 'man' enough for slightly uneven or old surfaces. Nothing ruins your day quite like watching your freshly fitted wall art slowly un-peel itself from the wall! 

We have found the adhesives on Phototex to be ‘just right’, the initial grab is not severe enough to cause positioning issues but once fitted it stays in place just fine. If you misalign a drop, simply whip it back up and reposition as many times as needed. A key thing to bear in mind while working with this material is trimming, as we don't like overlapped edges on wall art (we are finicky like that). This material also cuts down a treat, so there are no stringy bits of material hanging off anywhere. We also found that Phototex is really good for contour cutting! We popped a few bits of artwork through the printer then on to our Graphtec cutter and it cut out the logos a treat, and with no stringy leftovers! So it’s extremely versatile as well. 

However, what I think makes this material really stand out from the crowd is its dimensional stability; no distortion or stretching at all, no matter how much pull you apply. So if a wall graphic aligns at the top it will also be bang-on at the bottom – even with a heavy ink load the stability is not affected.  Another thing I really liked was how the release liner drops off nice and easy. It’s a small thing but it helps not to be fighting a material even before fitting! 

Phototex is a pretty straightforward, simple, easy-to-use product suited to a massive range of interior graphics applications. What you put up will stay up, and for as long as its required, and when it comes to taking it down it simply peels off and leaves no messy residue behind. So as a graphics company, whether it is for permanent office wall art or retail promotional posters that change, or short exhibition panels and promotions, we know we will be able to rely on Phototex in future to get the job done.

Try it and see for yourself.


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New customisable wrapping paper available online from Pixartprinting

Written by Colin Gillman on Tuesday, 17 January 2017.

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Wrapping a product and promoting your brand in an original way has never been easier: at Pixartprinting’s online shop you can choose from a variety of coatings and colours, and pick one of five different formats, available as single-size sets or as an assortment.

The new wrapping paper can also be produced in fully customised colours, or with logos and graphics in a predefined colour: choose from white, black and special colours such as gold, silver and bronze.

For packaging food and beverages, Pixartprinting has a new onion-skin paper certified for direct contact with food, letting you wrap edible products safely. Add a sophisticated touch by customising your package with water-based inks in a broad palette of colours.

Rounding off the Pixartprinting range are special papers for original packaging solutions. They include printed tissue paper and ribbed kraft paper for a bold, natural finish.

The company says this extensive selection of wrapping paper is further proof of its ability to anticipate trends. It offers customers new ways of bringing their communications to life through product customisation, thereby delivering more effective brand promotion.

For the complete look, the new wrapping paper can be matched with paperboard boxes, as well as a variety of paper shopping bags and pouches made of paper or fabric (natural or non-woven), all fully customised by Pixartprinting.


Get into wallcovering with Wallpaper Ink’s bespoke mural website

Written by Colin Gillman on Monday, 09 January 2017.

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Wallpaper Ink’s ‘made-to-measure’ wall mural website provides a simple and easy to use service for people looking to decorate their homes and businesses with bespoke wallcoverings. Started 6 years ago by Scott Evans, the company now employs 10 people at its South Wales premises.

Sitting at the heart of Wallpaper Ink’s offering is a range of substrates that the company sources entirely from printable material manufacturer and distributor, Soyang Europe. “We offer customers a choice of three different substrates upon which to have their image printed,” says Evans. “Depending on their installation requirements and skills, they can select from a traditional, pasteable paper, a self-adhesive product or our top-of-the-range spray-activated material.”

Most popular with professional decorators, Soyang’s SoMagic pasteable product gives a traditional textured finish but is printable using Wallpaper Ink’s bank of Roland eco-solvent printers – as well as latex, full solvent and UV machines. Soyang’s ST035 self-adhesive product offers an easy, paste-free installation with the benefit of easy repositionability and a textured textile finish.

Evans is particularly excited about Soyang’s SoMagic Water Glue spray-activated material, thanks to its ease of application. “The adhesive is activated by spraying the wall with water, which makes the paper easy to handle and put in place,” he says. “It makes it very simple to line up images or patterns drop-to-drop and really helps people get over any perceived barriers to taking a DIY approach to hanging wallpaper.”

For those needing more of a helping hand, Wallpaper Ink has created a ‘how to’ video that walks the viewer through the process – as well as including basic tools in each box of printed wallpaper. The finished product is washable and waterproof and when the time comes to refresh the design, is easy to remove without damaging the wall.

Thanks to an exclusive tie-up with Adobe, it’s possible to choose from over 40 million images on the Wallpaper Ink website, but an increasing number of customers are opting to use their own photography. “The continued improvements in mobile phone cameras mean that it’s possible to produce a stunning 4m wide print from an iPhone 7 image,” says Evans. “The technology has made it so simple for people to capture and upload unique images and by turning it into beautiful wallcoverings, we’re able to make it a part of their home.”

While the domestic market is currently Wallpaper Ink’s mainstay; commercial printing is becoming an increasingly important outlet for the company, as Evans recognises the potential for sign and graphics companies to offer creative décor to their clients. “We’re being approached for trade print more and more thanks to the reputation we’re forging for expertise in the wallcoverings sector,” he says. “Wallpaper Ink is very much open for business from print companies looking to receive a high-quality specialist print for their customers.”

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How can you win more customers for your printing business

How can you win more customers for your printing business

Anybody who has run a printing business for any time will at some stage ask themselves the question “How do I get more customers?” The trouble with this is it’s a perennial question that has no right or wrong answer. You could always start by learning to think differently and...

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