Frequently Asked Questions About Trade Show Fabric Graphics

If you have attended a trade show, convention, or event in the past four years, you have seen large, colorful fabric graphics. Fabric graphics have become the standard for most large format images. They are lightweight, vibrant, and durable, and are the perfect medium for trade shows, where every exhibitor wants minimal weight but still wants to make a big splash.

The options can be a bit overwhelming and getting more varied all the time. But for most of us, fabric graphics can be lumped into two categories: tension fabric or pillowcase graphics. The following is a convenient FAQ to get you quickly up to speed.

What is a tension fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to a frame so the fabric is taut edge-to-edge, creating "tension." Typically, the graphic has Velcro hook sewn along the border, usually top and bottom, and attaches to Velcro loop on the frame.

What is a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Think of a printed pillowcase with zippers. A pillowcase graphic wraps around a frame structure and the inner and outer sections zip together along the least obvious edge. This creates a tailor fit. Almost all hanging sign structures are wrapped in pillowcase fabric graphics.

How does a tension fabric graphic differ from a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to the frame, leaving the frame exposed. The fabric is held taut by attaching it to the frame using Velcro. Pillowcase graphics slip over the frame and hide the frame structure. The fabric is secured by a zipper (s).

What are the benefits of fabric graphics vs. traditional first surface graphics?

  • Flexibility . An array of fabric options and finishing exists. Fabric graphics can be adapted to just about any hardware
  • Storage and Shipping . Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. Fold your graphics neatly when in storage and take up much less space.
  • Care . Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are just as durable and long lasting as traditional graphics.
  • Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
  • Cost . More image bang for the buck!
  • Green . There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
  • No Glare . Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any background that is photographed or filmed.
  • Versatility . Fabric can be applied to most display and hardware options and is perfect for skinning or covering displays or objects. Custom covers can be created to drape over objects, wrap, or completely pillowcase them!

Do fabric graphics offer the same color saturation, vibrancy, definition, and overall image quality as other graphics?

Fabric not only matches other graphic options, it often excludes it. Dye sublimation equipment is more advanced than ever offering near continuous tone (limited by the texture of the material you choose) and exceptional detail created from high dpi outputs and sophisticated image patterns. Color is permanently dyed into the fabric creating a deep saturated image.

How do tension fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Tension graphics will typically have Velcro sewn into the perimeter, although there are other options such as a pole pocket connection with a spline or a silicon edge. The finish used is dependent on the frame system requirements and or customer preference.

How do pillowcase fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Pillowcase graphics are sewn a seam along the bottom edge of the frame to attach the inner and outer sides of the pillowcase. The top has zippers to secure the two sides with slots made to accommodate eye-bolt or hanging hardware. Depending on the size and shape of the frame, vertical zippers may also be necessary. The seams are sewn to the inside of the pillowcase to create a smooth, fitted finish.

What is the maximum size of a seamless tension graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

The maximum size depends on the fabric and printing process. In general, the maximum width varies from 118 "to 58" depending on the process.

What is the maximum size of a seamless pillowcase graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

All pillowcase graphics have seams, usually just at the top and bottom of the structure. However, some frames are too large to cover without a seam. Frames such as a tapered circle need to be pieced because the shape of the print is an arc, making it too large to print in one piece.

How should tension fabric graphics and pillowcase graphics be cared for?

It is recommended that graphics be zipped up, folded, and stored in a bag. You may spot clean by wiping with a damp cloth. If it is necessary to wash the graphic and it is small enough, use a commercial size front-loading washing machine. Wash on the gentle cycle, with cool water. It is VERY important that the graphic be ZIPPED during washing. Dry cleaning is not recommended.

To limit getting the graphic dirty during installation, keep the set-up area clean by using a drop cloth and wash your hands prior to set up. You may want to consider purchasing inexpensive white cotton gloves. Weaving the gloves while handling the graphic will minimize the transfer of dirt and oils to your graphic.

What is the preferred file set up for tension graphics and pillowcase graphics?

Files should be set up with at least 1 inch of bleed on all sides and marked with guides or crop marks to indicate art area versus bleed. The best file formats are Photoshop layered files, InDesign, Illustrator, or Quark documents. Files need to be set up as close to 100 percent as possible with a minimum resolution of 100 dots per inch.

Other things to consider are the live area, the diameter of the frames poles, and borders. If your critical art is too close to the edge of the frame, it may disappear as the graphic bends around the frame. Try to keep critical information 3 to 5 inches from the edge and either make borders wider or do not use borders.

Vacations Are Fun, The Traveling With Kids Is Not!

Vacations are a time to remember. Years after a holiday we remember the merirement that we had enjoyed during a particular vacation. Although the holiday is memorable, traveling to the selected destination is probably the most tiresome part of the package. The process becomes even more tedious if you are traveling with kids.

Their low attention span and impatience is the primary reason why they get over excited wherever the destination is grandma's place or Hawaii. Not an hour passages by when parents hear the endless chime of 'when do we get there?'

Making these long car rides or a trip in the airplane is not as difficult as it may seem to a harassed parent. A wee bit of planning in advance to keep your young tykes in control will see you a long way. A variety of games will keep them engaged and divert their minds away from the long wearisome travel.

If you have not come across some games which are apt for travel time then here are a few. For bumpy car rides where children can not indulge in board games try 'spot the letter of the alphabet'. The game involves reading road signs or billboards and spotting the letters of the alphabet in the sequence. So if you come across 'Abacus building systems', the letters A, B, C, D and E are found.

In the next billboard they should look for F. This game is suitable to be played alone or with a sibling. Create a competition between two children by allotting one side of the road to each and see who reaches the end of the alphabet first.

Another extremely simple and interesting game which can be played while traveling on the freeway is 'license plates'. The objective of the game is to identify vehicles from different states using their license plates. Keep them busy by telling them to keep going till they see plates from all 50 states.

The tussle of managing a child on the airplane can be more embarrassing than a car drive. With a hollering baby you are sure to get dirty glances from the scores of passengers traveling on board. Coping with toddlers on a plane is easier since the journey is much smoother than a car ride and drop down trays can be used to play board games

If traveling with an infant, then make sure that your little one is comfortable to ensure a peaceful flight. Try and time your babies sleep to coincide with the flight timings. Feed your baby during take off and landing to reduce discomfort in the ears.

Planning activities specifically suited for travel will help you recall the vacation with fondness and visions of the harrowing time you had not cross your eyes every time you look back.

Business Coaching: Why Partnering With a Coach Makes Sense Now

As an entrepreneur, you want a lot: to grow your business in a way that feels authentic, to serve the right customers with the right products, to create a positive impact, while at the same time enjoying a meaningful and fulfilling life outside of your business. This can often feel quite daunting. You may find that you are spending countless hours doing, doing, doing without getting the results that you want and deserve. Business coaching is a business growth tool that is well worth your consideration. Let’s take a look at what it is and why it works.

A coach starts by getting to know and understand both you and your business. He or she will help you be very clear in defining what success looks like from your vantage point and then work with you to develop the vision, strategies, projects, goals, and timelines that-assuming you take action-will lead you to that success.

Business coaching is neither therapy nor pure consulting. The therapy model assumes that someone is broken and needs to be “fixed,” while a consultant may hand you a set of instructions that any generic business owner might follow. Coaching on the other hand is very personal and is relationship-based. Your coach will likely use a blend of encouragement, persuasion, and inspiration to keep you in action while you begin creating the results that you want.

Coaching works well when you are open to partnering with someone trained in helping business owners be their best. Professional coaches are particularly skilled in listening, strategizing, supporting, and keeping you on track with your tasks, projects, goals, vision, and dreams. And they do this without judgment of you and (importantly) without having a personal stake in the outcome. In this sense, your coach does what a spouse, business partner, or best friend can often have trouble doing: he or she is a completely objective third party who is 100% on your side.

The title of this article suggests that business coaching makes sense “now.” What do we mean by that? As a business coach, I naturally am predisposed to advocating coaching as a practical and effective tool under most circumstances. And yet, there is something happening right now in the autumn of 2010 that is in my opinion making coaching an even more compelling choice. Over the past month, I have been noticing that we are in a time of what I call congruent manifestation. That is simply a fancy way of saying that a lot of my coaching clients (and other people I know) are hearing “yes” over and over again. We seem to collectively be in a period of time during which it is easier to create the success that is possible when we are clear about what we want and take action aligned with that desire. From media deals to new jobs, to graduate school acceptance, to artists being awarded public grants, I am seeing people consistently hearing a big, resonant “yes!” to those outcomes that they are longing for and working towards.

So how about it? Are you ready to finally create the success that even now is out there waiting for you? It is my deep desire–whether you take advantage of what business coaching has to offer or not-that you will create a business and a life of deep fulfillment, service, and joy.

Digital Infrared Photography Pictures Made Easy

Digital infrared photography is a fairly basic photographic technique that yields amazing images. There is a spectrum of light that can not be seen with the human eye, but it can be seen and captured through the lens of your digital camera.

Images captured with this technique have a surreal dreamy look. A picture of a green leafy tree against a bright blue sky taken with digital infrared photography becomes a picture of a brilliant white tree against a dark foreboding backdrop of sky.

This happens because visible light is ignored and only infrared light (light from the spectrum we can not see with the naked eye) is captured. The resulting compositions are stunning. However, the technique is not difficult.

Digital Infrared Photography Equipment

Infrared pictures can be really unique. Here is a resource to learn more about the technique and see samples of what can be done with inferred photography.
A digital photography course is a great way to learn this technique. There are even free digital photo classes offered online [http://www.mydigitalphotoclasses.com/digital-photo-classes.html].

Modern digital cameras differ in their ability to capture infrared light. To test your camera's infrared capabilities, point your television remote control at your digital cameras lens from 6 inches away and press a button on the remote. If you see a light in your camera's LCD coming from your remote, you're in luck. Your camera is capable of digital infrared photography. If you saw no light being emitted from the remote, your camera probably has an internal infrared filter installed by the manufacturer to preserve the camera's ability to focus on images in the normal light spectrum.

Now that you've tested your camera, you need only two additional pieces of equipment: a filter and a tripod. The purpose of the filter is to "filter" out visible light and only let infrared light through. Filters are fairly inexpensive (approximately $ 20). The Hoya R72 filter is one of the more popular filters and can be obtained from your local camera store. If your camera has a thread adapter (most digital cameras do not), you'll also need to purchase an adapter. If your camera does not have a thread adapter, you'll have to get creative to attach the filter. With gelatin filters, it's as simple as cutting the filter to size and taping it to your lens. Your local photography store should be able to help here, too. While you're at the camera store, pickup a tripod also. These are needed due to the increased aperture and reduced shutter speed required for infrared photography.

Shooting Techniques

Once you've got your camera outfitted with an infrared filter, you're ready to go out and shoot. Landscapes with green leafy foliage and a bright sky make the best subjects when starting out. Portraits of people in sunlight also make interesting compositions. Every camera is different so you'll want to experiment with various settings and their effect. Some cameras are capable of taking good digital infrared photography in "automatic" mode, so try that first. However, if "automatic" mode does not yield good results, the following is a list of manual settings to use as a starting point:

  • Flash Off
  • Black & White Mode On
  • Film Speed: ISO 400 (or the highest available)
  • Shutter Speed: 1/15 of a second (slower is better)

Digital infrared photography opens up a whole new world to photographers. With just a few relatively cheap pieces of equipment, you can create stunning compositions from the world of the invisible light spectrum. This article just scratches the surface of what you can do with digital infrared photography . There is so much more that can be done within this area of ​​photography and there is a whole array of other basic photography techniques that yield amazing results. The best way to learn how to take full advantage of your digital camera or expand your photographic skills is by taking a digital photo class. They are a lot of fun and with just a little instruction you can learn how to take amazing pictures.