A new year brings new trends and opportunities for the specialty imaging community. To get a better idea of what’s in store for the signage display market in 2013, we talked to Anthony Rubino, president of Verde Fastframe, Inc., and Mike Ohirko, president of Impact Canopies USA.
SGIA: What are the new trends you’re seeing in signage display systems?
Rubino: It’s no secret that signage display systems and trade show booths often require a lot of unsustainable material such as printed materials, electricity and more. In this day and age where sustainability is not only trendy but also crucial to sustaining the world we live in, clients must and are looking at sustainable alternatives. Not only is it better for their brand but it also demonstrates a level of corporate responsibility. That being said, this mindset can deliver savings of time and money, which are imperative when considering the bottom line. More and more clients are considering signage display systems that are reusable, decrease power consumption and are made with lighter materials for easy assembly. Fabrics, LED lights, plastics and corrugates are all sustainable materials that can be used in combination to reduce installation and transportation costs.
Ohirko: We are finding more dye sublimation processes, tension supported display systems and tension fabric that requires fewer frameworks. We are also noticing more offshore hardware with printing being done domestically to accommodate faster turnaround.
SGIA: How is your company responding to new requests?
Rubino: Our team responds to new client requests with a sense of urgency. It’s important to be flexible with client requests and ensure that we are doing our very best to provide them with solutions that are new, yet practical. As budgets are tightening in the marketplace, signage vendors need to be ahead of the curve and to always keep themselves informed of innovative ways to display their client’s message. Technology is rapidly changing and social media offers instant information for billions at a time. This information translates into data that clients use on a daily basis to market to consumers. What does this mean for signage vendors like ourselves? Each of us has to be able to build customized solutions for each project with shorter timelines.
Ohirko: There is an increased demand for faster turnaround times, so we have enhanced our domestic printing production by purchasing more equipment, keeping larger quantities and a wider variety of fabrics in our current inventory. We have also increased our stock of raw materials from third party vendors (framework, etc.).
SGIA: What are the biggest factors to consider for selecting a signage display solution?
Rubino: Re-usability and cost effectiveness are the biggest factors on client’s minds these days. The messaging needs to stay current, as consumers are expecting it. Displaying a new message for the latest promotion has to be as easy as it can be – for everyone involved. Budgets no longer allow for lengthy installations and wasteful transportation. All factors need to be considered from the start of the project and it is key for clients to have signage vendors included into the design process earlier. This allows for more time to provide better recommendations and prototyping to ensure flawless execution.
Ohirko: The biggest factor in selecting a signage display solution is the ease of use and portability. Shipping booth materials to a trade show or event is a significant expense, therefore most customers are looking for a booth display that is compact, weighs less, has more mobility, and is easier to transport. However, they still want to ensure maximum visibility with high impact/high resolution graphics. The key is finding a happy medium between the two.
SGIA: What about sustainability? Are customers requesting more eco-friendly products?
Rubino: In the early 90’s, there was a push in the printing industry for clients to use more eco-friendly paper grades. While it was trendy, this soon became taken very seriously as de-forestation became a pertinent issue. Today the majority of design firms cannot make recommendations without considering the amount of post consumer waste within a particular paper stock. We believe that there is a grassroots movement taking place in the sign and display world and it is moving in a similar direction as the print world. The effects of industry on the environment can no longer be ignored, as it is now affecting our daily lives through varied weather systems and landfill issues growing at a rapid rate. Sustainable alternatives are not only being requested, they are being demanded. Clients need a sustainable platform to display their revolving messages, especially when it can save them time and money. Products that are made from reclaimed materials and keep the environment top of mind are the future of the signage and trade- show industry.
Ohirko: Yes, sustainability is definitely a factor for many of our current customers. Most of the products we carry have some form of sustainability built into it, whether it is recycled aluminum, plastic, fabric, etc. Our company strives to incorporate sustainability in all aspects of our business. We use non-toxic inks for printing and are exploring the possibility of incorporating solar power to our production facility. We are finding creative ways to reuse or re-purpose our scrap fabric. Reducing our carbon footprint is not only a goal we strive for, but it is also becoming increasingly important to our customers who give more weight to eco-friendly com- panies when deciding who to do business with.
Photo and Article Credit: SGIA