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.

Productivity Measurements and Telecommuting

Over the years, the improved channels of telecommunication have paved the way for an increase in number of Telecommuting jobs. Telecommuting occupations are not your typical office work and that is why, it has become a focus of productivity measures issues. There are a lot of myths that surround telecommuting and Productivity Measurements. Some say that measuring productivity is much more difficult in telecommuting than in regular office work.

Before going forward, let us first individually define what Productivity and what Telecommuting is. Productivity (in Economics) refers to the amount of output produced in a specific amount of time. In a factory or office setting, this can easily be computed by dividing the number of units of output with the time spent to produce them. For example, an office worker is given the task to compile kits for the participants of a lecture. He was able to compile 25 kits in 1 hour, and that becomes his productivity rate.

Quantitative data is more easily translated into productivity rates rather than qualitative data. On the other hand Telecommuting (other known as working from home) is form of work where the employee works on his or her own schedule. It is called telecommuting because the time and process of commuting to and from the work place are replaced by links of telecommunication. A few of the most popular telecommuting tasks is Medical Transcription and Insurance Underwriting.

The issue that lies between Productivity measurement and Telecommuting are claims saying that Productivity measurement is harder to achieve than with regular office work. This is claimed to be the major downfall of telecommuting. Because of this, employer supposedly has no hold on the productivity of their personnel who work form home.

However, that is really not the case. Productivity Measurements are still easily achievable with Telecommuting Jobs. The rate telecommuting employee works, is the same with every project that he / she receives. A Medical Transcriptionist may complete transcription of 5 files in an hour. No matter how many hours a day a medical transcriptionist chooses to work, his or her hourly rate is still the same.

Another myth about productivity measurement and telecommuting is that an employee has no hold on how much an employee works on a set number of days. This is opposed by the fact that employers enforce deadlines that a Telecommuting employee must adhere to. In example, an Underwriter is given 10 insurance policies to process in a span of 4 days. It is of no consequence to the employer how his or her Underwriter divides the task over 4 days as long as it is completed within the set number of days.

Telecommuting is a practice that will unduly continue to grow. Since early fears that it may not be a as easy to regulate and measure as regular office work, it has been proven that it is not so. That is the reason why employers should not shy away from hiring telecommuting personnel because they can still measure and regulate their productivity rate since not having set office hours.

Lubrication of Domestic Clocks

Domestic clocks are one of the most ignored watches in the entire household. We make sure that our wrist watches are well maintained with good servicing, battery changes and of course lots of lubricating. But domestic watches are practically ignored till the battery runs down. Even then, we just replace the battery without getting any servicing or lubricating done on it. That means that the watch continues to run without any care or oiling till they finally expire and die! But just like wristwatches, domestic watches need to be maintained well too with regular cleaning and lubrication and care. Clocks are larger than wristwatches so a little too much lubrication is OK here.

But still there are rules to be followed in lubrication and care of clocks like-

* Try to use just a single drop of oil in the watch works to make the watch remain on time. These are bigger watches so they don’t really require you to be precise but it’s a good idea if you are. Carriage clocks require a smaller amount while long clocks and grandfather clocks require much more.

* Try not to scrape the oil pots while oiling watches as it scrapes up unnecessary settled grit into the workings of the clock. This is especially true of incalite pots. Use only fresh oil and discard any which has more than five years on the packing date on the seal; protect the oil you are using by storing it at room temperature and away from direct light. An ideal temperature would be about 15 to 20 C or as stated by the manufacturer of the clock. There are several points on a domestic clock where you can oil them and the oil will them spread to all over the clock workings. Good places to apply lubrication are at oils sinks or pivot holes, escapement pallet faces, weight pulley bearings and points of contact between different parts of the mechanism.

* Make sure you do clean the mainspring and refit the watch springs after you have oiled the domestic wall clocks. You can also apply heavy grade mineral oil around the edges of the barrel cap. Capillary action will make sure that the oil spreads all over the mechanism.

* Do not lubricate or oil pinion leaves and gear teeth, as they will slip while revolving. Another place to be careful of is the ratchet and the great wheel arbor in the main clock facings.

* The frequency of oiling depends on how frequently you use the clock and the location it is based in. Synthetic oils are very stable and do not deteriorate but non-synthetic oils do. The residue leaves a gummy deposit in the watch that can destroy a good watch.

* Contamination with dust will however really cause a tremendous amount of wear on the clock and that can damage the mechanism. Reapplication of oils is fine after the old one has been wiped off.

But do make sure that you do service the watch at least every two years to maintain optimum working conditions.

Traveling Tips for Severe Weather

There is a lot of forethought that goes into a trip. You think about packing, plane tickets, travel time, what to do when you arrive. However, sometimes Mother Nature can spoil even the best travel plans. Thankfully, you can take steps to prevent her spoiling the vacation you worked so hard for. Weather can impact you on every level. From what you bring, to what you buy, to what you do after you arrive, to even arriving or leaving on time. It can also affect the vehicle you rent or take around. The following are a few helpful tips you can utilize to help ensure that the elements have very little negative affect on your trip.

First and foremost, try going during the most temperate time of the year. If you plan on traveling north, try to go in the summer, or spring. If you are traveling south, fall or even winter are pretty safe bets. You can also familiarize yourself with the weather patterns of the area you are going to. If you are going to Arizona or New Mexico, check to see if its monsoon season or if there is a drought currently taking place. If you are going to a place like New York or Chicago during the winter, check the snow patterns. Some places have consistent snowfall throughout the entire winter, starting either before you expect or ending long after.

You can also pack to prepare, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Normally you can buy whatever you need at your destination but a little forethought will help you avoid those unnecessary costs. Packing a heavy coat for winter states or a couple umbrellas for rainy states will go a long way in making sure you stay happy and you can spend your money on something you want rather than something you’ll end up needing.

Something else to consider is where you are staying. Make sure the hotel you are staying at is up to date and centrally located to the places you’d like to go. There are few things worse on a trip than having to spend it cooped up in four walls because a hurricane or blizzard suddenly hit. You can also rent a certain type of vehicle to help with your destination and needs. An SUV will come in handy if you are going somewhere that might have conditions that affect the road.

Finally, try and reach out to any local people in the area. They can sometimes be much more helpful than any website or television forecast. Your rental car company or hotel concierge should be able to provide you with a first-hand account of what you can expect weather-wise for your vacation. So, remember: research the area you are traveling to. Pack a light jacket, sensible shoes or a couple of ponchos. Look into your hotel location and accommodations and make sure your mode of transportation can handle most inclement weather. If you follow these simple tips, you should be ready for anything!