The Perils of Banner Printing
25th January 2017
At HFE we’ve been banner printing since 1996, so we can safely say- ‘we’ve tried and tested all materials, inks and finishing methods!’ Banner printing can vary so much nowadays from one supplier to another for the following reasons:
1) Banner Material
Variations in the raw PVC is now a major factor, and with many sub quality products available to banner printers, and with the market so competitive how can anyone offer a superior quality and still remain competitive? Well, the way we do this at HFE is simple, we have our own brand of PVC Banner manufactured for us to our own specification. HFE banner is a high quality 550gsm coated product and we have this manufactured by the container load, we generally carry anything between 200 – 500 rolls in stock. Our buying power and stock levels means two things; one, we keep the prices down and are able to compete with the lower end priced products, yet still offer a better 550gsm superior quality banner. And two, we have very large stock levels meaning we can always offer a super-fast turnaround for banner printing at any sizes.
2) Inks & Media Profiling
With banner printing it is crucial that inks & banner materials are correctly profiled, this process involves the use of a highly sophisticated (and expensive) Spectrophotometer. Most banner printing companies will use stock profiles provided by either the printing machine manufacturer or the ink or material suppliers, the problem with this is that they can’t possibly all be the same and although a red is a red and a blue is a blue, the colour shift will distort your printed colours to some degree. A change in material batch and/or a change in inks will certainly mean the profile needs to be updated. At HFE Signs we’ve invested in our very own Spectrophotometer and have skilled engineers on site to update profiles as they are needed.
3) Machines & Nozzles
A blocked nozzle in a printer can occur at any time and can easily go unnoticed, a blocked nozzle will distort colours and possibly cause other issues in your print, such a banding or horizontal lines. At HFE we perform test prints before and after every print to ensure perfect banner printing. Over the years we have put measures in place to eliminate print issues.
HFE Signs have highly skilled engineers on site full time and carry a large selection of spares for all ten printers, we don’t have to rely on external support for any of our banner printing or banner finishing equipment, it is highly unlikely we will fail to deliver your banner on time!
5) Banner Finishing
Since 1996 when we started banner printing we’ve tried and tested all finishing options available, many people still use the double sided tape for hems, although this is a suitable option it will cause creases when the banners are rolled tightly. Stitched, is another method, again this makes for a nice hem, however it can look tatty if the seamstress isn’t neat or the yarn runs out. Pinch weld is another, this is where the hem has a 4mm wide welded section where the edge of the folded hem meets the banner, this method has two issues that we didn’t like, one it is visible on the print side of the banner and leaves a line across your print, also it creates a hollow pocket than can fill with water and cause your banner to droop. The best method of all is the method we’ve been using for the last 4yrs, this is a fully welded flat sealed hem, the wedge on the machine melts the PVC and presses it under pinch rollers to create a very clean and permanent flat sealed hem, this can be rolled perfectly, it doesn’t show on the print side and the pocket is not hollow, so it can’t fill with water.
Eyelet spacing and size is also a very important factor with banner printing, too many eyelets or eyelets that are too big and the banner looks spoilt, too few and it won’t hang correctly. With HFE you can be assured all your eyelets are spaced equally and calculated correctly according to your banner sizes. All HFE Signs eyelets are rust proof too!
7) Quality Control
At HFE we take our reputation very seriously, this is clearly reflected in our TrustPilot reviews. Quality control at HFE Signs starts the moment your design or proof is started, the checklist procedure follows your order through various departments with each stage being checked and signed off by the relevant person, a total of 21 checks are made on every single job even if it’s a £10 order! This process eliminates over 99% of order errors, we currently have a reprint rate of less than 1%.
We appreciate that PVC Banners are often an item that may have been overlooked and you then need it fast! We offer banner printing for UK delivery next working day (if ordered by 11am). So not only do you get the best quality available, but you get it in as faster time as possible. HFE Banners are supplied in a rigid cardboard tube to ensure they reach you in tip top condition.