Yard Signs Are Quick & Effective to Drive Traffic and Get the Vote Out

Yard signs are a quick and easy solution for temporary graphics as well as election year signage, which will be gearing up soon. And that means more demand for signage, such as banners, yard signs and posters.

When it comes to yard signs, there are a few tips to keep in mind in terms of what content to include, color and design and the proper material to print to. Here’s what you need to know, and some tips you can pass along to your customers:

Weathering the Weather: Best Practices for Storing Print Substrates

As in real estate, the three most important aspects of storing substrates, whether they’re roll or rigid media and materials, are location, location, location.

Bag it up: To guard against temperature and humidity fluctuations that could affect both inkjet media and laminates, wrap the unused materials in the plastic in which it was delivered.
Bag it up: To guard against temperature and humidity fluctuations that could affect both inkjet media and laminates, wrap the unused materials in the plastic in which it was delivered.

Materials should be isolated from changing temperature and humidity as much as possible. The best way to do this is to store substrates in a climate-controlled area. Variations in temperature and humidity will cause materials to expand and contract, making them susceptible to failure at the most inconvenient times, like after you’ve delivered a large job to the customer.

Plastic/PVC board materials are especially vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. Wood- and foam-based boards are most vulnerable to changes in humidity. With either type of substrate the key is to strike an environmental balance.

Moreover, if you don’t have to inventory a lot of substrates for an extended time period, don’t. Most manufacturers can ship what you need quickly on an as-needed basis.

Stack rigid board materials horizontally so that less air circulates between them, and support them evenly underneath. Very often, a pallet of board is unloaded with a fork lift and supported only on the ends with 2x4s. Put a 2×4 or a piece of plywood in the middle, or use a pallet so the board doesn’t warp in the middle. Once that bottom board bows out, the rest are sure to follow. If you have to stack them vertically, pack them together tightly.

Because roll media is susceptible to the same ravages of temperature and humidity, you should follow the same basic guidelines. Plus, unused media should be wrapped back up in the plastic in which it was delivered.

For media that’s designed for aqueous-based printing, it’s especially important to keep out water and humidity. The primary job of an inkjet coating is to absorb water. The more humidity it absorbs before printing diminishes its ability to accept moderate or heavy ink saturation.

Humidity fluctuations and exposure to the air will also affect adhesives. Especially low humidity will tend to dry out the adhesive. Too much air exposure will cause the adhesive to cure prematurely. Once again, the ideal is a climate-controlled storage area, plus bagging the media after every use.

Unlike board materials, vinyl rolls should be stacked vertically. If vinyl rolls are stacked horizontally on top of each other, the pressure can cause plasticizer migration, which will result in lines across the width of the material as you print.

Try to combine like materials together, such as a vinyl substrate with a vinyl laminate, so that they expand and contract in the same basic pattern. This is not as crucial for short-term applications of a month or less, but longer-term applications require closer attention to material compatibilities.

For instance, if you use a monomeric, economy vinyl with a foam board, the laminate will tend to come off the board rather quickly since a monomeric vinyl contracts in one direction, causing edge creep and delamination, particularly as the board begins taking on water and expanding and contracting with temperature fluctuations. An intermediate, polymeric vinyl laminate, on the other hand, expands and contracts in many directions, allowing it to “keep up” with the substrate underneath, extending the life of the graphic.

Clearly a Good Idea: Creating a Framed, Multi-Panel Display

Printing transportable displays

Lou Fiore, owner of Speedway Custom Photo Lab in Daytona Beach, Fla., came up with a unique way to create a six-panel display that Volusia County could take with them and hang up for presentations and trade shows.

The key to this display is in the almost-invisible means by which the panels are held together so that it’s one unit with six parts, equally spaced. Fiore used Clear Power Tabs, typically used as a substitute for banner corner grommets, to evenly space and keep the panels together as one piece.

“If you lay a Power Tab out straight, the loop in the tab is a half-inch on either side. They hang with these invisible connectors, which the customer thought was cool,” explains Fiore. “They wanted something versatile that they could take to trade shows and conferences. You can hardly see the connecting tabs, even if you’re standing in front of them. And as a bonus, because of the flexibility of the tabs, all six panels fold flat over each other to make it the size of a single panel for easy transport.”

Each panel is 3/16″ Ultra Mount foam core panel framed with plastic poster trim. The graphics were printed on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper with an Epson 9800 and laminated with GBC 5 Mil Octiva Lo-Melt Emboss 50 Laminate.