Show Your Trade Show Stuff in the Exhibit Design Awards

Awards for the best trade show exhibitsEXHIBITOR Magazine announces that the 27th Annual Exhibit Design Awards is now accepting entries. The Exhibit Design Awards honor the world’s best exhibition designs and present its winners with custom trophies, international coverage in EXHIBITOR magazine, and bragging rights.

If you produce trade show graphics it’s a good idea to get the details (view the entry form here for complete details) and enter. The Exhibit Design Awards are worth their weight in marketing and PR gold. The early bird deadline is Nov. 16, 2012 ($140), and the final deadline is Nov. 30, 2012 ($185).

Categories include:

  • Before and After
  • Double-Deck
  • Excellent Elements/Applications
    • Components
    • Graphics
    • Materials
    • Product/Service Demonstration
    • Technology
  • Experiential Exhibits
  • Green Exhibits
  • In-Line
  • Interactive Exhibits
  • International Designer
  • International Exhibit
  • Island
  • Lighting Design
  • Peninsula
  • Self-Promotion
  • Small Booths
  • Small Budgets
  • Use of Storytelling

The 2013 competition will be judged by eight of the world’s most well-respected designers, including:

  • Sean Duran, vice president for exhibition and design, Miami Science Museum, Miami
  • Tom Graboski, principal, Tom Graboski & Associates Inc., Miami Beach, FL
  • Maricarmen Martinez, AIA, principal, Upstairs Studio Inc. Architects, Miami
  • Efrain Osorio, president and creative director, Designapolis, Miami
  • Laura Paresky Gould, principal, Twain Creative, Miami
  • Emilio Perez, vice president, SB Architects, Miami
  • Annette M. Piskel, founder and creative director, AMPdzine, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Michael Wolk, principal, Michael Wolk Design Associates, Miami

An entry form and additional information are available online at Or contact Linda Armstrong, senior writer and program manager, at

A Million and One Uses for Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric

Printing home decor with an inkjet printer

Okay. So the headline is a bit of an exaggeration. Still, print shops are finding various unorthodox ways of using Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric from LexJet.

Printing office and home decor with an inkjet printer
It looks real, but it's printed on Photo Tex and leads visitors to Spectra Imaging to find out more.

Brian Rogers, founder and CEO of Spectra Imaging in Louisville, Ky., recently took Photo Tex for a spin in his newly remodeled kitchen. A long-time user of the aqueous version of the material for commercial projects, Rogers started using the solvent version when he added solvent printers to the production mix this year.

“We love the solvent version because it’s more durable, and the color and saturation we get from it is superb,” says Rogers.

The idea to cover his kitchen walls with “slate” printed on Photo Tex was born of necessity and the intriguing faux environment he could create. Following the remodel, Rogers found that the kitchen would need to be re-painted. Instead of painting, Rogers decided to give the kitchen the custom wallpaper treatment with Photo Tex.

Printing corporate advertising
Spectra Imaging founder and CEO Brian Rogers says the graphics on these columns, printed on Photo Tex, were so seamless that passersby thought they were painted.

“We’ve done several bedrooms and a den with the same material and the applications have been remarkable,” says Rogers. “Photo Tex is very easy to work with and applying it is a breeze.”

As shown in the photos, Spectra Imaging has done a number of wall-oriented projects for its customers.

Spectra Imaging also features Photo Tex in its lobby and conference room. The larger-than-life images turn heads and lead to sales for similar applications.

Advanced Signs & Graphics Sticks with Versatile Wrap Vinyl

Vinyl for vehicle wraps
That's more like it... Nancy Tipton of Advanced Signs & Graphics says they can knock out a vehicle wrap in four to five hours with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl.

Nancy Tipton, owner of Advanced Signs & Graphics in Lancaster, Pa., recently had a vehicle graphics project where the client specified a certain type of vinyl. The problem was that the vinyl wasn’t LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl (it was a lot thinner, for one, says Tipton).

Wrapping a vehicle with graphics“We were wrapping the front hood and tried to heat and stretch it as we normally would and there was a huge color shift right off the bat: the green panel became light green. With Simple Flo you can pull it back up and heat it again if necessary, and you don’t get any color shift,” explains Tipton. “When we tried that with the other vinyl it tore, and our squeegee tore it too. We were frustrated with it and it made our install time twice as long because we had to be very careful with it. Also, we installed outside in a protected area, but as soon as the temp got up to 80 or higher the material really stretched. We’ve worked with Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl in 90-degree heat before and there were no issues with it stretching in the heat.”

Based on her experience, Tipton recommends factoring in the additional time it may take to get used to working with a vinyl that’s been specified that you haven’t worked with before.

“We have those installs down to four or five hours with Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, and with the other vinyl it took about three days. Plus, Simple Flo is priced right,” says Tipton. Tipton estimates that Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl is about 40 percent less expensive than the vinyl that was specified.

Printing signs on vinylAdvanced Signs & Graphics first started using Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl as a sign vinyl and then started doing vehicle graphics with it as demand for those types of projects rose. An example of a sign-type project that was a perfect fit for Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl is shown here.

This project needed to be wrapped over the board, over the top and sides and around the back, “kind of like you would wrap canvas over stretcher bars,” says Tipton. The board shown here was one of several sample boards used by sales reps to show different types of cabinetry knobs.

Selling Beer with Banner Stands

Printing banners for banner standsThere are a million and one ways to promote beer (or anything else for that matter) at the point of sale, but one way that’s often overlooked is the use of a simple retractable banner stand.

“They’re lightweight, portable and collapsible so that it’s easy for our account reps to take the banner stands from one place to another,” says Bob Korabek, POS designer for Caffey Distributing in Greensboro, N.C. “They’re also great for tight spaces. You can utilize them in small areas, like c-stores, where you can put them next to a beer display. And, since it’s retractable, you can also create a smaller banner that’s not as high if ceiling space is an issue.”

Korabek recently completed a couple of winning projects using retractable banner stands. One was a promotion for Blue Moon, which was tied into today’s (Aug. 31) astronomical event called, coincidentally, a blue moon (click here for another project with the blue moon promotional tie-in).

Using banner stands for point of sale displaysThe other banner was designed to be displayed in the entrance to sports bars, featuring the 2012 Carolina Panthers schedule. Since the schedule goes through the end of the year, it’s a perfect relatively long-term promotion that puts Miller front and center at least through December.

“For shorter promotions we can easily take out the previous promotion and re-use them for another one,” explains Korabek. “I just use the usual LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polypropylene that I get from LexJet for all my banners and apply Heavy Duty Banner Tape on the edges of the tall sides to strengthen the edges and prevent long-term curling possibilities.”

LexJet carries a full line of banner stands for any budget and any application. Here are three to check out initially:

XStand: Available in 24.5″ x 63.5″, 26.5″ x 71″ and 32.5″ x 71″ fits the bill for a cost-effective, lightweight indoor display. Click here to see the demonstration video.

MediaScreen 1: Available in 33 7/16″, 39 3/8″ and 60″ widths, this more-durable banner stand also includes a lifetime warranty and the telescoping pole adjusts the height from 63″ to 88 5/8″. Click here to view the demonstration video.

MediaScreen 3: Available in a 33 7/16″ width, this banner stand features changeable graphic cassettes so you can change the message in seconds, a lifetime warranty, a base that compensates for uneven floors, and more. Click here to see the demonstration video.

For all of the Display Hardware demonstration and how-to videos at LexJet’s YouTube channel, click here. And, if you’d like to read more about banner stand applications, tips on production and the right banner stand for the job, download LexJet’s educational white paper, Making the Most of Banner Stands, at

And, as always, if you need any additional help or information, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538. Happy Labor Day weekend!

Show off Your All-Star Exhibit Work in Exhibitor Magazine’s All-Star Awards

Exhibit design competitionEXHIBITOR Magazine announced its 15th Annual All-Star Awards, which are free to enter and due by Sept. 7, 2012. Though trade show exhibit managers and corporate event managers are eligible, suppliers (like graphics producers) are encouraged to submit entries on behalf of their clients.

Winners are featured in EXHIBITOR’s February issue, which EXHIBITOR says is read by more than 30,000 marketing professionals in the trade show, corporate event and meetings industries.

Winners also receive a free one-day pass to the EXHIBITOR SHOW, including three seminars, a Peer2Peer session, and admission to the exhibit hall and reception, valued at nearly $900. This could be a great relationship-building gift for your client when you nominate them. The EXHIBITOR SHOW will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, March 17-21, 2013.

The All-Star Awards honor exhibit and event managers who have developed innovative solutions that have improved their companies’ programs dramatically, achieving measurable, numeric results.

Members of EXHIBITOR’s Editorial Advisory Board, CTSM graduates and past winners will judge the competition.

To download the 2012 All-Star Award Entry Form, click here, and for more information about the Awards, including profiles of past winners, click here.