By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
Savvy print service providers (PSPs) are constantly on the lookout for new service offerings that improve revenue opportunity and increase the bottom line. In part one of this series, various manufacturers and distributors of graphic display hardware shared the benefits of stocking and selling display solutions.
However, it is also important to address the limitations of such solutions as well as investigate how vendors work with clients to lessen the restrictions through customization, variety, and new product development.
Certain job requirements limit what can be displayed in a banner, stand, or held by hardware—such as height, width, and weight of a graphic. Based on common needs and unique requests, manufacturers are often willing to work with a client to create the perfect solution for any graphic.
Frame & Stand Displays
For frame and stand display hardware, size and thickness is a limiting factor. However, the sheer volume of available options, as well as the manufacturers’ dedication to meeting new customer demands addresses many common restrictions and concerns.
Alpina Manufacturing LLC manufactures the Banner Grip frame, which is designed to display any large format graphic. “Our Banner Grip frames can display enormously large graphic sizes,” states Darius Augustine, GM, Alpina. Additionally the company silk screen imprints company logos and names on most of its frames and custom designs any extrusion or frame system.
While Wayne Colbath, national sales manager – southern U.S., Drytac Corporation, admits that banner stands are limited by size, many options are available to meet a range of needs. “We offer stands small enough to sit on a desk to stands ten feet wide or 9.5 feet tall—and many sizes in between,” he says. The company produces custom display stands for larger quantity orders.
Most of Expand International of America, Inc.’s products come in fixed sizes that accept traditional laminated or non-laminated graphic panels that can be rolled up. However, Ed Fedorowich, marketing coordinator, Expand, says many of the displays are also designed to accept fabric graphics. “The biggest limitation we face is the thickness of the graphic panel for our roll up displays. If the graphic is too thick—typically over 18-mil—it can fill up the base causing the graphic not to retract fully,” he cautions.
To work around size restrictions, Expand offers several products—including Expand BannerStand, Expand MediaScreen XL, Expand 2000, Expand MediaWall, and Expand LinkWall—that can be linked together to create a virtually endless message. These displays can be added, subtracted, and repositioned to fit the requirements or limitations of the event space.
Another limitation is the location of an event. “For example, it if is located outdoors than special displays and substrates must be chosen so that they can handle elements like prolonged exposure to the sun, rain, or the biggest challenge—wind,” points out Fedorowich.
Expand’s products are either spring-loaded, designed to spin with the wind’s direction, use weighted bases, or are a combination of these features. Additionally, the company provides special printing techniques on substrates that are designed to resist fading, water, and wind.
The company offers the Expand InfinitaSystem, which is customizable to almost any length, size, and shape. “It uses a fabric graphic sewn with silicone edge that inserts into a groove on the frame. We have a product designer and manufacturing in house for this product,” adds Fedorowich.
Russell Krouse, Midwest sales, Expolinc Corp., agrees that certain products come with limitations. “If someone buys a 33-inch retractable stand, they will always have a 33-inch retractable stand. The same goes for most products. It is not always a negative though,” he points out. “Some people have a specific job in mind for products like ours. If it is part of a trade show booth, lobby signage, or directional signage, chances are the hardware will keep that role for its lifetime.”
By offering a variety of products, Expolinc helps clients overcome limitation issues. “Our Roll Up Classic comes in 160 different configurations. So, while it is not as adaptable after it is purchased, it can meet a very specific need if necessary. Another example is our Pole System. It is a banner stand with a variable height pole from 39 to 96 inches and widths from 21 to 57 inches,” says Krouse. The benefit of the product is the ability to change the size with every new graphic. “Unlike a roll up, you are not stuck at 33 inches for the lifetime for the product, nor are you limited to a standard height pole,” he points out.
In regards to custom-built offerings, Krouse says custom is synonymous with creative. “There is no such thing as an out-of-the-box custom solution. The words out-of-the-box and custom cancel each other out. Here at Expolinc we work with resellers to meet needs that might call for an off-the-shelf solution or something a little more custom. We will modify anything we can to create the ideal result,” he says.
ImageOne Impact offers a variety of display hardware. “If you need display banner media, we have a few options for you. If you’re looking to display corrugated plastics or foam boards, we have several options for you there also,” says Dave Harris, VP/GM, ImageOne Impact. “Limitations in size and weight are always an issue, as buyers are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck. Printers need to be aware of all of their display hardware options so they can fit size and quantity into the mix of budget,” he adds.
In regards to basic retractable or spring-back stands, graphics can be limited to a specific width and height, based on the chosen model. “Many times our clients work within the parameters of limitations. If they can’t, we work with them to choose an alternate solution,” says Jennifer Corn, product line manager, LexJet Corporation.
Corn points out that there is a trend to offer products that are variable in height or that work as a group to give a paneled appearance when taller or wider options are required. “While these solutions may be higher priced than a basic banner stand, they do fill a specialty niche and help overcome any limitations a customer may encounter,” she explains.
Mary Geesman, display sales, Paradigm Imaging Group, notes that Paradigm offers several sizes and heights of banner stands. If a customer needs something that is outside of the standard, the company tries to come up with an alternative.
Marc Tacke, business development manager, VKF Renzel USA Corp., says it also works with clients to find a solution that is best for a project. “First, we listen to our clients’ requirements and requested solutions. Then, we work within our clients’ specifications to find solutions that fit,” he says. Solutions range from PVC pockets that hold plain paper to snap frames that hold a wider range of media.
In addition to frames and displays, standoffs are another presentation option. For this hardware, it is important that PSPs adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Gyford StandOff Systems advises a connection point every two feet for most of its hardware. “This rule depends on the material being displayed and the overall project design. The limitations always vary and our client solutions specialists are experts in providing the correct information depending on the project,” says Lauren Lake, marketing coordinator, Gyford.
Lake adds that as long as the product is mounted correctly, it can be used in just about any application. “There are certain things we don’t recommend, like hanging glass over a public walkway with one set screw. As long as our clients communicate what they are trying to do, as well as the environment the installation will be in, we offer the right connections and mounting options for the project to be successful.”
David Pountney, director, Pizazz Display Systems, notes that its mono•mount and multi•mount standoff systems are used for displays up to a full sheet size. “They accommodate most user applications and accordingly limitation problems are rare,” he states.
Manufacturers are often willing to work with clients to find the perfect solution. If there is enough repeat demand, it is not unusual that these products are then added to the stock portfolio.
Lake notes that Gyford recently launched a few new products because of regular customer requests. “Our new shelf hub, used primarily to create shelving, was a custom part and now it is a stock part,” she says.
VKF Renzel’s Tacke says the company works to expand its product line to include custom products as a standard item. “For example, a client approached us to create a sign holder for their liquor store that could be used on stacked liquor cases. They wanted the sign protected and to look better than paper taped to a box. This item—Case Stacker—is now part of our standard inventory.”
A Wealth of Options
Display solutions provide an enhanced product. It is important to understand the available options, stock standard selections, and know where to go for custom solutions. Adding display hardware as part of a graphic package helps improve customer satisfaction and leads to repeat clients.
Jan2014, Digital Output DOFH1401