Framing systems are an excellent addition to any print service providers’ (PSPs’) shop. They add revenue in a variety of ways and are simple to construct. These products come in many sizes, materials, and finishes. Specific frames work best with certain mediums—from fabric to vinyl. Also, the option to adhere via magnets, velcro, or tape varies between frames. The first article in this series examined some of the advantages of framing systems for both the end user and the PSP. Part two investigates some of the products available today.
Access Display Group, Inc. offers three types of framing systems. SwingFrame swings open to change printed graphics, posters, and other signage. The patented, enclosed system features hidden hinges and a gravity lock. Top and Side Load Frames allow graphics to be dropped in from the top or side. SwingSnap aluminum frame snaps open and close. Wall mounted, it allows graphics to be front loaded while on the wall. Spring-loaded stainless steel clips within the two-part frame system keep the unit shut tight and the inserted graphic wrinkle free.
Advanced Innovative Technologies, LLC manufactures fabric_frame, an aluminum extrusion system. The frames are either be wall mounted, floor supported, or free standing. No equipment is required for graphics installation. Fabric is cut, and then a silicone gasket is sewn into the graphic. The silicone gasket is pushed into a grove in the extrusion. Corners and the balance of the fabric are then inserted.
Alpina Manufacturing LLC produces a variety of frame styles. The FlipUp line requires flipping open the frame, inserting a graphic, then the frame flipping closed. With Slide-In frames, graphics slide in. The Banner Grip frame stretches out a banner for smooth presentation. Alpina also supplies frames with magnetic, double-sided tape, velcro, gridwall, and slatwall backings.
Artgrafix features Visual V-Klic Front Opening Frames in sizes up to 36x48 inches. The aluminum front loading frame resists weather and pollutions. End users open the frame, remove a plastic plexiglas protective sheet, and lay the print into the frame.
Drytac Corporation’s DES series of edge finishers provide graphics with a polished look. For example, the DEC-6 provides C profile edging to straight-edged display boards and digitally cut shaped boards. Precise glue application, edging feed, and cutting are capable due to a programmable logic controller. The company suggests furniture, shelving, and display structures as applications applicable to this device. Edging widths are available in 3/8 and 7/8 inches and colors include red, blue, black, white, gold, and chrome.
Innova Digital Art distributes the patented JetMaster Display Systems. The frame is made from pH neutral, recycled corrugated board, with an acid-free adhesive layer that accepts a wide range of paper, textile, and canvas. To attach the print, the release liner is removed from the frame exposing a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer. The print is lined up and pressed onto the adhesive. Once attached, the corners are trimmed with scissors or a utility knife. The frame is then folded, rear corners are secured with tape, a back panel is attached, and the project is ready to hang. Sizes are available in up to 16x20 inches and a 24x36-inch version will be introduced in 2011.
ProEDGE Systems.com is the U.S. patent holder of fastframer. There are three models available—wall mount, desktop, and stand alone. fastframer is in its fourth generation and its moldings are available in 50 variations, including ProFlexx, one of the industry’s first flexible framing components that can be installed on circular-, oval-, and arch-shaped graphics. All of the equipment and accessories necessary to fabricate and then attach the ProEDGE frames to a mounted print are included in a start up kit. This includes a mitering tool, a nipping tool to cut off the excess frame, a glue applicator, and special welding glue.
SuperStructure Systems Inc. manufactures two types of framing systems. The XLG framing system mechanically tensions a vinyl graphic, while FAB frames are designed to easily accept a front-loaded fabric print. The XLG’s tension bar slides into a two-inch pocket found in a vinyl graphic and is then mechanically fastened with bolts into a side channel. FAB frames utilize a silicone strip gasket, which is pushed into a channel on the frames. Graphics are finished by surge stitching a silicone strip to the underside of a print.
VersaFrame.com offers modular frame systems that are custom designed and manufactured for a wide range of customers according to their needs and specifications. Materials are placed between two sheets of acrylic panes and the panes slide into frame channels with little effort. VersaFrame channels limit materials to approximately 3/8-inch without acrylic panels or 1/8-inch with the panels.
Beyond frames, some vendors now offer innovative non-traditional options for displaying graphics. Visual Magnetics offers a system that employs magnets to mount graphics to a wall, the Visual Magnetic Graphic System. With this system, PSPs provide customers with a framed or un-framed system. The solution consists of an InvisiLock Sheet Magnet backer that is applied to a surface, as well as printable magnetic-receptive media.
InvisiLock Sheet Magnets are not limited to flat surfaces. For example, they can be used on columns and fixtures. The backer is available in an adhesive-backed version that sticks directly to the surface, or a double-sided non-adhesive version, which allows the media to be repositioned. The non-adhesive version requires the application of Active Wall magnetic-receptive primer.
The Visual Magnetics Graphic System has saved large companies between 30 and 70 percent, due to reduced shipping and installation costs. “This leads clients to print more often due to the reduced costs and transcended to more sales for the print provider,” says Joe Deetz, president/CEO, Visual Magnetics.
Framing systems add to the value, look, ease, and longevity of digitally printed graphics. Depending on the need of the customer—based on substrate request, how the frame will attach to a wall, and estimated cost—there is a solution available. PSPs should educate themselves on all of the options, to be able to present the best scenario to the client.