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The use of PVC for Graphics Displays – an argument against


There is definitely a huge variety of graphic displays mechanisms available on the market these days. China is a huge exporter to all countries and there are also a few local “made in SA” manufacturers who produce good quality.

The bottom line is

1. All mechanisms come from the same source. Whether you buy from so-and-so printers – they get their mechanisms from the same place that everyone does….and they all tend to be very similar if not from the same source.

2. The main primary difference is service. How well do you get looked after and given proper advice. Do you have to seek them out or are they ready and available to come to you. Do they sell you something you dont really need.

3. What method of printing is being employed?

4. How fast can they turn the job around?

If a company sells portable displays and they do inhouse printing they have a price advantage, but only in the print types they use. Any specials they run will always be in what print method they do inhouse. eg: Ferrari PVC (a non curl PVC which is also cheap is a favourite) but it is not a good material for 3 reasons:

a. The colour rendition is poor and dull

b. It is very heavy compared to other substrates available.

c. It cannot be washed easily and scratches badly

So what then is the answer?

It is estimated that 2010 will see a 10 fold increase in the use of fabric to print onto.  In particular diesublimation and also direct printing onto materials as diverse as metal sheeting, glass, cotton, plastic…anything really.

The benefits of fabric are that display systems can be far lighter ie: by using a cotton based material the print weighs next to nothing and can be machine washed and generally manhandled far more than PCV!

Exhibition stands can be created using fabric prints rather than timber walls with vinyl prints applied. Exhibits will be cheaper to make and install and also far more re-usable.

So when you are looking for a portable display consider that although the price quoted may be 5 or 10% cheaper it is also likely to give you more problems.  Look for a company that offers both exceptional service, but also one that is honest and gives advice that you need, not what they need to keep their turnover up and keep their outlet running. Get 3 quotes and compare them based on “apples-vs-apples”  rather than price.

There is only 1 company i would use in South Africa as my print partner as they do not try sell me something i dont need. They always give me honest advice and although they may not be the cheapest (by a very very very small margin) the long-term benefits of our relationship with them far outweigh the short term benefit that is price. Their expertise is second to none and their staff are a pleasure to deal with. Graphic Laminates has been my prefered print partner choice for 14 years and as such in conjunction with them we are able to offer the most comprehensive range of printing services on the Garden Route.

Combining their print expertise with our knowledge of portable displays and exhibitions stand we are able to offer the best service and widest range of products across the display market right here on the Garden Route. Not only that, but we also have offices in cape town and in fact operate country wide.

if you need a portable display delivered to your door in 2 days flat from supply of artwork give us a call. a 2 week delivery period does not exist in our world.

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