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For printing, position yourself as the expert

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Fabric graphics can open the door to new opportunities and repeat business. The key is to match the customer with the correct solution. “The client shares with us what they are looking for, and we recommend the best print method, application and fabric to give the desired result,” says Jim Knoche of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc., St. Louis, Mo. “We help clients visualize the graphics on the end product by providing renderings prior to making final decisions.”

“Often the fabricator or end product manufacturer may not have all the answers to these questions,” says Glen Raven’s Mike VonWachenfeldt, “but perhaps their print provider or the Fabric Graphics Association can help provide those answers and steer them in the right direction.”

To make the best recommendation for your customer, ask questions such as:

  • Are printed graphics applications allowed in the intended setting? If so, are specific permits required?
  • Is odor emission a concern?
  • What is the end use? That is, will the final product be used indoors or outdoors?
  • Are there special handling requirements?
  • Does the fabric need to be flame retardant?
  • How long must graphics hold up?

Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Fabric Graphics. She splits time between home bases in Pine City, Minn., and Joshua Tree, Calif.

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