By Kelly Morris
Rainier Industries has a long history of providing its customers with high-quality graphic products, and an even longer history in shelter and shade solutions. Our digitally printed Ad Shades are a unique blend of these two products, designed to maximize brand identity with the benefits of interior and exterior screens. Our Ad Shade Screen Systems team up with eye-catching graphics and energy saving protection from the sun to help save business owners money.
In many cases, depending on local code requirements, sign permits can be avoided because the graphic or signage is not permanently affixed to the building. Retailers, museums and sports complexes have discovered the benefits of Ad Shades as a cost-effective solution to graphics and signage.
Choosing a design or photo for a printed screen depends greatly on the type of environment. For example, a retail client would benefit from an Ad Shade designed for additional signage and advertising. A large-format product photo, logo or graphic image that “pops” can really help draw customers into the store. Restaurants with Ad Shades are more likely to utilize a subtle image or design to enhance the environment, without too much distraction.
The Rainier design team sets up an image to print on a Durst printer using environmentally friendly UV inks printed directly to screen mesh. File setup is not much different for mesh than for other vinyls. Prepress technicians work closely with our fabric shop to ensure there is enough bleed for the material to wind through roller tubes in a retractable screen. Screen mesh edges are finished with a heat weld rather than a hem.
There are many different brands of mesh or screen materials available for printing. We prefer Ferrari Vision, which lies flat on the printer. It’s white on the print surface and charcoal color on the backside, which allows for better viewing from within the store.
Our Durst printers utilize white ink, so we are able to print on any color fabrics, such as Ferrari Soltis. Because the material is partially open, the printer requires a “mesh kit” to help protect the printer’s platen (the metal plate that contains a vacuum for suction across the area where ink is laid down). When a mesh kit is installed, the platen drops down and a “trough” is installed to collect the ink that comes through the open areas.
PCC Natural Food Markets incorporate Ad Shades in several of its locations to provide an artistic feature to the exterior of the stores, while shading cashiers and merchandise. In addition to exterior and interior screen systems, a few clients have used printed mesh in other applications. The awning outside the University of Arizona bookstore incorporates printed mesh with mist spray to help cool off patrons entering and exiting the store. The Los Angeles County Museum used a Rainier Retractable Banner System and large-scale printed mesh banner on a building façade that created an impactful architectural enhancement and event promotion. For really wide applications, we utilize Verseidag Supreme mesh, which is available five meters wide.
Rainier Ad Shades deliver a product that can increase sales through brand promotion and reduce glare and cooling costs. The possibilities are endless with a range of materials that can retain digitally printed vibrant color, withstand the elements, provide shade, reduce energy, market businesses and enhance otherwise ordinary window coverings.