When marketing a product or brand, one of the best ways to attract the attention of any passersby is to utilize translite graphics. Translites -often referred to as backlit graphics – steal attention through the use of illumination and how your eye naturally focuses on light over darkness. Ideal for public advertising and branding efforts, such as vending machines, fast-food menus, taverns and point-of-purchase retail locations, translite graphics are backlit so prints illuminate regardless of the natural lighting conditions.
Whether in malls, point-of-purchase displays, food courts, train stations or downtown retail districts, backlit graphics are just about everywhere. It’s for good reason, too, as they’re particularly well-suited for day or nighttime viewing. At the same time, though, they aren’t all built the same, their level of vibrancy often influenced in the development process.
That’s why it’s important to work in concert with your printer so they know exactly where your signage will be located, for what purpose and what the natural lighting conditions will be.
That being said, here are a few suggestions that will help ensure the picture or message depicted via translite graphics truly shine – in more ways than one.
Understand that there are several substrate options
Acrylic has a variety of advantages when used as a printed material. This is particularly true when it comes to translite graphics because of its translucency. However, there are several different types of material to choose from including translucent polystyrene, translucent banner and fabrics.
Acrylic is the material of choice when looking for a rigid material because there are a variety of levels of translucency to meet the need of your light source and image. For example, one of the more common options is called Acrylic #2447. Highly versatile and impact resistant, Acrylic #2447 comes in different color schemes, which for backlit graphics is ideally white. Selecting the correct one is a function of where the light source is positioned in relation to the print and the strength of the light itself. Acrylic #2447 also comes in different levels of thickness, which naturally yield smaller amounts of translucency depending upon the thickness.
For instance, white acrylic that is 1/8th of an inch thick results in 50% light transmittance, while 3/16th emits 42%. It’s ultimately a delicate balancing act, pairing the level of translucency with the light source from behind and the thickness of the acrylic. Working with your printer directly will help you decide not only on the appropriate depth but the acrylic as well, as #7328 can also be effective and has a different level of opacity. Additionally, choosing a material that is not opaque enough will show the light source behind the image and you’ll lose the white in the graphic.
Be mindful of how translucency affects color
Shamrock green. Firetruck red. Daffodil yellow. Periwinkle blue. These are just a handful of the litany of shades. Regardless of their name, It’s important to understand that translucency can alter the desired color of your translite graphics, as a higher level of light transmittance can make images appear more washed out.
Ambient light can also alter the hue. A way to counteract this is by oversaturating the image, which is something your printer will be able to handle. A heavier inkload helps to compensate for both ambient light as well as the light box itself. Again, by being as detailed and specific as possible about the color that you want, your printer will have a better understanding of what manufacturing strategies to implement. If you need to match another print, color shade, or have a goal in mind, be sure to share any samples you have or Pantone colors you need matched in advance.
Opt for digital printing to enhance imagery
Digital printing is increasingly the standard among printers these days, as it helps to produce a more realistic, vibrant quality to signage. Digital and screen printing is especially effective for translite graphics because it helps counteract some of the downsides of this signage system.
There used to be an “all or nothing” element to translite graphics, meaning that if you wanted one portion of the print illuminated, everything else had to be as well. That’s not the case at NGS Printing. Our digital and screen printing capabilities allow for only certain areas of the design to light up if desired. We do this by printing layers of white and black to build opacity to areas of the design that we want to block out. This is a unique style of backlighting that many POP display companies use to illuminate a logo but not the background, for windows in the house but not the dark night sky.
At NGS Printing, we have the experience, resources and capabilities to make your translite graphics vivid and naturally eye-catching. Through our Inca Onset X and Fuji Acuity F premium equipment and experienced personnel with decades of experience, trust NGS Printing to get the job done right. Contact us for your next signage project. We can produce the results you have to see to believe.