Translite printing, or backlit printing as it is sometimes known, is exactly as the name suggests. Unlike channel strips, coroplasts and end caps, translites depend upon two factors: the light source behind them and the quality of the translucent material. The best examples of this signage light up in a dazzling display, catching consumer attention and driving the point of sale. According to Translights, the name actually originated from the Eastman Kodak Company, in reference to its display film-like nature.

However, every good advertiser knows that there is no universal signage, no example of graphic display that works 100 percent perfectly in every situation. Translites are not an exception to this rule. While backlit displays can be captivating, the effect is often lost in broad daylight. Powering translite signage in sunlight will have little to no impact on customers, rendering the translite little more than a glorified poster.

Of course, there are times when this illuminated signage truly shines. Utilizing translite graphics properly can have noticeable and immediate payoff. When brands are looking to advertise their image through translites, they should examine these avenues:

When advertisements need to be outside
While uncovered translites can fade in the sun, they are still useful outdoor signage. Night brings with it an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Properly installed translite signage can be nothing short of a beacon in darkness, attracting the gaze of passersby through its effortless contrast with the backdrop.

However, even with this inherent advantage, placement still matters. Translites work best, as does most advertising, with a captive audience. Locations like bus stops and train stations often demand that consumers stand around and wait. While the mass adoption of the smartphone provides distraction, these waiting customers are still likely to look up at some point.

Translites are often used to give consumers vital information that may need to be understood at any time.
Translites are often used to give consumers vital information that may need to be understood at any time.

When using ads in spaces with low lighting
Bars, taverns and many restaurants often place a translite ad or two in dark corners, where customers can easily spot them. Given mood lighting, these places are often locales where translite advertisements can truly emerge.

Even in a fairly well-lit restaurant or diner, using a translite to highlight specials or sales is a terrific way to separate it from the rest of the menu. Vending machines come to mind, as well. While it is not often to see one just sitting at the edge of a sidewalk, these often translite-covered machines are typically under shade or at the ends of hallways, where their illumination can attract as much attention as possible.

When competing for attention 
Overhead restaurant menus aren’t the only location where information and advertisement come fast and furious. Trade shows, sports arenas and other public venues are often packed with graphic displays. In this crowded setting, it can pay to stand apart from the pack. Advanced signage like translites can give companies an edge.

However, once again location matters. If a booth or station is near the window, organizations may want to check the impact of sunlight. Translites are, of course, also dependent on the electrical setup of a venue.