Translite Graphics

Translite (or translight) graphics are displays that utilize a light source from behind the graphic to shine through the material and ink to make the printed image illuminate. These graphics are best utilized for low-light or nighttime advertisements to be naturally eye-catching.

Translite graphics are also commonly known as backlit graphics or lightbox signs (among many other names). Given the nature of the illuminated display, a quality translite printed image must be vibrant to the point of being oversaturated with color. This process is to prevent the image from looking dull or washed out when finally displayed.

Common  alternative names for translite graphics: Backlit Graphics, Lightbox Sign, Translucent Graphic, Translight Graphics


Translite graphic printing is commonly seen in public advertising and branding efforts. Common applications include:

Point-of-Purchase (POP) Retail Environments: Many stores and warehouse clubs with high ceilings have enough light for the consumer to shop but are actually quite dark inside especially between aisle shelving if light lumens were measured. Translite graphics can be used to really catch the attention of a consumer in these applications. See more about POP Graphics.

Bars, taverns and public houses: Establishments that primarily sell alcoholic beverages frequently turn down their lighting. This ambiance makes translite graphics ideal as the signage stands out to the consumer’s eye.

Exterior bus, train and trolley stations: Translite printing is well-suited to the outdoors as it can adapt to changing lighting conditions. Because passengers frequently wait at these locations without much else to do, it is a perfect time to capture their attention. Without an illumination, the outdoor signage would be unreadable from dusk to dawn.

Interior deli, diner and fast food menus: Despite better lighting conditions, translites help restaurants convey vital point of purchase information inside the venue. Given the surrounding lighting, menus and pictures of their new available items must also be lit up so that consumers can properly read them and view them from a distance.

Vending machines: Seeing an illuminated image of a soda can in a train station or rest center immediately alerts weary passengers that refreshments are available. Given that vending machines can be inside or outside and operate at all hours or day, translite printing is ideally suited to promoting these units.

Store or mall signage: Retail locations need vibrant ways to catch consumer attention once they’re within store grounds. Translites can highlight crucial items or provide vital informational signage like a mall directory.


Translites are affected by a host of factors, including surface printing. Graphics printed on clear materials can be printed on the front (1st surface) or in a reflected mirror orientation on the back of the material (2nd surface), which changes the effect of the illumination. How translucent a white material is – or how much whiteness it still retains after being backlit- can also impact illumination effectiveness. 

As an example, there are many grades of white acrylic designed to dissipate the light differently which show the printed colors differently. In addition, advertisers and other users need to keep in mind that distance matters. Light from the source needs some distance to spread properly and illuminate the translite. Positioning the light source too close to the back of the image can create a hotspot (brighter area than the rest of the image), reducing effectiveness and potentially damaging the signage. Lighting the graphic from the edge of the material is also possible, but this procedure is material-dependent and requires expertise.

Proper translite graphic printing, while still budget-conscious, can take added time and effort due to the need to oversaturate the images. NGS Printing uses the state-of-the-art Inca Onset X and Fuji Acuity F combination, which we believe gives us high-quality production within a short time. Typical translite materials include translucent polystyrene, polycarbonate or LEXAN, acrylic, PETG and backlit banners.


At NGS Printing, we use only the best materials and equipment to create quality translite graphics for your signage needs. Our staff has the experience and the dedication to bring forth the premier signage on the market. At NGS Printing, we’re committed to the ideal that we’ll under promise and over deliver on product quality.

Constructed most commonly using: Translucent Polystyrene, Polycarbonate/Lexan, Acrylic, PETG, Backlit banner

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