Frequently Asked Questions About Trade Show Fabric Graphics

If you have attended a trade show, convention, or event in the past four years, you have seen large, colorful fabric graphics. Fabric graphics have become the standard for most large format images. They are lightweight, vibrant, and durable, and are the perfect medium for trade shows, where every exhibitor wants minimal weight but still wants to make a big splash.

The options can be a bit overwhelming and getting more varied all the time. But for most of us, fabric graphics can be lumped into two categories: tension fabric or pillowcase graphics. The following is a convenient FAQ to get you quickly up to speed.

What is a tension fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to a frame so the fabric is taut edge-to-edge, creating "tension." Typically, the graphic has Velcro hook sewn along the border, usually top and bottom, and attaches to Velcro loop on the frame.

What is a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Think of a printed pillowcase with zippers. A pillowcase graphic wraps around a frame structure and the inner and outer sections zip together along the least obvious edge. This creates a tailor fit. Almost all hanging sign structures are wrapped in pillowcase fabric graphics.

How does a tension fabric graphic differ from a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to the frame, leaving the frame exposed. The fabric is held taut by attaching it to the frame using Velcro. Pillowcase graphics slip over the frame and hide the frame structure. The fabric is secured by a zipper (s).

What are the benefits of fabric graphics vs. traditional first surface graphics?

  • Flexibility . An array of fabric options and finishing exists. Fabric graphics can be adapted to just about any hardware
  • Storage and Shipping . Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. Fold your graphics neatly when in storage and take up much less space.
  • Care . Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are just as durable and long lasting as traditional graphics.
  • Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
  • Cost . More image bang for the buck!
  • Green . There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
  • No Glare . Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any background that is photographed or filmed.
  • Versatility . Fabric can be applied to most display and hardware options and is perfect for skinning or covering displays or objects. Custom covers can be created to drape over objects, wrap, or completely pillowcase them!

Do fabric graphics offer the same color saturation, vibrancy, definition, and overall image quality as other graphics?

Fabric not only matches other graphic options, it often excludes it. Dye sublimation equipment is more advanced than ever offering near continuous tone (limited by the texture of the material you choose) and exceptional detail created from high dpi outputs and sophisticated image patterns. Color is permanently dyed into the fabric creating a deep saturated image.

How do tension fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Tension graphics will typically have Velcro sewn into the perimeter, although there are other options such as a pole pocket connection with a spline or a silicon edge. The finish used is dependent on the frame system requirements and or customer preference.

How do pillowcase fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Pillowcase graphics are sewn a seam along the bottom edge of the frame to attach the inner and outer sides of the pillowcase. The top has zippers to secure the two sides with slots made to accommodate eye-bolt or hanging hardware. Depending on the size and shape of the frame, vertical zippers may also be necessary. The seams are sewn to the inside of the pillowcase to create a smooth, fitted finish.

What is the maximum size of a seamless tension graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

The maximum size depends on the fabric and printing process. In general, the maximum width varies from 118 "to 58" depending on the process.

What is the maximum size of a seamless pillowcase graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

All pillowcase graphics have seams, usually just at the top and bottom of the structure. However, some frames are too large to cover without a seam. Frames such as a tapered circle need to be pieced because the shape of the print is an arc, making it too large to print in one piece.

How should tension fabric graphics and pillowcase graphics be cared for?

It is recommended that graphics be zipped up, folded, and stored in a bag. You may spot clean by wiping with a damp cloth. If it is necessary to wash the graphic and it is small enough, use a commercial size front-loading washing machine. Wash on the gentle cycle, with cool water. It is VERY important that the graphic be ZIPPED during washing. Dry cleaning is not recommended.

To limit getting the graphic dirty during installation, keep the set-up area clean by using a drop cloth and wash your hands prior to set up. You may want to consider purchasing inexpensive white cotton gloves. Weaving the gloves while handling the graphic will minimize the transfer of dirt and oils to your graphic.

What is the preferred file set up for tension graphics and pillowcase graphics?

Files should be set up with at least 1 inch of bleed on all sides and marked with guides or crop marks to indicate art area versus bleed. The best file formats are Photoshop layered files, InDesign, Illustrator, or Quark documents. Files need to be set up as close to 100 percent as possible with a minimum resolution of 100 dots per inch.

Other things to consider are the live area, the diameter of the frames poles, and borders. If your critical art is too close to the edge of the frame, it may disappear as the graphic bends around the frame. Try to keep critical information 3 to 5 inches from the edge and either make borders wider or do not use borders.

Traveling Tips for Severe Weather

There is a lot of forethought that goes into a trip. You think about packing, plane tickets, travel time, what to do when you arrive. However, sometimes Mother Nature can spoil even the best travel plans. Thankfully, you can take steps to prevent her spoiling the vacation you worked so hard for. Weather can impact you on every level. From what you bring, to what you buy, to what you do after you arrive, to even arriving or leaving on time. It can also affect the vehicle you rent or take around. The following are a few helpful tips you can utilize to help ensure that the elements have very little negative affect on your trip.

First and foremost, try going during the most temperate time of the year. If you plan on traveling north, try to go in the summer, or spring. If you are traveling south, fall or even winter are pretty safe bets. You can also familiarize yourself with the weather patterns of the area you are going to. If you are going to Arizona or New Mexico, check to see if its monsoon season or if there is a drought currently taking place. If you are going to a place like New York or Chicago during the winter, check the snow patterns. Some places have consistent snowfall throughout the entire winter, starting either before you expect or ending long after.

You can also pack to prepare, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Normally you can buy whatever you need at your destination but a little forethought will help you avoid those unnecessary costs. Packing a heavy coat for winter states or a couple umbrellas for rainy states will go a long way in making sure you stay happy and you can spend your money on something you want rather than something you’ll end up needing.

Something else to consider is where you are staying. Make sure the hotel you are staying at is up to date and centrally located to the places you’d like to go. There are few things worse on a trip than having to spend it cooped up in four walls because a hurricane or blizzard suddenly hit. You can also rent a certain type of vehicle to help with your destination and needs. An SUV will come in handy if you are going somewhere that might have conditions that affect the road.

Finally, try and reach out to any local people in the area. They can sometimes be much more helpful than any website or television forecast. Your rental car company or hotel concierge should be able to provide you with a first-hand account of what you can expect weather-wise for your vacation. So, remember: research the area you are traveling to. Pack a light jacket, sensible shoes or a couple of ponchos. Look into your hotel location and accommodations and make sure your mode of transportation can handle most inclement weather. If you follow these simple tips, you should be ready for anything!

Business Coaching: Why Partnering With a Coach Makes Sense Now

As an entrepreneur, you want a lot: to grow your business in a way that feels authentic, to serve the right customers with the right products, to create a positive impact, while at the same time enjoying a meaningful and fulfilling life outside of your business. This can often feel quite daunting. You may find that you are spending countless hours doing, doing, doing without getting the results that you want and deserve. Business coaching is a business growth tool that is well worth your consideration. Let’s take a look at what it is and why it works.

A coach starts by getting to know and understand both you and your business. He or she will help you be very clear in defining what success looks like from your vantage point and then work with you to develop the vision, strategies, projects, goals, and timelines that-assuming you take action-will lead you to that success.

Business coaching is neither therapy nor pure consulting. The therapy model assumes that someone is broken and needs to be “fixed,” while a consultant may hand you a set of instructions that any generic business owner might follow. Coaching on the other hand is very personal and is relationship-based. Your coach will likely use a blend of encouragement, persuasion, and inspiration to keep you in action while you begin creating the results that you want.

Coaching works well when you are open to partnering with someone trained in helping business owners be their best. Professional coaches are particularly skilled in listening, strategizing, supporting, and keeping you on track with your tasks, projects, goals, vision, and dreams. And they do this without judgment of you and (importantly) without having a personal stake in the outcome. In this sense, your coach does what a spouse, business partner, or best friend can often have trouble doing: he or she is a completely objective third party who is 100% on your side.

The title of this article suggests that business coaching makes sense “now.” What do we mean by that? As a business coach, I naturally am predisposed to advocating coaching as a practical and effective tool under most circumstances. And yet, there is something happening right now in the autumn of 2010 that is in my opinion making coaching an even more compelling choice. Over the past month, I have been noticing that we are in a time of what I call congruent manifestation. That is simply a fancy way of saying that a lot of my coaching clients (and other people I know) are hearing “yes” over and over again. We seem to collectively be in a period of time during which it is easier to create the success that is possible when we are clear about what we want and take action aligned with that desire. From media deals to new jobs, to graduate school acceptance, to artists being awarded public grants, I am seeing people consistently hearing a big, resonant “yes!” to those outcomes that they are longing for and working towards.

So how about it? Are you ready to finally create the success that even now is out there waiting for you? It is my deep desire–whether you take advantage of what business coaching has to offer or not-that you will create a business and a life of deep fulfillment, service, and joy.

Everything You Need To Know About Shared And Reseller Hosting

Shared hosting or virtual hosting is when multiple websites share the same server. The advantage of using a shared hosting service is that it is highly cost effective. Dedicated hosting plans where only one website is hosted on a server are highly expensive.

A shared hosting server will have hundreds of websites on it. The arrangement still works out fine and all the websites get the resources they need because most websites do not attract a large number of visitors.

Who can use it?

Well, shared hosting is more than enough to meet the needs of most websites. It is ideal for personal websites and small or medium sized online businesses. It may not be the right option if you run a large e-commerce website that attracts millions of visitors every week.

How it works?

Shared hosting works on the basic assumption that most websites would not use a large portion of the disk space and bandwidth allotted to them. Most shared hosting providers will give you more disk space and data transfer than you will ever use. If all the websites on the server used their quota, shared hosting won’t work. In reality, however, few sites manage to exceed their quota. Most of them don’t even use even 10% of that. As a result of this the service provider will have lots of free space available on the server.

The only real problem with shared hosting arises when a hosting service provider decides to oversell. If the service provider allows thousands of sites to be on the same server, all the sites will be slow because they will be constantly fighting with one another for memory and bandwidth. Fortunately, most web hosts are sensible enough to prevent such a situation from happening in the first place.

Reseller web hosting

Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting which allows an account owner to resell the hard disk space and bandwidth he has purchased to third parties.

The reseller purchases huge amounts of hard drive space and bandwidth from a large web hosting provider and then sells them to customers, usually for a profit. Some resellers rent a dedicated server from a web host. Others simply resell shared hosting services. Most resellers are web design firms or web developers. Most web hosts allow resellers to create their own service plans and pricing structures. Some even offer customized control panels and servers.

You can be a reseller even if you are not an expert on the technical aspects of web hosting. Most resellers simply forward software, hardware and connectivity problems to the data center. However, they have to deal with other problems that their customers might experience.

Reseller hosting is suitable for small blogs and online businesses. Websites that receive high volumes of traffic shouldn’t opt for a reseller plan, simply because a reseller cannot give you more disk space or data transfer than what he has purchased. And because they host numerous websites, they will be forced to turn your site off if it consumes more resources than they can afford.