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.

Food and Tea in China

Chinese food is a very popular type of food among American's and has become a favorite to many. With this in mind, many people consider going to China to experience the food directly from China. The food alone in China makes China a top travel destination. However, it is to be of no surprise that the Chinese food in China is very different from the Americanized Chinese food available within the United States.

The quality of rice available in China is much different than anywhere else across the globe. China has an abundance of rice fields, making rice readily available within the country. Rice is one of the main dishes in any Chinese meal.

There are several different locations in China to visit for various dishes you might like to try. Beijing is well-known for their Peking duck. However, Shanghai is famous for their pork buns. It is all dependent on what it is you are looking for as to what area of ​​China you would be pleased the most within your travels abroad to China.

However, some food customs in China are very different than anywhere an American traveler would be used to. In most parts of China, soups are served after the meal. However, the Cantonese do serve soup before the meal.

Aside from the Chinese food us Americans have grown to love China for, China is also famous for their tea. They are most famous for their jasmine and green tea. So, while in China, do not pass up the opportunity to taste their tea.

Homeschooling Young Children? Here Are 5 Key Benefits to Adding a Good Art Program

Homeschooling your children? I assume this means you want the best for your kids. An opportunity to give your children a rich multi sensory, personalized type of education ……… Is art included in your curriculum?

If you want the best type of education for your children then ART must be included in your day to day curricular activities

When I say good art I am not talking about the standard traditional arts and crafts that is done in so many preschool and kindergarten classes all over the world. That may be something you do with your kids on a spur of the moment thought when a Holiday is coming up, or you need to make something for Grandma.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

Nope, you left that. You left that along with the traditional world of education because you wanted something better for your kids, something that they cant get in most traditional classes with upwards of 20 kids …..

You probably spend quite a bit of time looking for curriculum on line for your homeschooling curriculum and that's great because you get to choose what and how your kids will be learning.

You do not even realize how necessary and valuable it is for your kids to make sure that there is a solid art program being integrated with the rest of your homeschooling curriculum.

Many parents have some kind of vague ideas about why we give our kids art and some of its benefits.

Oftentimes traditional preschool teachers have just as vague ideas and below are some of the reasons I've heard from some traditional educators, preschool teachers as to why they give their students arts and crafts

  1. They need the children to remember their lessons and figure that an art project will help them do that
  2. They want them to learn to follow directions so they give them step by step directions on how to follow cookie cutter art projects
  3. They need to fill up time in the day, so what better way than an art project
  4. They claim that this is what the Mothers want

So tell me Moms, you are some of the mothers they are talking about (well maybe you're not actually really not since your kids are being schooled) but is this really what you want?

Do you want your kids to follow cookie cutter instructions that turn them into little robots for them to make projects that look exactly like everyone elses?

No! I did not think so.

But I do think that you may not know any alternatives and in working so hard trying to put together some good homeschooling curriculum for your children sometimes art gets lost in the shuffle and that's too bad.

That's too bad because art gives adds such depth to any curriculum that it would be a crying shame when you have the opportunity at home to give such great activities to have your children lose out on these experiences.

Art is not only fun, it's lifesaving and life building and I would like to share with you 5 reasons for you to include really good art into your homeschooling curriculum

  1. Art helps build physical coordination. Art is good for both gross motor coordination and fine motor coordination. Gross motor coordination, the development of large muscle is not only helped by things like ball playing and beam balancing but young children also use their arms during art with wide sweeping movements ans they paint and draw that help build those large muscle. Of course fine motor coordination is better understood as benefit ted from art .. Cutting, gluing, painting, drawing. Your child's small fingers are developing each time they use these art tools
  2. Emotional development – There is no question that art can help a child through many difficult emotional experiences. If a child is jealous of a new baby sibling, she or he can pound on some clay and color furiously instead of pounding on the baby herself. Children also end to use art to work through issues that bother them such as a death in the family, a fire or other disturbing event. (I once taught little girl who had a fire in her home and for weeks that's all she talked and drew and painted about until she calmed down.)
  3. Intellectual development (often known as cognitive development). Children learn to make sense of their world as they use art to count, classify, sort, make their own decisions and learn to follow directions without doing cookie cutter art.
  4. Creativity … Of course children's creativity takes a flying leap if they are allowed to do art that allows them to create at their own level, which allows them to be creative in more ways than one
  5. Integrating curriculum And last but not least art in a home school curriculum can help integrate the curriculum and help them learn. Children learn best through their senses and the more art is integrated with the homeschooling curriculum the more their learning will stay with them.

What Can You Do When Your Mind Refuses To Write Your Sales Letter?

You need to write a sales letter but you can not find the words, the harder you try the less comes to mind. In the end you're left miserably staring at a blank piece of paper – What can you do?

Many people have told me that they face this kind of problem when it comes to writing their sales letter. No matter how hard they try and think about writing their letter they just can not seem to get things moving.

It's really frustrating and can happen to us all from time to time but there's a great way to get those ideas flowing and break out from the mental blocks. Let me ask you something first though …

Do you know your product?

I mean really know your product.

You see in order to be able to sell something you really have to know it in intimate detail. For instance how can you sell the benefits of Liposuction without you are a woman who's actually been through the process?

What do you know about it apart from heresay? You do not know whether there's any pain involved or whether there's a special diet you need to eat afterwards.

Do you know what feeling there is immediately after the operation? Do you look into the mirror and see the hour glass figure you were dreaming about before you went for the op, if not how do you feel deep down?

Are there feelings of anger and dismay or is there a deep sense of ecstasy as you look out and see the real you that was hiding inside that tired old body all the time?

Only someone who has really experienced those first fearful glances can honestly tell this with an emotion that rings true.

This is why you have to know every little thing that you can about your product before you sit down and try to write your sales letter.

Knowing and loving your product gives you the burning passion to tell all the world about it and is the first step in overcoming the dreaded blank screen that so many sit in front of for hours on end, unfortunately trying to write their sales letter.

So the first thing you need to do is to get hold of your product and fall in love with it – that means you actually have to go and buy, borrow or test drive it.

Look, you're going to be writing a story form your heart telling me exactly why I should buy your product from you. If you do not know and love it how can you in all truth and honesty tell me to buy it?

Ok, go and get your product, take it in your hands and start to use it. If it's a book read it, if it's a car drive it – Do whatever you have to do to get to know your product in the most minute detail.

Next list the reasons why it'll help me in my life – Will it help me make more money or will it help me get from A – B more quickly and in greater comfort?

How heavy is it? Is it easy to use? Does it have any weaknesses?

List everything down the good and the bad.

You need to understand why and how I will benefit from it, also why I should buy it from you instead of from somebody else.

An easy way to do this is by brainstorming.

The way you do this is to take a blank piece of paper and draw a small cicle in the middle, write your product's name in the middle of the circle.

Now it's time for you to get the magic going!

Look at the name of your product and write the very first thing that comes into your mind down on the paper.

Draw a line radiating out from the circle and write your thought at the end of that line.

Do not think or worry about spellling, just write. As Soon as you've finished writing one thought another will be there, draw another line and write that thought down also.

Soon you'll have so many thoughts hitting you that you will not be able to keep up – Just keep on going until you have nothing left inside your head.

This is such a stimulating exercise that it'll often leave you panting for breath!

Once you've finished all you need to do is look at what you've written and make a list of all the great ideas you have. List them in order of importance.

Now you have the outline for your letter.

Use the most important reason on the list, the main reason why I should buy your product (this is the largest benefit of your product) and turn this into a sensational headline.

Allow the ideas on the list to flow into your sales letter using sub-headlines when you need to emphasize a point, soon your letter will have almost written itself.

Finally, when you write your letter remember to only write it to one person at a time – make it personal!

That's it for now, go and grab your product, fall in love with it and start to list the reasons why I should buy it.

Go on do it Now!

Copyright 2006 Stuart Elliott