PROTECTING THE BANNER

A thin pressure sensitive adhesive overlaminate can be used to protect most banners except for vinyl. Applying laminates to one side of a banner may result in inwards curling and adhesion failure. It is recommended to pretest all protectants on a sample of the banner before applying to the final project. Spray or roll on protectants can also be used but may not provide uniform coverage.

FINISHING EDGES

If the banner is not laminated, stitch hem side up to avoid scratching the image. For maximum reinforcement, use a double stitched hem with a double lock stitch and a maximum of 5 stitches per inch. Recommended thread for sewing is size 69 Nylon (or Poly) Bonded.

SEWING

If the banner is not laminated, stitch hem side up to avoid scratching the image. For maximum reinforcement, use a double stitched hem with a double lock stitch and a maximum of 5 stitches per inch.

BANNER TAPE

Apply high tack banner tape to the back of the banner. Fold the edges over and press securely. It is recommended to pretest banner tape before applying to the final project.

INSTALLING GROMMETS & REINFORCING CORNERS

Install grommets every 2’ in the hemline along the length of the banner so that the grommet goes through both layers of the banner. For added durability and strength, reinforcements can be made with 2” to 3” patches of nylon, adhesive grommet tabs or an additional piece of the banner. Grommets should go through all corner layers.

CUTTING WIND SLITS

Cutting wind slits on scrim banners over 10’ is an option. Cut 6” wind slits in the shape of a half moon, in the direction of the letter U, approximately 2’ apart across the center of the banner.

HANGING

Corners can be secured using the installed rope, bungee cords or zip ties. Apply equal tension on all 4 corners assuring the banner is taut but not tight. Too much tension can result in premature failure. The banner should not flap in the wind.

The most effective way to hang a banner from a ceiling is to use pole pockets. Pole pockets are sewn or welded into the top and bottom edges of the banner and rigid poles are inserted into these openings. Attach wire, cable or rope to the top pole and the fastening to the ceiling. Inserting a pole into the bottom pocket adds weight keeping the banner rigid and flat.

WATER RESISTANCE & SURFACE PROTECTION

Pigment, solvent, latex and UV inks provide a high level of water resistance. Higher ink saturation can affect the water fast properties and show ink bleed in heavily saturated areas. Liquid lamination is recommended for DMIBOP because dirt and stains cannot be cleaned from the inkjet surface. GFIOP, SLEEK, and POSTERMAX do not need overprotection. Vinyl and polyester laminates are not recommended for wallcoverings. Excessive folding or creasing of the media may cause damage.

SURFACE PREPARATION

Walls should be prepped to a smooth, clean and dry surface prior to installation. Wallcoverings will not hide imperfections such as nails, holes or bumps. Failure to remove old wallcovering(s) may result in adhesion failure of the newly installed wallcovering.

Acrylic primer should be used on unpainted drywall. This will provide a sound surface for the wallcovering to adhere to. Apply primer over surfaces that have glossy paint for best results. ROMAN PRO-977 Ultra Prime Wallcovering Primer/Sealer is recommended and it can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

NONPASTED WALLCOVERINGS

PRO-880 Ultra Clear Premium Clear Strippable Wallcovering Adhesive and Golden Harvest GH-34 paste all provide good adhesion and allow for easier stripping in the removal process. Clay adhesives such as PRO-732 Extra Strength™ Clay Wallcovering Adhesive, PRO-774 Clay Strippable Wallcovering Adhesive can also be used. More aggressive adhesives such as ROMAN PRO-838 Heavy Duty Clear Wallcovering Adhesive should only be used for permanent applications.

The products listed above can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Apply a thin film of the adhesive using a 1/2” nap paint roller on the back of the paper. “Book” the wallpaper by folding the paste side on itself and make sure the side edges line up perfectly. Set the paper aside to allow the paste to soak in for 10 minutes.

PREPASTED WALLCOVERINGS (such as SLEEK)

Apply water on the back of each panel (strip) with a roller or submerse each panel in a wallpaper tray to activate the adhesive then “book” the wallpaper by folding the paste side on itself.

HANGING YOUR WALLCOVERINGS

Do not use tape on the imaged surface. Align top and adjoining edges. Smooth panels into place with a smoothing brush, starting at the center of the panel working toward the edges. Use a plastic smoother to push air pockets to the edges. The low wet expansion of these products allows double cutting at the seams.

BUTT SEAMS

Edges of the panels touch instead of overlapping. If the edges do not align perfectly at first, peel the wallcovering back and reposition. Use a roller to seal the seam. Reroll any seams that lift.

DOUBLE CUTTING

Overlap one panel of the wallcovering over the another so that the image or pattern is lined up. Use a straight edge and sharp blade to cut through the center of the overlapping wallcovering then peel away the cut strips. Smooth the wallcovering and wipe away any remaining adhesive.

CUTTING AROUND OBJECTS

Use caution when applying wallcoverings around switch plates. It is recommended to turn off the power source leading to the switch. Smooth the wallcovering over switch plates and then make diagonal cuts from the center to each corner. Press the wallcovering down around the edge of the switch plate, then lightly mark the outer edge of the plate and trim the excess. For round objects, such as light fixtures, cut a star shape into the wallcovering. Press the wallcovering down around the edge of the object, lightly mark the outer edge of the object and trim the excess.

REMOVING WALLCOVERINGS

Start at the top of the wallpaper and carefully separate a full-width strip about 8” down from the top away from the surface. If you are not able to separate the paper from the wall, apply water with a damp sponge to moisten the paper surface. Slowly pull the paper at the downward angle with both hands. Any excess adhesive can be removed with a damp sponge.

optimum printing

The levels of heat and humidity in the printing environment can have a negative impact on image quality. It’s important to always keep the levels stable and within the recommended guidelines of the printer manufacturer. It’s lucky for us that digital printers work best in the same environmental conditions preferred by people.

The optimum levels of temperature and relative humidity (rH) in a print environment is 68°F (20°C) at 50-60% rH. A thermometer can be used to measure the temperature and a hygrometer can be used to measure the relative humidity. A hygrometer is an instrument used for measuring the amount of humidity in the atmosphere (or print environment).

Prints produced in high rH printing environments take much longer to dry and exhibit poor ink adhesion. High relative humidity also increases the amount of dot gain, image bleed, and coating/image tack. Prints produced in lower rH printing environments will dry faster and will exhibit better ink adhesion. The prints will also have less dot gain, image bleed, and coating/image tack.

Temperature in the print environment can be controlled properly with a high-quality HVAC system. A programmable thermostat is recommended to keep the temperature stable within +/-  1°F. An evaporative humidifier can be used to increase the relative humidity in the print environment. A dehumidifier can be used to decrease the relative humidity in the print environment.

printer

You can fix most common print quality issues yourself before calling for technical support. The following information will help you troubleshoot the problem.

Print is Blurry or Smeared

• Make sure the media is acclimated to the printer environment for at least 48 hours.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
If the exact media type is not available in the printer driver, choose a media setting with a similar material type and thickness.
• Make sure the printable side is face-up when loaded in the printer. Also, make sure the media is compatible with your ink type.
• Check for an ink leak inside the printer. Clean up excess ink inside the printer using a soft, clean cloth.
• Clean the printheads. Use the printer’s Head Cleaning utility or manually clean the print heads.
Print has Smears on the Leading Edge
• If the edge of the media is curled in the direction of the printable side, flatten it or curl it toward the opposite side.
Also, try spooling out one or two feet of media past the platen. It will prevent the print heads from striking the curled edge.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
• Adjust the PLATEN GAP or HEAD HEIGHT to the proper distance for the loaded media.

Poor Ink Adhesion

All Printers

• Make sure the media is acclimated to the printer environment for at least 48 hours.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
If the exact media type is not available in the printer driver, choose a media setting with a similar material type and thickness.
If there is too much ink on the media, choose a media setting with a lower ink limit.
• If applicable to your printer, set the printer to the correct temperature for the media. Thicker media may require a higher temperature than thin media.
• Make sure the printable side is face-up when loaded in the printer.
• Set the printer to the correct speed for the media. Inkjet printers may require the number of passes to be increased or decrease for the media. Also, try to print in uni-direction mode.
• Older media (two years past the manufactured date) may be unprintable due to changes in its composition. Discard expired media and replace it with fresh product.

UV Printers

• Increase the intensity of the UV lamps.
• Increase the number passes for the media.
• Print in uni-direction mode.
• If there is too much ink on the media, choose a media setting with a lower ink limit.

Horizontal Banding

• Make sure the media is acclimated to the printer environment for at least 48 hours.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
If the exact media type is not available in the printer driver, choose a media setting with a similar material type and thickness.
• Make sure the printable side is face-up when loaded in the printer. Also, make sure the media is compatible with your ink type.
• Clean the print heads. Use the printer’s Head Cleaning utility or manually clean the print heads.
• Decrease the media compensation or feed rate for white banding. Increase the media compensation or feed rate for dark banding.
• Check the levels of the ink cartridges. Replace ink cartridges if they are low or empty.

Vertical Banding or Misalignment

• Make sure the media is acclimated to the printer environment for at least 48 hours.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
If the exact media type is not available in the printer driver, choose a media setting with a similar material type and thickness.
• Print in uni-direction mode.
• Adjust the PLATEN GAP or HEAD HEIGHT to the proper distance for the loaded media.
• Run the printer’s Print Head Alignment utility for the loaded media.

Print is Light or it Looks Faded

• Check that the ink cartridges have not exceeded their expiration date. The expiration date is on the cartridge label.
• Check the Media Type setting. Make sure it is correct for the media you are using in the printer.
If the exact media type is not available in the printer driver, choose a media setting with a similar material type and thickness.
• Clean the print heads. Use the printer’s Head Cleaning utility or manually clean the print heads.
• Check the levels of the ink cartridges. Replace ink cartridges if they are low or empty

PRODUCT CURL

Many specialty media products develop “roll set curl” from being wound onto cores.  Allowing the material to equilibrate to the printing environment for 24hrs before printing can help reduce the excessive curl and minimize the impact on media loading and printing.

Media exposed to high humidity will be more susceptible to curling when loaded on the printer. It’s best practice to keep the print environment at 50% relative humidity and the air temperature at 70˚F. Also, adjusting the platen heater to extreme temperatures may result in buckling of the loaded media. Best practice suggests heater settings between 40˚C – 45˚C.

There are two methods for properly loading media on a printer that reduce the risk of a head strike.

METHOD 1

Advance the edge of the media 6” past the platen when loading it to avoid head strikes. This method is good for media with a slight curl.

METHOD 2

Advance the edge of the media at least 12” past the platen when loading it. Secure the end of the media to the printer take up reel with masking tape. One piece of tape in the center, one piece on the left and one piece on the right. Adjust the take-up reel to a sufficient degree of tension (if applicable) before starting the printer. Check to make sure the tape does not break free after starting the printer. This method is best for media with a moderate curl.

Fine art prints present unique challenges to the artist when it is time to finish or store the final print. Pigment-based inks do offer better fade resistance over time than dye-based inks, but they are more susceptible to damage. A fine art print can be harmed by fingerprints, foreign substances, humidity and ozone just like an original piece of art. Fortunately, you can protect the print and extend its lifespan by following the tips below.

Surface Protection

Original canvas art has been protected for centuries using varnish, but it’s incompatible with canvas inkjet prints. The protective coating should be waterproof, flexible and non-yellowing to provide complete protection for the canvas print. A product like PremierArt’s Eco Print Shield is water-based and offers a complete protection solution for fine art canvas prints. It comes in a variety of finishes and it can be applied with a high-density foam roller or sprayed on with an HVLP gun.

Fine art paper prints are typically displayed under glass and do not require a protective coating. Archival prints with matte black ink on cotton paper are prone to scuffing during regular handling or during the framing process, though. Damage from fingerprints, moisture, and scuffing can be avoided by spraying a coating of PremierArt’s Print Shield on the print. It can double the life of your fine art prints and allow you to display them without a glass overlay.

Mounting

Fine art paper prints can be mounted on archival mount board using acid-free spray adhesive. Optionally, you can purchase premade adhesive mounting boards to save a step and some time. All dust and debris should be eliminated from the work area to prevent bumps in the finished piece. You’ll then apply the print to the adhesive surface and use a brayer to smooth it out. It’s important, regardless of the option you choose, to make sure all products are labeled acid-free.

Framing

Traditionally, artists choose to display fine art paper prints in a frame under glass. The print should be mounted on an archival quality board with matting and UV glass or UV surface protectant. You should allow at least a 1/8” of overall extra space between the finished piece and the edge of the frame. The framed fine art print should be checked at least every three years to identify and correct any potential problems.

Fine art canvas prints can be stretched on a frame using the same methods as original canvas art. The canvas print should have 4” of extra canvas on all the sides. The canvas is stapled to stretcher bars, one edge at a time while keeping the canvas under tension until it is secured on all four sides. Cross braces should be added for larger prints to prevent the canvas from sagging while it is on display.

Storage

Fine art prints should be stored in a climate-controlled environment where temperature and humidity are closely monitored. The temperature should be set between 59ºF and 68ºF with a relative humidity level of 40-60%. Archival prints can be harmed by light and may fade faster than expected when exposed to it. Avoid storage in areas with direct sunlight or use a UV protectant to prevent damage if the prints may be exposed to UV rays.

Fine art prints can be enjoyed for centuries on display with proper finishing techniques and storage. The options we presented in this guide should ensure success in the final stages of your fine art printing project. Remember to always choose archival rated products when finishing your print and make sure you store it properly to protect it

Digital fine art prints can be produced in smaller numbers than offset printing and require less time and money. It’s a great way for artists to produce their own prints without relying on an outside print company. Fine art prints can be created ‘on-demand’ and sold within a short period of time to collectors. We’ve outlined the fine art printing process below and we’ve included some guidelines to ensure success with your prints.

Convert the Artwork

Creating a fine art print requires the original artwork to be converted to a digital image file. A high-quality scanner can be used to convert negatives, slides or even hardcopy photos. Scanners with these capabilities can be purchased for less than $200 at most office supply or electronic stores. Make sure you scan the artwork at a high resolution of 300ppi to create a clear, high-quality image.

Larger works of art may be digitized using a couple of different methods. Artwork can be photographed with a digital SLR camera mounted on a tripod under consistent, full spectrum light. A large format scanner can also be used instead of a camera to create a more accurate image file for print. The digitizing method used will be determined by the type of original artwork and the file required for the printer.

Correct Image Color

Artwork photographed or scanned should be color corrected to ensure accurate reproduction. Avoid basing the print colors on the inaccurate image colors viewed on your computer screen. You’ll need to invest in a monitor calibration device and software to correct the colors on the screen. Then you can use Photoshop to soft proof the image and adjust the colors before sending it to the printer.

Choose Media

It’s important to choose a media with archival properties when printing fine art. Archival media will have a longer lifespan and reproduce color more accurately than standard media. The media will usually indicate if it is archival quality on the package or in its sales literature. You will want to look for terms such as archival, acid-free, cotton or rag base.

Print the Image

The type of printer and ink used for the fine art print are the final choices to be made in the process. Avoid using dye-based inks found in lower-cost inkjet printers and choose pigment-based inks instead. The lifespan of pigment-based inks can last anywhere from 100 to 200 years without significant fading. Select a large format printer that contains around eight to twelve different color ink cartridges. It will provide a more sophisticated color range on the final print.

Fine art printing can be a rewarding process that elevates your artwork to the highest level. A high-quality image reproduced with a proper color setup, media and ink will make all the difference in the final output. Follow the guide above and enjoy limitless artistic potential reproducing your artwork.

One of the most overlooked parts of fine art printing is proper handling of the print media. Fine art media is damaged or compromised frequently during the production process. Proper handling protects the integrity of the media and ensures success from start to finish. Here are some tips to improve print quality by handling fine art media properly.

Avoid Contamination

Elements in the print environment, such as dust and debris, can affect the media when it is stored uncovered for long periods of time. Dusty AC vents, fan blades or ceilings, and dirty floors only make the problem worse. It’s best practice to keep media inside the protective plastic sleeve and stored back inside the box until your ready to print on it.

It only takes one smudge on a print and you must throw it away. It’s easy for oil and dirt to transfer from your hands onto the fine art media. Avoid using your bare hands to handle a print. Wear white cotton gloves to handle the print and remove them if you need to do anything else. You could contaminate the gloves if you keep them on while touching other things in the print environment.

Avoid Damage

Damage can occur to the media when it is mishandled during printer loading or carrying the final print. Thinner media types and larger prints are more susceptible to this issue. Improper handling can crease or leave small dents on the surface and result in a reprint. Take special care when loading or carrying fine art media by holding it along the edge and avoiding anything that could damage the surface.

Fine art paper, canvas and other fine are media are more susceptible to abrasions and scuffing than standard media. This is attributed to the delicate coating on the media and the fragile nature of aqueous ink. A high-quality protective coating like a liquid laminate will protect the print and prevent scuffs or abrasions.

Control Climate

Fine art media exposed to changes in temperature and humidity may curl. The amount of curl that occurs will vary depending on the print environment and the type of media. Curl can happen relatively fast and may cause expensive head-strikes if left unattended. It’s best practice to store fine art media in the print environment around 68ºF at 50-60% relative humidity to prevent media curl.

Handling fine art media properly results in less damaged and wasted material. It helps improve print quality and keep your costs under control. The examples provided here may seem small, but they add up and affect print quality and profit.