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What Does It Mean to Digital Print a Marquee?

April 20, 2020
What Does It Mean to Digital Print a Marquee?
Written by Eryn B

One of the primary methods that we use to brand our printed marquees is called digital printing. Think of it like using an inkjet printer at home; it prints on one side of a piece of paper. We do the same thing but on an industrial scale, using fabric instead of paper. 

The main benefit of digital printing is that there are no limitations in terms of what can be printed onto the marquee. This means that anything can be incorporated into the design, so you don’t need to worry about image size, or the amount of colours affecting design or price. This way, designs can be highly customised, and complex elements like full colour photos are no issue to print.

Digital printing allows extremely customised designs

Digitally printing marquees allows the design to be as simple or as detailed as you want. 

If you are after a minimal style design, it can be, for example like the below. 

Digitally printed marquees - Mortgage Choice
Minimal digital print - Mortgage Choice

But if you want to turn up the dial from 10 to 11...

Digitally Printed Marquee - Crud Muffins
Highly customised digital print - Crud Muffins

For many people, it pays to have an elaborate marquee design. However, you don’t need an elaborate design to make a great impression. So really, the only limit is your imagination. It also helps to have good quality assets to ensure they print well and look good. For example, high resolution photos and vector logos.

So then, what are the drawbacks, if any

So digital printing sounds like the perfect type of printing right, with no drawbacks? Well, not exactly.  

Firstly, not all digital printing is made equal. It’s like categorising all tyres as the same because they are all a black rubber thing that encases a set of wheels to help the car stop sliding around. But, as we all know, a $99 tyre will perform very differently to a tyre designed for an F1 car. Digital printing works the same way. There are many differences between different print manufacturers and the materials they use, including but not limited to: 

  • Ink quality
  • Ink colour vibrance
  • Ink lifespan
  • Printer capability
  • Colour profile used

Most manufacturers will also change their materials, print methods, or the equipment they use at some point in time. All of these factors mentioned will affect the final print result.  

Ink Quality & Lifespan

Just like the tyre analogy, there are cheaper inks that cost around $10 per litre, and more expensive inks that cost $100 or more per litre. The key difference between these is the quality of the output print, which affects it’s total lifespan outdoors. 

Faded Marquee Top
A faded marquee roof with new side walls to show the colour comparison after fading

Our marquees are designed to be used outdoors. While you are protected from being sunburned, these marquees are fighting a long, losing battle against the harsh UV rays of the sun.  A cheap ink will fade quickly and produce poor quality prints. We only use high quality inks in our marquees, so much so that we’re the only company in our industry that actually provides a 2 year no significant fade guarantee as part of our Technishelter Brand Promises program

One of our values as a company is that we will make you look good. Part of this involves being able to produce a design that looks the part and goes the distance. That’s the philosophy we live by.

Printer Capability & Colour Profile

The machinery that we use is also as important as the ink and the design. Just like a race car is only as fast as the person driving it, it is exactly the same with printers. 

The printers we use are trusted Japanese and European brands such as Mimaki, Epson and Durst that have been manufacturing printers for decades. Some competitors choose to use new brands of printers, but in our experience we have not found these to produce high quality or durable enough prints to go the distance in the daily use of a marquee. 

Sure, some of these marquees may look great from a distance, but often these are good from afar but far from good once you get a bit closer. We value life, longevity, and quality, and therefore only use the best quality machines in our industrial processes. 

Summary & Conclusion

Digital printing is recognised by printing and manufacturing companies worldwide. It brings your creative ideas into a reality, and gives you the power to make a bold statement.

In order to achieve and maintain a great digital print, you need to invest in the right equipment. As with anything, you will come across long-lasting, quality methods that involve a bit more of an upfront cost, and then there will always be the cheaper shortcuts. 

It is worth doing your research and ensuring that you choose the right fabric, the right inks, and the right printer to bring your design to life. The good news is that we have already done the hard work for you, and we back this up with our 2 year no significant fade guarantee.

If you are interested in organising a custom printed marquee, contact us today and we’ll show you the value in investing in an industry-changing product.

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