One thing we offer at Signarama is eco-friendly printing. That seems to be the trend today for everything, from tall skyscrapers right down to the paper and ink on advertisements and signs. Signarama Fort Collins is making the effort, as well as every other Signarama store around the world.
Currently, we have a Roland wide format printer that uses eco-friendly inks, as well as a latex printer with ink that’s even more environmentally friendly. And we’re planning to purchase a flatbed UV printer, which is the most eco-friendly printer we’ll have here in the Signarama Fort Collins shop.
The reason we like UV printing is the ink is water-based, so there are no VOCs or hazardous chemicals. The images can be printed directly onto the substrate, which eliminates printing to a piece of vinyl, applying the vinyl to the substrate, and then throwing away the backer.
The Roland printer we’ve had for eight years was the second large format printer we purchased, and it uses “eco-solvent” ink. For a while, this printer was a favorite of many of the newer Signarama shops, having been installed as new stores opened. They are eco-friendly because there is an extremely low amount of solvent in the ink’s chemical makeup, and there is no need for industrial venting.
Some companies, when printing large numbers of signs on vinyl, will use high solvent, high VOC inks. This means they need an industrial ventilation system to suck up the fumes and chemicals so they’re not breathed in by the workers, which can cause health problems down the road. The vent system is quite complex — there’s venting in the machine itself, a separate air purification system, and special handling equipment must be used by all employees involved in the process.
This slows down production quite a bit, as more care and effort goes into just getting ready to operate the printer. But with eco-friendly printers, like Signarama’s Roland and HP Latex machines or our anticipated UV printer, our employees don’t need any special clothing, equipment, or ventilation. And best of all, the ink is still durable enough for outdoor usage as well.
For more information on the different signs we can make with eco-friendly inks and substrates, visit the the Signarama website. You can also use our online store locator to find your local Signarama store.