Thermal print fade & seams
Here are some pictures of some thermal Edge graphics that includes panel work. This is in reference to seams mentioned in the More on colour printing post. Both pictures have an inset that reflect a close up of the seams. Each seam picture was shot about 4 to 5 inches from the surface. The van was done in the summer of 1996 while the tanker truck was done very early in 2000. Both reflect NO VISIABLE shrinkage to date.
The van displays what Gerber Tomato Red looks like almost six years after installation without any lamination or other protective coating. This particular design has a solid base of Tomato Red with a gradient of Burgundy from the top down about a third of the height. I believe the picture reflects the area with Burgundy on top has weathered better then just the bare Tomato Red and that the horizontal “lip” on the body contour looks the worst.
The entire fleet of vehicles, tankers, vans, trucks, etc. are continuously exposed to the elements. NONE of the vehicles are garage kept; true “real world” experience with these graphics.
Last picture gives a feel for what the “main” logo looks like. The fire extinguisher is not faded, it was originally output to be a “phantom” like image. (A little to “carton” in nature for what we thought was appropriate, but customer really wanted it) Other design elements include what that particular vehicle is equipped to do. The entire fleet is somewhere in the twenty to twenty five vehicle range now. Digital printing is a VALUE ADDED service for this customer. Back in the “paint” days a vehicle would be down for approximately three days to be lettered. Now they can be turned in about half a day, always have a matching license plate, and include a little extra item here or there. If its damaged and needs repaired, a match is made and applied in minutes instead of hours. This convenience and services allows for a higher selling price then when done with paint. Material cost is more then paint, but reduced labor cost allows for far more portability on these jobs when compared to older “paint” days.