Sihl Makes Innovative Media for Eco-Solvent and Solvent Inkjet Printers

Sihl ClearSOL WetCling Film

At Freedom Paper, we offer a huge assortment of papers and other inkjet printable materials. Most of the products we sell are for use with aqueous dye and aqueous pigment inks. But we also offer eco-solvent and solvent inkjet media and materials that can be printed with latex and UV-curable inks. Many customers who began with aqueous inkjet printers now own at least one other inkjet printer that uses other ink types.

Aqueous inks are superb for printing photographs, art, GIS maps, technical drawings, indoor posters, and displays. But the newer ink varieties are more cost-effective for making outdoor prints and decorated objects. Solvent, latex, and UV-curable inks can produce weather-resistant signs and graphics that don’t require the added time and expense of lamination.

Sihl Bravo II Canvas

Recently, we added a batch of innovative products from Sihl for owners of printers that use solvent or eco-solvent inks (such as the Epson GS6000 and SureColor S printers, Roland SOLJet and TRUEVIS printers, Mutoh ValueJet, and Mimaki JV300 and CJV150).

Some Sihl products take advantage of the greater durability of solvent and eco-solvent inks. Others enable owners of eco-solvent-ink printers to output photographic and art-related jobs that are commonly output on aqueous inkjet printers. Below are a few examples.

Sihl ClearSOL WetCling Film: This ultra-clear, 5 mil polyester film lets you make window graphics that are super-easy to install and remove. Simply spray the glass with water, position the image, and squeegee it. You don’t have to mess with any adhesives or release liners. To remove the graphic, simply peel it off. Even if the window-graphic is displayed for months, there won’t be any adhesive residue on the window. Watch this video for a demonstration.

While signmakers use wet-cling films for promotional window graphics, you can also use Sihl ClearSol WetCling Film to make colorful labels and graphics for display cases or decorative window art for office décor.

Sihl TriSolv PrimeArt Paper is a durable, 8-mil, semi-gloss paper for applications such as posters, electoral maps, courtroom graphics, presentations, and architectural renderings.

Sihl TriSolv PosterArt Paper is an economical, 6 mil wet-strength poster paper with a satin print surface. It is great for outdoor-durable, scratch-resistant prints without lamination. This material feels like paper, but the fibers don’t come apart if the posted graphics get wet. Use it for temporary advertising billboards, construction signs, indoor or outdoor décor, exhibits, and promotions.

Sihl TriSolv PhotoArt Paper is a glossy 9-mil, bright-white photo paper with a water-repellant surface and a base that doesn’t come apart when wet. Use it for short-term indoor and outdoor photo displays, maps, and photo-rich promotional posters for special events such as concerts, films, exhibitions, and races. This paper provides high-quality color reproduction with dense blacks, extended shadow detail, and an even gloss level across the printed and unprinted areas of the image.

Sihl Bravo II Canvas is an archival-quality, 18 mil, 365 gsm matte artist canvas for the production of fine-art quality prints and decorative art graphics with solvent or eco-solvent inks. Prints on Sihl Bravo canvas remain free of cracks on the surface or edges during stretching or framing. Or, the printed canvas can be mounted to rigid boards using an adhesive film and a laminator or a spray adhesive.The finished art prints can be embellished with hand-brushed oils and acrylics.

Aurolux Backlit Film: This glossy, 9 mil backlit polyester film produces bright, crisp images for indoor and outdoor lightboxes, backlit casino games, beverage dispensers, and displays at airports and theaters. Images printed on this film are bright enough to be viewed whether the lightbox is turned on or off. This tear-resistant, dimensionally stable film is easy to install and impervious to drastic changes in temperature.

Pacifica Matte II Photo Paper This super-smooth, extra-white 7 mil, 180 gsm matte produces scratch-resistant, water-resistant photo prints with eco-solvent inks. Use it for high-quality photographic photo posters, indoor photorealistic posters, and mounted photo prints and photo posters. A barrier coating seals the base paper to prevent show through and cockling from heavy ink loads. The surface coating maximizes print density, color gamut, and shadow detail in images.

If you have any questions about these products, contact our customer-service team at 866-310-3335 or chat with us online at

Or, you can download Sihl’s Reference Guide for Solvent Ink materials here.



Why Going Paperless May Not Be Greener

Going Paperless infographic

For Earth Day on April 22, Two Sides North America is releasing a new infographic that explains why going paperless may not be greener.

The new infographic exposes misleading environmental claims such as “go green – go paperless” and busts key myths about the switch from paper to digital.

The infographic spotlights key facts, including:

  • U.S. forests grew by 5,800 NFL football fields per day between 2007 and 2012 due to sustainable forestry practices
  • 91% of U.S. consumers surveyed agree that print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate when responsibly produced, used and recycled.
  • Paper is one of the most recycled products in North America with recovery rates of 66% and higher.
  • Electronic communications have a significant and growing environmental footprint that corporations cannot ignore.
  • 85% of U.S. consumers surveyed agree that “go green – go paperless” claims are designed to save costs.

“The objective of this new infographic is to make people realize that most environmental claims related to going paperless are based on marketing and cost reduction tactics rather than verifiable and specific scientific facts – a requirement of the Green Guides published by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,” says Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America. “As a result, over 170 leading corporations across the globe, including many of the Fortune 100, have removed such claims.” Two Sides has run an anti-greenwash campaign since 2012.

Fact sheets, white papers, and other reports that document the claims made on the infographic can be found on the Two Sides website.

About Two Sides

Two Sides is an independent, non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Two Sides is active globally in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Colombia.Going Paperless Infographic

Alternative Email Footers

Some misleading claims about the environmental effects of printing can be found on emails that suggest the printing email kills trees. According to Two Sides North America, these types of claims ignore the unique sustainable features of print on paper as well as the growing environmental footprint of our electronic infrastructure.”

In a blog post entitled, “Print and Paper-Friendly Email Footers,” Two Sides North America suggests 15 alternative footers, including the following:

  • Print on paper is renewable, recyclable, and powerful. If you print, please recycle. Visit for more information.
  • Printed emails create a permanent and durable record but please ensure all paper is recycled. Visit for more information.
  • In North America we grow many more trees than are harvested every year. Responsibly produced paper can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. If you print, please recycle. Visit for more information.
  • Unlike many products we use, responsibly produced paper comes from a natural, renewable resource. North American working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and carbon storage. If you print, please recycle. Visit for more information.
  • Paper production helps maintain working forests. Thanks to sustainable forest management, the number of trees in the U.S. has increased by over 50% in the past 60 years. If you print, please recycle. Visit for more information.

Hahnemuhle Announces Photo Gloss Baryta Inkjet Paper

Hahnemühle Photo Gloss Baryta is the newest addition to the Hahnemuhle Photo line of papers of inkjet photo printing. This true baryta paper was originally known as Gloss Baryta 320 in the HARMAN by Hahnemühle range.

Although Hahnemuehle discontinued the HARMAN by Hahnemuhle product line in January, 2017,  the company decided to keep selling this popular product with a new, improved coating.

Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta


Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 gsm is a bright-white, 100 percent alpha-cellulose paper with a smooth true-baryta surface and high-gloss coating.

A true baryta surface on inkjet photo papers is similar to the barium-sulfate coating that was applied to fiber-based papers used to make fine-art prints in the darkroom. The improved ink-receptive gloss coating on the baryta layer guarantees a smooth, homogenous surface and superb image reproduction with high ink density and a large color gamut for sharp details.

Baryta papers are popular for fine-art inkjet printing because the baryta layer makes it possible to use photo-black pigment inks to create detailed images on a paper that feels like a luxurious matte fine art paper.

Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta is a good choice for fine art photographs and portraits. It can also be used for short-duration exhibitions or gallery event signage.

Download new ICC profiles for this paper from the Hahnemuhle website.


Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 will be available in 25-sheet boxes of four sizes: 8.5 x 11 in., 11 x 17 in., 13 x 19 in., and 17 x 22 in.

If will also be sold in five roll sizes: 17 in. x 49 ft., 24 in. x 16 ft., 24 in. x 49 ft, 44 in. x 49 ft., and 50 in. x 49 ft.

Freedom Paper offers a wide variety of Hahnemuhle papers for inkjet fine-art and photo printing. For more information about Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta, click here to download a technical data sheet. Or chat with us online at


Use Durable Wallpaper to Bring Art to Busy Public Spaces

Wall Paper Mural in San Diego

Hanging framed prints on the wall isn’t the only way to display art or photos. You can use inkjet-printable wallcoverings to create murals that combine artwork with descriptive text. Art murals can help commemorate major milestones in your organization’s history.

For example, L+L Printers in San Diego uses HP PVC-free Wall Paper for many public art projects in Southern California.

Sites decorated with murals printed on HP PVC-free wall paper include the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Public Library, the San Diego Registrar of Voters, and the lobby of Tri-Star Pictures.

Wall Paper Mural in San Diego

One of the most visible examples of a public art mural printed by L&L Printers can be found in the San Diego Airport. It was created to commemorate the Panama-California Exposition in 1915-16.

Celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal, the Panama-California Exposition promoted San Diego as the first port-of-call in the U.S. for ships that passing through the canal.  The Exposition transformed San Diego’s Balboa Park by adding a number of spectacular Spanish-Colonial structures to the previously undeveloped 1200-acre park.

The airport murals reflect the legacy of Balboa Park and represent the largest public art exhibition in the San Diego Airport’s arts program.


Detail of wall mural


Why HP PVC-free Wall Paper Works for Public Art

According to Marc Aguilera of L+L Printers, “HP PVC-free Wall Paper is my number one wallcovering product.” Many customers like the fact that is eco-friendly. Plus, it is flame-resistant and meets building environment and safety standards for public spaces.

Wall mural detail

HP PVC-free Wall Paper is ideal for temporary art installations at museums, galleries, and public spaces. It is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of high-traffic spaces. The wallpaper goes up and removes easily with water and doesn’t damage walls.

Compatible with HP Latex inks, HP PVC-free Wall Paper is a smooth wall paper that produces colorful murals with highly defined details. It is available from Freedom Paper in 42-inch and 52-inch widths.

For more information, call the wide-format printing experts at 866-310-3335 or chat with us online at


Use Kodak Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric for Office Wall Tattoos

You don’t need to cover an entire wall with printed graphics to change the look of a room. Simply provide decorative accents with “wall tattoos.”

Wall tattoos aren’t just for home decor. These contour-cut graphics are also showing up in offices, schools, and restaurants.

One of the most popular materials for making wall tattoos is KODAK Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric. This 100 percent polyester fabric sticks to any non-porous, flat surface including walls, doors, signboards, and windows.

And whether you install the wall tattoos for a day or a decade, the tattoos remove easily, without leaving sticky residue or removing paint from a primed wall. The graphics can be stored and re-used later on a different wall.

Kodak Photo Tex wall tattoo at BMG

The printed graphics don’t curl or tear and remain wrinkle-free during installation. Use a cutting plotter with a sharp, carbide blade to cut the printed graphics into tattoos.


Kodak Photo Tex wall tattoo in office


Three Versions

To expand the range of surfaces that can be decorated with this inkjet fabric, Kodak Photo Tex is now available in three versions: original, opaque, and high-tack.

The original version of KODAK Photo Tex is great for single-print installs, wall tattoos, photographic cut-outs, and promotional and event posters on walls, elevator doors, windows, and other glass surfaces. Graphics on this material can be backlit.

The adhesive on the opaque version, KODAK Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric Opaque, has a 20 percent higher tack than the original version. The opacity of this material is ideal for graphics that will be applied to textured walls, colored walls, wood paneling, or wallpaper.

The high-tack version, KODAK Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric EX (AQ), has a 50 percent higher tack that isn’t suitable for painted drywall and is optimized for aqueous pigment inks and latex inks. It can be used for more permanent installations on textured walls and ceilings that have been painted with eggshell or orange peel paints. This version can also be applied to the rougher surfaces of outdoor walls.

For more information about Kodak Photo Tex, contact the wide-format experts at Freedom Paper. Chat with us online at or call 866-310-3335.



Try Kodak Premium Rapid Dry White Film for Roll Up Banners

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some noteworthy new products that are being added to the Freedom Paper website. For example, if you are stocking up for spring trade shows and events, check out this great option for printing big photographs on free-standing roll-up banner displays in high-traffic areas: Kodak Premium Rapid Dry White Film.

Colorful images and graphics printed on this sturdy, white, water-resistant 5 mil polyester film will attract the attention of visitors to your next event or trade show booth. The bright white print surface is ideal for photographs with bold, vivid colors and sharp details. The easy-to-handle print surface resists scratches, smudges, fingerprints, and abrasion.

Kodak Premium Rapid Dry White Film works with the many different makes and models of wide-format printers that use aqueous dye or pigment inks, including HP DesignJet printers, Canon imagePROGRAF and PRO-Series printers, and Epson Stylus Pro, SureColor T-series, and SureColor P-series printers.


The black backer provides 100% opacity and eliminates the extra time and expense of laminating a light-blocking backing film to display-stand graphics.

The combination of the glare-free matte film and the opaque backer ensure that your images and message remain bright and legible under all types of lighting.

If you have questions about Kodak Premium Rapid Dry White Film, please call the wide-format printing experts at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335 or chat with us online at




Larger-than-Life Plaza Portrait Honors Kodak Founder George Eastman

Kodak Photo Tex mural of Eastman

Imagine what George Eastman would think if he could see everything that’s possible with photography and photo printing today.

George Eastman is the American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company in 1988. He invented the Kodak box camera, popularized the use of roll film, and inspired a movement to make photography less cumbersome and easier for more people to enjoy.

For the 2016 Big Shot Project of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), it’s only fitting that Kodak wide-format inkjet print media was used to produce a 26 x 43 ft. photo mural of a portrait of George Eastman. Printed on KODAK Photo Tex fabric with repositionable adhesive, the mural was displayed on the concrete blocks of a plaza near the Kodak Tower.

The image of a 30-year-old George Eastman was printed on Kodak Photo Tex fabric with repositionable adhesive.

About the Big Shot Project

Instructors at RIT’s School of Photographic Arts & Sciences created The Big Shot Project in 1987 to help students learn how to solve complicated imaging projects with simple tools and teamwork.

The project’s name comes from the desire to re-create photography practices of the 1950s when cameras and lighting were far less advanced and building facades weren’t illuminated from external sources. In those days, photographers who wanted to photograph building exteriors would carefully set up hundreds of flashbulbs to go off at the same time — creating one powerful burst of light (a “big shot”).

During each RIT Big Shot Project, volunteers provide the primary light source while RIT photographers shoot an extended exposure.

Since 1987, participants in the annual Big Shot Project have captured such landmarks as: Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY; the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas; the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden; AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

For the 32nd annual Big Shot Project in 2016, project organizers decided to capture a dramatic nighttime image of Kodak Tower, the long-time home of the Eastman Kodak Company. Completed in 1914, the 19-story building stood at Rochester’s tallest building for more than 50 years and has been called the ‘nerve center of photography.’

“The Kodak Tower was selected as our subject because in epitomizes Rochester, the explosion of photography into the world, and the vital role Kodak played,” said Michael Peres, associate chair of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and one of the Big Shot organizers.

This RIT Big Shot of the Kodak Tower was captured with a 60-second exposure @f/14 ISO 50 on a Nikon D810 digital camera with a 28/f1.8 mm lens. (Photo: The RIT Big Shot,

During the 2016 Big Shot Project, the Kodak Tower was photographed with multiple cameras that represented more than 150 years of photographic technology. For example, the types of camera technologies used included:

  • A large-format camera that exposed a wet-plate collodion plate, a process invented in the 1850s. An 11 x 14-inch plate was exposed using a 17-in. lens.
  • Two cameras used 4 x 5-inch dry plate film, a film type similar to the kind George Eastman would have used in the 1880s.
  • Film cameras, such as: a Nikon F3T with a 28mm/f22 lens; a Hasselblad 500CM with a 40mm lens, and a 4 x 5 Wisner with 90 mm f22 lens.
  • An 8 x 10 Deardorff large-format with a 200 mm f22 lens.
  • Two Nikon D810 digital cameras which recorded the official Big Shot exposure.

To light up the Tower, RIT students, faculty, staff, and community volunteers brought flashlights or camera flash units to the site. They were instructed to wear dark clothing. Big Shot organizers divided the lighting volunteers into teams and placed them in selected locations near the Kodak Tower for test shots.

About the Photo Mural

The mural was printed in sections on an HP DesignJet 800PS wide-format printer in the CFD Print and Photo Services department at the headquarters of the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester.

According to CFD Print and Photo Services’ Bill Herman, the original image scan came from an 8 x 10-inch B&W film negative that captures a young George Eastman in 1884 at age 30. That original B&W negative was scanned at 9600 dpi on an Epson flatbed scanner and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop by Kodak’s branding team. They knocked out the background from the original image and accentuated basic contrast features to improve the look of super-sized portrait.

After the Photoshop file was delivered to the Photo Services department, it was resized and tiled for printing on a 42 x 100 ft. roll of Kodak Photo Tex fabric. The mural file was tiled into 13 rows and 13 columns, with each tile sized at 2 ft. x 41 inches. A number was printed on each tile to make it easier to assemble the pieces of mural on the 2 x 2-ft. concrete blocks of the plaza of the Monroe Community College next to the Kodak Tower.

When the image was printed, 132 tiles had active image areas and 37 tiles were blank white. The installation team chose not to use the 37 blank tiles.

On the day of the photo shoot, volunteers asked to arrive at 7:30 pm. At 4 pm, a thunderstorm rolled through Rochester, soaking the plaza.

“We hadn’t started laying down the image and were concerned about how well the Photo Tex would stick to wet concrete,” explains Herman. After using a couple of leaf blowers to dry off the concrete slabs, the two-person installation team started laying down the tiles of the mural shortly after 5 pm. It took about 2 hours to get the 132 mural sections into place.

Because water-soluble aqueous inks had been used to print the mural, they decided to remove the mural from the plaza the following day before it rained again.

About Kodak Photo Tex Adhesive Fabric

KODAK Photo Tex Fabric with Repositionable Adhesive is an innovative, inkjet-printable polyester fabric with an adhesive that makes printed graphics easy to install and remove.
KODAK Photo Tex fabric for wide-format printers that use water-soluble inks (such as HP DesignJets, Canon imagePROGRAFs, and Epson Stylus Pro models) works best with non-porous, indoor flat surfaces such as doors, walls, and cabinets. The adhesive removes cleanly (without any residue) and the graphics can be re-used.

Variations of KODAK Photo Tex are available for wide-format printers that use latex, solvent, and UV-curable inks.

The EX version of Kodak Photo Tex has a stronger, repositionable adhesive. Photo murals on this material can be wrapped around poles, columns, and applied to elevator doors, ceilings, signboards, and flat surfaces other than painted drywall.

The Opaque version of Kodak Photo Tex can be used to create photo murals with overlapping panels or on brightly colored or marked up walls.

Call Us for Information

This supersized plaza mural honoring Kodak founder George Eastman shows that it is possible to create short-term outdoor event graphics with Kodak Photo Tex fabric with whatever wide-format printer you have in your office or studio.

But chances are, your crew might prefer not to assemble a 132-piece mural just hours before a big event begins.

If your company has any major events scheduled this year, consider ordering a roll of KODAK Photo Tex now and get creative. For example, you can plan, design and produce temporary wall murals and backdrops for rooms in which the event will be held or the hallways that lead visitors to the event space.

If you have questions about KODAK Photo Tex, visit the Freedom Paper website ( and chat with one of our wide-format printing experts or call us at 866-310-3335.

For More Information about Photography Technology

On the RIT Big Shot website you can see some of the images created with the wet-plate collodian technique, the 4 x 5-inch dry-plate film, and the 8 x 10 Deardorff camera and learn more about some of the photographers who participated.

To learn more about George Eastman and how photography technology has changed over the years, plan a visit to the George Eastman Museum in Rochester. Located on the historic estate of George Eastman, the museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and houses the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology.

How to Use a 3-inch Spindle Adapter with HP DesignJet Printers

Many new papers for wide-format inkjet printing are now are supplied on 3-inch cores instead of 2-inch cores. The core is the cardboard cylinder upon which the media is rolled.

A primary benefit of the larger core sizes is less curl in your final prints.

To run a roll of wide-format inkjet media with a 3-inch core on an HP DesignJet printer with a 2-inch spindle, you can use a spindle adapter (also known as a core adapter). This video shows how easy it is to load and remove the adapter.


Newer models of HP, Canon, and Epson printers come with core adapters.

But older-model printers that were designed primarily for CAD/technical drawings can’t use inkjet media that comes on 3-inch cores because the overall diameter of the paper roll is too large for the machine.

If you have misplaced the spindle adapter supplied with your printer, we can provide them.
Or, if you are using an older CAD printer that can’t handle 3-inch cores, we can suggest an upgrade that might be perfect for your requirements.

Please call the wide-format printing experts at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335 and we’ll be happy to help.

ArtSure Program Gives Buyers of Inkjet Art Prints More Confidence

Art Sure LogoIf you sell high-quality inkjet art prints or provide printmaking or framing services, you may be interested in ArtSure.

ArtSure is a Fine Art Trade Guild program through which Guild members can register their limited edition art prints and assure buyers that the materials used to create inkjet art prints have been independently tested to meet archival standards for lightfastness and permanence.

The Guild defines an “art print” as either a handmade original by an artists/printmaker or a reproduction made by digital printing (giclee) or photomechanical equipment (offset lithography).

The Fine Art Trade Guild also sets standards for conservation picture framing and advises buyers of limited-edition prints to use conservation framing to keep their prints in mint condition.

The Fine Art Trade Guild

The Fine Art Trade Guild is a London-based international trade association for artists, art publishers, fine art photographers, fine-art printmakers, restorers, retailers, and framers.

All members of the Fine Art Trade Guild agree to stand by the Guild’s Code of Ethics and use the Fine Art Trade Guild logo as a sign of their commitment to the Guild’s code.

The organization originated as the Printsellers’ Association in 1847 and has continued to update its standards and guidelines as printing methods and materials have evolved.

The Guild’s Print Standards have become increasingly important with the proliferation of wide-format inkjet printers. Today, people who don’t really understand all the issues that affect print quality, longevity, and color can easily make and sell art prints.

The presence of the ArtSure logo assures print buyers that the print was made with inks and papers that will stand the test of time when properly stored and displayed.

Certification of Quality

The ArtSure™ quality-assurance program was introduced in 2015 and is based on print quality standards that the Fine Art Trade Guild has used for many years. To receive a certification of quality, manufacturers submit ink and paper combinations to a testing laboratory accredited by the UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) or similar organization in other countries.

The Guild print standard requires paper to be at least 250 gsm, with an acidity level between pH7 and pH9 to minimize the risk of discoloration. Colors should be relatively lightfast, scoring 6 or more on the Blue Wool Scale standard of measuring the permanence of colorants.

The Guild maintains a freely accessible list of all ink and paper combinations that have been tested and approved. Artists can refer to this list when making print editions they want to register for the ArtSure database.

Freedom Paper carries a variety of Hahnemuhle and Innova inkjet art and photo papers that have received the ArtSure certification of quality from the Fine Art Trade Guild.

The most recent papers to receive ArtSure certification include: KODAK Professional Inkjet Photo Paper Glossy and KODAK Professional Inkjet Photo Paper Lustre.

The brands of inks the Fine Art Trade Guild has used to certify the quality of fine art prints made on these materials include: Canon LUCIA, Epson UltraChrome, and HP Vivera pigment.

For more information about the Fine Art Trade Guild and the guidance it provides to buyers of fine art prints, visit:



Choosing Inkjet Banner Materials for Roll-Up Display Stands

Portable banner stands are popular because they provide a very economical way to deliver a message. Use them to display promotional messages or set them up to direct foot traffic through a store or event.

In Module 4 of Sihl’s Summer Series of videos, Andreas deGroot talked about some of the inkjet banner materials and other media that can be used for portable banner stands. Below is a quick summary of some of his tips.

The base material provides most of the physical properties the graphic will have. Choices today include:

  • PVC banner materials
  • semi-rigid multi-layer combinations of PVC films and polyester films
  • polypropylene film
  • textiles or textile-like products
  • imaging papers
  • polyester film

PVC banners are pliable, and durable and range in weight from 8 to 15 ounces. They can be ordered with or without a light-blocking layer.

“The quality of these products is highly variable,” says deGroot. And lightweight banners tend to curl at the edges when the display is set up.

Semi-rigid lay-flat PVC films have three layers —two extruded sheets of PVC on the top and bottom and a layer of polyester film in the middle. The PVC sheet provides a very smooth surface for imaging; the polyester film provides the stability that keeps the graphics flat when displayed.

Polypropylene films are thin, lightweight, and smooth. “The imaging is quite spectacular,” notes deGroot. But polypropylene film tears more easily than PVC, so these films aren’t recommended for displays in high-traffic areas. The quality of polypropylene film also varies depending on the manufacturer.

Textiles and textile-like products provide a softness and texture that can enhance the emotional appeal of a powerful visual message. Printed textiles are also easier to handle and store that semi-rigid films or laminated graphics.

Polyester films are used for high-end display applications that require a high level of durability and scratch-resistance. For example, a polyester film might be a good choice for banner stands that will be viewed by people standing in line at a bank.

Poster papers protected with laminating films can also be used to make banner-stand graphics. But this approach is better suited for longer-term graphics, because you must factor in the higher cost of the materials and the time required for lamination. Laminating large display prints can be tricky if you have never done it before.

Match the Media to the Application

Choosing the right material for the banner stand depends on where it will be displayed and how long. Consider questions such as these:

How many times will the banner be pulled in and out of the retractable display? Will the display be carried to a series of events where it will be rolled up and unrolled each day?

Will the display be exposed to lots of sunshine over a period of time? Or will it be displayed in an indoor meeting room for a day-long or weekend event?

Will you need media with a light-blocking (blockout) layer? A blockout layer is helpful if the graphics will be displayed in a trade-show or retail location where lights are shining form all directions. When light shines behind a banner-stand graphic without a blockout layer, the support structure of the banner stand will cast a shadow that will be visible on the front of the graphic.

A blockout layer adds to the cost of the media and its grayness can also diminish the white point of the imaging surface. This can affect the final look of your image.

“If you’re not going to have any light behind the graphic, forego the blockout layer,” says deGroot. “You’ll save a couple of dollars and get a better quality image.”

Consider the Coating

Ink doesn’t bond well to polyester and polypropylene films without some sort of ink-receptive coating.

Coatings are a must for all banner and display materials that will be printed on aqueous inkjet printers such as HP DesignJets, Canon imagePROGRAFs, and Epson Stylus Pros. The coating on the surface of the media acts like sponge. It allows the ink to be absorbed and also delivers properties such as color gamut, print resolution, dry times, scratch resistance, and outdoor durability.

The better the coating is, the better the performance of the printed graphic.

Uncoated PVC products typically work very well with printers that use solvent, eco-solvent, latex, or UV-curable inks. But even with these inks, a thin coating layer can improve the ink adhesion and produce brighter colors.

Call Us for Advice

Freedom Paper carries a wide selection of Sihl products that can be used for banner stand displays, including these four products for aqueous inkjet printers:

Sihl 3471 SuperDry Satin Grayback Roll-Up Film
Sihl 3171 SuperDry Glossy Roll Up Film
Sihl 3391 SyntiTec 7 mil PP Grayback
Sihl 3502 Expo Fire Retardant Banner

We also offer our own brand of Freedom Paper display materials and inkjet display media from HP, Canon, Kodak, and Magic.

If you have questions, call us at 866-310-3335 or use the online chat feature on our website:


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