Firehouse Blog

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FASTER, BETTER, FIREHOUSE!

paulnewpicComing off of a strong 2016, Firehouse is foreseeing fantastic growth opportunities for 2017! To meet that demand we are installing a new EFI Vutek HS125 printer in early May. This new machine is a hybrid system that can print both boards and roll goods. But the most exciting aspect of the HS125 is its print quality coupled with blazing speed.

Speed is everything now. For clients, print quality is a given. They want to know who can turn jobs the fastest since their turn times are always getting tighter. The HS125 will meet that demand.

In addition to faster production for existing work, the HS125 can handle print runs that are beyond the reach of other digital devices. Our clients now have options for those larger print runs that, traditionally, could only be produced by the offset shop.

Since jobs will be flying through the shop faster than ever now, clients will appreciate the ability to instantly check job status and tracking through our Spark software. Spark is free to all Firehouse clients and the intuitive browser interface allows 24/7 access to your Firehouse projects. We are continuously developing this application to build out the feature set. We recently added the ability to view and download invoices for any completed job.

To sum up our hardware and software, it’s Faster, it’s Better, it’s Firehouse!

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations

Save Time & Money by Printing Directly to Rigid Materials

paulnewpicIn the past, if you wanted a rigid print for wall mounting, hanging or an easel stand, you would print to paper or vinyl stock, apply and adhesive layer and run it through a mounting press to adhere it to foamcore, gatorboard or a thicker vinyl. But, today’s flatbed printers can eliminate the mounting stage from your projects by printing directly to many rigid substrates. Below are a selection of our most popular options. If you need a specific material, please let me know and we’ll get it.

SBS Card Stock
SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate), is a high-quality paper board substrate produced from bleached wood pulp. This durable card stock is available in 12pt., 18pt., 24pt. and 50pt. thicknesses. SBS can be printed on both sides. Because of its price point, SBS is ideal for temporary signage. Additional applications include counter cards, tent cards, sign holders and door hangers.

Corex/Coroplast
Most commonly seen as yard signs mounted to metal H stakes, corex is a lightweight, extruded polypropylene sheet with a corrugated internal structure. It’s 4mm thick and can be printed on both sides. Corex is a great choice for short-term outdoor graphics such as pole- or wall-mounted signs.

Styrene
Polystyrene is Firehouse’s most popular substrate for indoor signage. Styrene is a rigid, bright white board available in .015”, .020”, .030”, .040” and .060” thicknesses. Styrene can be printed on both sides and it’s the perfect material for most indoor POP applications.

Foamcore
Foamcore contains a polystyrene foam center laminated on both sides with a white, coated paper stock. That results in a very lightweight board. It is available in 3/16” (5mm) thickness and can be printed on both sides. It’s a great choice for easel graphics, fixtures, short-run standees, tabletop displays and signs.

Gatorboard
Gatorboard is a more durable alternative to foamcore. It also contains a polystyrene foam core, but it’s sandwiched with a wood veneer infused with resin for water resistance and strength. It’s available in 3/16” and 1/2” thicknesses and can be printed on both sides. Gatorboard and foamcore are equally suited to most indoor applications, but choose gatorboard for extra durability and dimensional stability.

Expanded PVC Sheets
An extremely versatile material, PVC sheets are much more dense than foam boards. They provide a more durable and moisture resistant alternative for long-term indoor, or short-term outdoor signage. Available in white or black and either 3mm or 6mm thicknesses. PVC can be printed on both sides, and it works well in fixtures, wall mounts or hanging applications.

Clear Substrates
Firehouse offers three clear materials spanning the range of affordability and durability—Acrylic, PETG and Polycarbonate. All are optically clear and will not fade or yellow over time. A blog post detailing clear materials is in the works, so stay tuned.

Corrugated Cardboard
Firehouse prints to white-faced corrugated in two popular thicknesses—1/8” B flute and 1/16” E flute. Corrugated is great for temporary graphics and can be scored and assembled into printed boxes and POP displays.

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations

Windows that POP!

paulnewpicWindow graphics can be full window coverings with varying levels of transparency, cut vinyl graphics and even isolated graphics on clear material with white ink.

Below we’ve detailed our most popular window materials and applications. There are many more materials available than we can mention here. As always, if a job requires a specific material, we can get it.

Pressure Sensitive Vinyl (PSV)

PSV is an adhesive-backed product that is easily applied to any smooth, clean surface. It is available in white or clear and with a permanent or repositionable adhesive. There are also numerous textures and patterns to provide options for privacy screening. Our frosted vinyls mimic the appearance of etched glass for a fraction of the cost.

PSV is also available in solid colors for cut-letter applications.

Window Cling
An 8mil, non-adhesive material primarily used for temporary window advertising, temporary product markings, POP displays and protective masking. Easily removable and repositionable. Can be first- or second-surface mounted.

Window Perf
An ideal product for one-way visibility. This adhesive-backed material has a perforated dot pattern that allows enough print surface for graphic readability outside with minimal restrictions on light transmission and window viewing from the inside. This makes it the perfect choice for storefronts, restaurants and office space.

Double-sided Window Graphics

The above products are well-suited for single sided window graphics. But, if the situation calls for double-sided graphics, Firehouse has a few options.

Stoplight
Stoplight (AKA Blockout) is a smooth-finish paper stock coated on both sides. It has an internal light-blocking layer which makes it ideal for double-sided window applications. Firehouse can add a window adhesive coating to the finished prints.

Styrene
Firehouse prints to several thicknesses of polystyrene sheet. The .020″ thickness has the opacity needed for double-sided displays. Again, a window adhesive will be added to the printed boards for mounting.

 

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations