CURTAINSIDE TRAILER BLOG

Silk-screen vs digitally printed graphics for a curtain side trailer

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 5, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson

One of the benefits of curtain side trailers is that the large retractable curtain can serve also as a mobile billboard to get your logo and company brand out to the public in numbers a stationary sign or other ad media can’t match. Eye-catching graphics and brief, concise informational or promotional text gets millions of views a year as your trucks travel the roads daily. Unlike a permanent painting on a standard solid-wall trailer, however, the curtain can be readily changed when it's time to update your look or change your message. Your design should be composed by a qualified graphic artist—today, there are even graphic design firms that specialize entirely in truck trailer advertising art—and then printed on the PVC-coated polyester curtain, followed by a clear-coat for UV protection so colors and images stay vivid through long miles on the road.

 

Curtain Side Trailer Silk-screen Printing Basics 

Larger-format printing like trailer curtains used to be entirely a product of the silk-screen process. Silk-screening is a method that actually dates back to the art of ancient Chinese prints. However, it's been substantially enhanced and today incorporates some of the automated benefits of high-tech digital printing.

A screen is coated with a photo-sensitive emulsion and then the artwork design, produced on common software such as Adobe Illustrator and saved as vector artwork, is exposed onto the screen. After the emulsion is rinsed away the design remains, fully transferred to the screen. A separate screen is created for each color composing the image. Color inks are applied to the curtain material through each screen using a multi-head automatic printer. In silk-screen art, the amount of ink can be varied and thick, rich coatings of ink can be applied. Vivid, high-density color is a long-standing benefit of the silk-screen method. Silk-screening lends itself particularly well to very bold, colorful logos and graphic artwork that often doesn't require high-resolution gradient or photographic images.

Samples of Silk-screen Printing on Curtain Side Trucks:

Moores_Lumber_004.jpg 

 

Naples-Lumber-curtainside-truck-graphics.jpg

 

The Curtain Side Trailer Digital Printing Advantage

Digital printing is the newest development and rapidly becoming the state of curtainside art. Large-format digital printers can now handle the size requirements of curtain panels. Because minimal pre-production is required, digital makes large, one-off printing projects such as a single curtain economically feasible. While digital printing also produces full-color photographic art, its standout advantage is very high-resolution. A digital curtainside image can be up to 400 dots per inch, which is considered photographic-quality and equivalent to images printed in a magazine. This allows you the great creative freedom to incorporate photo images into any size curtain with maximum detail and sharpness.

To create digital curtainside art, the customer submits the design—usually created in Illustrator or Photoshop, if a photograph is embedded—as a computer file uploaded to Roland’s FTP site or burned to a CD or DVD. Digital printing utilizes CMYK color and the ink is typically applied in thinner coats than silk-screen to facilitate the higher level of detail offered by digital. Once the file is received, it’s loaded into a large format digital printer and the printing is applied to the curtain fabric. Since there are no screens involved or other labor-intensive physical set-up process, digital printing can be executed almost directly file-to-curtain for efficient production and superior results.

One of the benefits of curtain side trailers is that the large retractable curtain can serve also as a mobile billboard to get your logo and company brand out to the public in numbers a stationary sign or other ad media can’t match. Eye-catching graphics and brief, concise informational or promotional text gets millions of views a year as your trucks travel the roads daily. Unlike a permanent painting on a standard solid-wall trailer, however, the curtain can be readily changed when it's time to update your look or change your message. Your design can be composed by a qualified graphic artist—today, there are even graphic design firms that specialize entirely in truck trailer advertising art—and then printed on the PVC-coated polyester curtain, followed by a clear-coat for UV protection so colors and images stay vivid through long miles on the road.

Samples of Digital Printing on Curtain Side Trailers:

DSC04696.jpg

 

Digital-Printing-of-Curtain-Side-Trailers.jpg

 

 Here's another article you might like: 

Effective graphics for curtainside trucks & curtainside trailers

 

Want to see more examples of the type of graphics Roland Curtains Inc offers for fleet advertising and/or truck and trailer promotion? Check out these options:



 

If you would like to learn how one client applied curtain side trailer graphics to their fleet, please feel free to download and read this case study.

Learn how switching your fleet over to curtainside trailers can lower your companies risk and increase your productivity!

 

 

Topics: Curtain Side Truck Graphics, Curtain Side Trailer Silk-screen Printing, Curtain Side Trailer Digital Printing, Curtain Side Trailer, Curtainsider Graphics, Curtainside Trailer

Pete Johnson

Written by Pete Johnson

Vice President, General Manager & Co-founder of Roland Curtains Inc. Pete was the first US employee for Roland International opening the US manufacturing business while creating sales in North, Central, and South America.

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