Why do one in two fabric graphic installations fail? Expert OpinionWorld

Richard Leach, managing director of Leach Impact, highlights why this exhibition stand solution is so widely regarded as problematic…

When produced professionally, fabric graphics represent a modern, seamless and crease-free exhibition stand solution with unparalleled photographic and illumination capabilities. So when it comes to designing a stand with ‘wow factor’ it’s no wonder they’re a popular choice.

However, a number of stand builders – understandably – groan with horror when such graphics are specified. It’s not because they don’t understand the potential visual impact that could be achieved, but because they know that such a solution is fraught with risks.

Key to resolving any problem, of course, is the ability to identify its root cause. So, five of the most common fabric graphic failings include:

  1. Disappointing colour reproduction, which can leave images under-saturated and corporate colours ‘off-brand’
  2. Cracking and damage to the fabric or ink, caused during transportation or handling
  3. The material, quite simply, not fitting correctly within the stand frame. If oversized, the graphic will look disappointingly baggy
  4. At the other end of the scale, inaccurate measurements can result in an undersized graphic, leaving little option but to order a costly last-minute replacement
  5. A poor material choice which means that, when illuminated, the stand structure shows through the graphic or hotspots/shadows become visible.

Of course not every project will fall victim to all of these failings, but if even one arises, a stand builder’s profit margin will soon be eroded (not to mention their sanity level!)

The important thing to remember is that when these problems are encountered, it is not because the solution isn’t appropriate for exhibition stands – it’s because the print partner was not equipped for the job. It will typically take a print provider at least 2-3 years to amass the systems and expertise required to execute fabric graphic production to a consistently high standard, even under the pressures of a looming event.

However, find the right partner, and the visual benefits of fabric graphics – not to mention their reusability and cost-effectiveness of transportation – will come into a league of their own.

Richard Leach is managing director of Leach Impact, a graphic display specialist with a 125 year heritage.


Tom Hall

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World

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