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Media is the Message

(August 2009) posted on Wed Aug 12, 2009

More than 100 media sources for your next job.

click an image below to view slideshow

The most-experienced shop can utilize the best available printer with high-end
inks in conjunction with top-of-the-line software and finishing expertise. But if
the wrong media is chosen for a particular job, then that job will surely suffer. To
steal—and slightly modify—a line from 1960s communications theorist Marshall
McLuhan, the media is the message.

Recognizing how critical media choice is, however, is just the prelude to identifying
the best media for a specific application or job. One vinyl, for instance, isn’t just like the others.

Just some of the factors that enter into the media equation include: weight, width, coating, thickness, inclusion (or exclusion) of adhesives, surface finish/texture, one- or two-sided printability, whiteness/brightness, printer compatibility, and so on.

To help you in your media selection, we’ve compiled this month’s media sourcelist: a compendium of manufacturers and private-label distributors of the most commonly used media in wide-format: rollfed vinyl, paper, films, and self-adhesives.

Note that we have only listed primary producers, manufacturers, and converters of media for the wide-format inkjet market; we’ve not listed distributors/dealers who are simply selling another company’s branded media. Also keep in mind that this sourcelist does not include rigid media (we’ll sourcelist this in October), specialty media (fabric, wallcovering, transfer paper, fine-art substrates, or magnetic media—covered later this year as well), or laminating media (covered earlier this year,
January 2009 issue). Finally, note that this information, sourced from company websites, was accurate at press time, but check company websites for the latest offerings.

Advantage Distribution
Advantage paper and vinyl.

Advantage Sign Supply
Optima Opti-Jet media for aqueous and Opti-Solve for solvent printers.

Alameda Supplies
Alameda wide-format inkjet paper, banner, and film.

American Permalight
Photoluminescent media for solvent.

Arkwright Advanced Coating
Paper, film and vinyl for aqueous, solvent, and UV-curable printers.

Solvent-compatible DPF banner media, PSA, and films.

Aslan Schwarz
PVC, films, and self-adhesives for aqueous, solvent/mild-solvent, and UV-curable inks.

Avery Dennison Graphics
Media lines for water-based, solvent, and UV-curable inkjets include: Multi Purpose Inkjet (MPI); Digital Banner Media (DBM); and Ink Jet Print Media (IPM). Also has an
EcoFriendly portfolio.

Bandanna Banner
Extreme Digital vinyl for solvent.

Bayer Films Americas
Makrofol polycarbonate films.