ADS introduces new accessories

ADS has introduced a full range of tools and accessories to 'lend further support to its customers in the sign making and vehicle wrapping sectors'.

The range comprises SOTT application tools and surface cleaning agents that will prove 'invaluable' to vehicle wrappers. They include the Blue Max window squeegee and performance handle, described as the 'ultimate solution' for wet application, involving heavier-duty films such as those used for safety signage, solar window graphics and laminated digital printing applications. And the HeatMaster heat gun for vehicle wrapping and window tinting applications.

The Right Off adhesive remover will remove residual adhesive in two minutes as well as serving as a cleaning agent to eliminate environmental pollutants such as grease, grime and tar.

The range also includes knife less tapes in four variations. The first of these will improve material conformability around vehicle bumpers, door handles and mirrors. While the second option is 'excellent' for vehicle striping by allowing stretching and redirection of the material. The third option is for applications involving perforated window for vehicle and window wraps, according to the company. The fourth option is Total Seal, described as a fast and easy solution to edge sealing problems in vinyl applications. It comprises a clear acrylic lacquer containing UV blocking agents and dries in approximately 10 minutes after application.


Spandex UK

Ink Cartridges for wide format printers Pop-up banner Leon Watson, General Manager Spandex UK.

Leon Watson, General Manager Spandex UK, reveals that there are many sectors of the signage and graphics market that are poised for substantial growth – but they may not be the ones you suspect.

As printers and materials continue to develop, manufacturers are responding with new and improved inks on a rapid basis.

“Ink technology seems to be changing on a weekly basis,” says Leon, adding that while latex has had a tangible impact on the industry, another ink has yet to fulfil it’s potential. “I think all eyes are still on UV. It offers a multitude of benefits to the sign maker that are probably over and above that of latex,” he says. To match the evolving ink technology, Spandex carries printers such as those from swissQprint that work specifically with UV curable inks to print on a number of materials ranging from vinyl to PVC, dibond and foam panels. “Just by changing curing times and temperatures, you can then change the state of the print, whether you require a matte or a high gloss look, and again that can only be done through UV printing,” says Leon.

New Inks for New Sign & Graphics Markets

As sign makers foray into new submarkets, this move is being reflected in the types of inks being purchased. Leon notes that at Spandex, the numbers reflect a large interest in architectural signage, or interior decoration. “Things like textiles and wallpapers, they seem to be growing much, much faster than the likes of vehicle wrapping.”

While vehicle wrapping is undoubtedly popular, the textile market is right behind it. In fact, Polytape estimates the size of the textile market to be worth £12 million a year - and growing. Textile printing is a cost-effective way for end-users to transform the look and feel of a business establishment without having to pay for expensive refurbishment and redesign. Digital print can transform the wall and floor coverings at a fraction of the price, and as such sign makers are receiving more of these types of requests. “I’m continually amazed at the growth we see in textiles and soft signage, and wallpaper in particular seems to be growing like crazy,” adds Leon.

Another submarket, t-shirt printing, is also on the rise. What may be classed as a hobby or side-project for some sign makers is actually a surprisingly large market. “It’s almost like a silent industry,” says Leon, “but when you add it all together, we see sales of our products to support this industry growing very quickly.”

For over twenty years, Spandex has been at the forefront of ink technology based on partnerships with brands such as Arlon and 3M in addition to the manufacture of their own product line. Heading into the New Year, sign makers can expect to see a continued focus on high value as well as a number of solutions for interior decoration and soft signage from Spandex.

To learn more, visit


Case study: Train to gain

Roland Academy Logo

Roland DG (UK) Academy and Creative Centre Manager, Joe Wigzell writes on just how Roland DG academy are paving the way for sign makers, while increasing their skill sets and how they benefit the industry as a whole.

The Roland Academy is about more than just product training, it is about mastering wide format technology in order to grow your business. The Academy plays host to a range of courses aimed at giving students (Roland's customers, sign makers and printers) - with varying levels of experience and expertise, the skills and confidence needed to get the most out of their creative software and wide-format printers, so they can get ahead of the competition and ultimately maximise their ROI.

Faster, better, stronger

Once the basics have been mastered, attention is turned to fine tuning the operation of both software and hardware to bring about further improvements in efficiency, and help quicken turnaround to add more to the bottom line. Many signmakers forget that it is not just material costs that affect profitability.

By working faster and more efficiently through software shortcuts and variable data techniques, best practice in colour management and machine maintenance that make up part of the Intermediate Digital Print course, they can make even greater gains in terms of profitability.

Early learning

To begin with, this means getting the basics right in order to achieve repeatable high quality and win repeat business. In this challenging economic climate and increasingly competitive market it is essential that top quality is produced every single time. Wide format inkjet printers are precise pieces of machinery and the inside knowledge imparted on delegates attending the Basic Application and Finishing course for example, will help to improve their understanding of the elements that contribute to producing outstanding quality with minimum wastage, profitably.

Roland-Car-wrapping-bonnet2 Roland-Car-wrapping-side Roland-Car-wrapping-bonnet

More inspiration, less perspiration

Wide format inkjet technology is so versatile that this sector is fast becoming recognised as the most innovative in the entire print industry. And the Academy is designed to help unlock the full potential of Roland machines and turn the old adage on its head - if you truly understand what you're working with, success in wide-format print can be 90 per cent inspiration and 10 per cent perspiration.

Not only are Roland's trainers all heavily experienced graphics professionals but attendees often take just as much inspiration from hearing what fellow delegates are applying their printing equipment to.

You really never know what might plant the seed of inspiration that grows into the latest profitable business venture. And, with print buyers themselves getting savvier and pushing sign makers to come up with ever more creative applications, being familiar enough with printing technology to confidently break the boundaries is one way to secure future growth and strengthen customer relationships.

Aspire to go higher and higher

With wide format inkjet being so versatile, opportunities for profit beyond traditional display graphics have caught the eye of many entrepreneurial signmakers. Vehicle wrapping is one of these and, while the printing technology is the same, it is a specialist area where profit depends upon speed and expertise founded on best practice and sound understanding of the materials involved. Nevertheless, it is readily achievable for all signmakers, as the basic skill sets are already in place.

The Roland Academy's Vehicle Wrapping Course was developed in response to high interest from sign makers who understood how lucrative vehicle wrapping could be for their business and were concerned with the number of requests they were being forced to refer to others. Adding this vehicle wrapping service to a sign maker's portfolio requires no significant investment in new kit - the skills taught on this course are all they need.

Roland believes that raising the skill sets of its users is of great benefit to the industry as whole. Training helps to safe guard the industry's reputation as quality driven and reliable, yet highly creative and vibrant, while ensuring that having made their investment sign makers are in the best possible position to make a return. It doesn't matter whether that is through learning more efficient ways to achieve the same great results or inspiring them to ever more creative heights.

For more information visit: or call: 0845 230 9060.


Hexis launches new HX20000 series

Hexis UK Ltd, manufacturer and distributor of sign vinyl, textile marking films and digital print media are proud to launch the all new HX20000 series high performance cast vinyl for vehicle wrapping.

This series of multilayered 80µm high gloss cast pvc is specially designed for solid colour vehicle wraps. The product has been developed for application onto exotic sports cars, premium executive cars, all commercial vehicles where the owner requires a change of body colour or the application of eye catching graphics.

The HX20000 series uses the unique PE-coated liner with HEX’Press™ solvent acrylic adhesive technology, which facilitates the escape of trapped air, thus avoiding any air bubbles or creases during application. A further part of the specification is that the film can be cleanly and quickly removed at the end of the campaign.

Due to the thickness of the cast vinyl the colours are very stable during application; even after strong deformation the whitening effect is negligible. The HX20000 series is available in 33 high gloss colours, including metallic and lustre metallic. In order to create a matt finish vehicle wrap film Hexis recommends lamination with its PC30M2 matt cast laminate.

The HX20000 can also protect the bodywork and paintwork of the vehicle while it is covered in the vinyl film. The vehicle will be protected from the elements, minor stone chips, scratches, scuffs and insect damage. The HX20000 can even be polished during its life on the vehicle.

In order to support the launch of this product range, Hexis UK Ltd has an application guidance DVD on the art of applying HEX’Press vinyl film. They can also offer a range of training courses available from novice to expert in the application of the unique film range of HEX’Press. A full colour swatch of the HX20000 is available supported by an in depth and informative application guide.


Accolades galore for Sussex Sign Company

"The past few months have proven to be an interesting and challenging journey for all but on behalf of Fellow™ and the University College for the Creative Arts I would like to thank you all for your professionalism, quality of deliverables and amazing customer service. You have gone above and beyond to deliver a fleet of beautifully crafted vehicles and the positive feedback we've received so far (including the rumour of an award nomination) is testament to everyone's hard work (See images). Please consider this a glowing reference for anyone who might be considering Sussex Signs as a potential supplier. I look forward to working with you all again."

Carl Jeffrey
Creative Midwife and Founder of Fellow™ Creative

Founded in 1995, The Sussex Sign Company, Newhaven, East Sussex (part of The Sussex Sign Group) has over thirteen years experience in meeting the requirements of our wide and varied client base.

The Sussex Sign Group was formed in 2004 and now consists of Milterbest Screen and Digital Printers, the newly acquired Brighton Sign Company and Brighton Trade Signs. The group offers a total solution for your design and signage requirements.

The group offer a nationwide service, which includes a consultancy service, design service, signage manufacturing, fabrication, installation, project management, full colour digital printing - trade and retail, vehicle wrapping, screen printing and DDA compliant Health and Safety signage.

Whilst each company within the group has its own structure and focus, the management teams work closely together to ensure the highest standard of service throughout the entire supply chain.

vehicle Livery
Van for the Sony Centre.
Wrapped Mini
Group photo of the Sussex Sign Company team.

We at The Sussex Sign Company do not just see ourselves as just another signmaking company; we differ significantly in our enthusiasm and commitment to our work. We receive satisfaction in all that we do and as a team are committed to providing a complete design and signage service from project conception to completion. We specialise in four significant areas; design, large format digital printing, vehicle wrapping and DDA compliant Health and Safety signage.

The Design Department at The Sussex Sign Company is dedicated to producing attractive, noticeable and inspiring design solutions. Our designs do not just look excellent, our passion for design advocates our team objective of helping our client's initiate and maintain lasting relationships with their audience.

Our latest state of the art UV stable printers can produce exceptionally high quality prints that can be professionally applied to an extensive range of substrates including impressive and striking vehicle wraps completed by our qualified vehicle wrapping team.

We pride ourselves on our quality and embrace the latest technology and skill bases to guarantee that we surpass our client's expectations. This point is compounded by The Sussex Sign Company playing an influential role in facilitating the arrival of the NVQ in Signmaking to the South Coast.

All team members within the group have now either successfully completed or are completing appropriate levels within this scheme.

The Sussex Sign Company works closely with our immediate and extended community. We are members of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce and Business Network International. We are also accredited the Buy with Confidence Trademark issued by East Sussex Trading Standards.

The team are furthermore proud winner's of Sussex Small Business of the Year Award 2003 followed in 2004 by not only being voted Newhaven business of the year but also Federation of Small Business - Southern Region Small Business Champions. In addition 2005 saw us awarded the Investors in People standard and in 2007 we were finalists in the Sussex business awards 'Learning Pays' award. January 2008 saw us re-appraised for the Investors in People standard which we passed with flying colours and the latter part of the same year we were accredited to the Safe Contractor Approval Scheme.

Norman Mayhew
Managing Director
Sussex Sign Company

For further information call 01273 512818 or visit the website

Sussex Sign Co Logo

General Tutorials

Vinyl Feature - July 2008

Doro Tape - Responding to customers for 20 years

Dorotape’s range includes metallised and special effect films as well as silver and gold for vehicle wrapping. For nearly 20 years Doro Tape has been keeping a finger on the pulse of the ever changing vinyls market and responding to customers needs, with the result that the company now boasts a large portfolio of top quality vinyl for every job imaginable.

The most popular ranges of Doro Tape’s standard vinyl include the new, softer Aslan C118 polymeric films, great for a large variety of applications, including vehicle graphics, and the Ritrama L100 monomeric films, ideal for most general signage. Both of these are 70 microns and come in a great selection of colours, including metallic silver and gold.

Some really stunning designs can be created with standard coloured vinyl, particularly when used in conjunction with Doro’s fantastic specialist films, such as the Gemstone range, mirror, metallised and holographic effect films, and the beautiful colour-changing Aurora and Andromeda among others. Also popular is the Carbon fibre effect vinyl, which, being from the Durable range, has a five year exterior life, and is resistant to staining, cracking and delaminating.

Colour-changing Aurora film from Dorotape.

Work from printers, applicators and end-users form all over Europe was submitted into four different categories:
Vehicle Graphics, Interior Signs, Exterior Signs and Technical Achievements. A special Advertising Prize was also awarded to the entry considered most relevant and groundbreaking from an advertiser's point of view. The top prize for Exterior Signs was won by a UK company, Jupiter Display.

All films in the S-FX Durable, and S-FX Plus ranges can be printed using digital (solvent ink), thermal heat transfer, and screen printing techniques, giving further scope for some really special visual displays and graphics.

Doro Tape has recently added the brand new Shine series; stunning range of glossy coloured metallic films in cherry, azure, magenta, violet and emerald. The films are made up of a metallised polyester, with a coloured soft PVC laminate on top, giving a high quality film with a two-year exterior life.

Also new to Doro this year is a brand new line in glass etch effect vinyl for window graphics, called the EL300 Dry Apply by Aslan. Perfect for graphics on glass, this silver etch film has a special patterned adhesive surface that allows air to escape easily during application. No need for wet application (in fact not recommended), it gives a perfect bubble-free finish. With an outdoor life of up to seven years, this easy to apply vinyl is a great addition to the wide variety of etch effect films available at Doro.

With lots more ranges and a separate website full of digitally printable media, Doro Tape believes it really can offer a vinyl to suit every job.

For more information, either call the team on 08451 651636 or log on to or

Subscribe to this RSS feed