Should I laminate my trade show poster or just have it reprinted for each of the trade shows my firm is visiting? Such was the devil’s alternative that many business owners who needed a poster for an impending trade show used to face. UV Coating Systems provide a good alternative.
Neither of these choices is very good.
In “Printing and Design Tips,” Steve Waxman notes that laminating processes employ a type of plastic, and this plastic is made from petroleum. Printing processes that use petroleum release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, thus damaging the environment. The chemicals used to clean the inks are similarly harmful.
Thus, lamination is not the way to go, even though it does make for a durable, high-quality trade show poster.
Reprinting a poster that is thrown away at the end of every trade show is another option. Reprinting avoids the petroleum-related environmental problems that come with lamination, however, reprinting has a few such problems of its own.
First, reprinting posters wastes paper. Wasting paper contributes to deforestation and increased use of fossil fuels in logging. Both of these things damage the environment. Yes, there’s recyclable paper available, but the energy and effort that it takes to print a new poster would be better spent elsewhere.
This means reprinting is no better an option than lamination. So what’s a socially responsible, would-be green business owner who still needs their trade show posters to do?
The answer is simple: get a poster printed using a UV coating system print finishing process.
UV coatings allow for the creation of beautiful, long lasting trade show posters, just like laminates. Unlike laminates, though, no VOCs are produced in this method of print finishing.
The durability of a UV coating means that one trade show poster can be reused many times, just as if it was laminated. This saves the paper that reprinting would waste.
UV coatings are scratch-resistant, add thickness to the paper, and make the colors pop much more dramatically, so it’s a much better option, graphic design-wise too.
Finally, since UV print finishing techniques take substantially less energy to produce than many other such processes, they help the environment in still a third way. The next time your firm needs trade show posters, do the earth (and yourself) a favor and get it UV coated!