Although digital and print technology has expanded small scale
printing capabilities, there are still relatively few options for high
quality, long lasting imagery in the architectural realm, in
particular, for exterior and facades. We have partnered with Pulp
Studio in Los Angeles, a specialty glass studio specializing in all
kinds of graphic imaging in large format glass. Before
committing to a specific technology, understand the following options,
each with specific advantages and limitations.
Table of Contents
- SentryGlas Expressions
- Pulp Glass Imaging
- Flat Bed Digital Printing
- Ceramic Frit
4-Color, Exterior Grade Photographic Imagery:
Also referred to as SGX, this
patented Dupont technology is produced under license to Pulp Studio
Inc. This highly advanced printing technology reproduces graphic
images, printing them directly onto a proprietary Polyvinyl butyral
(PVB) substrate with exclusively developed inks. One of the major
benefits of this system is its ability to remain sustainable in direct
sunlight and eliminate the concerns of short-term fading. Although it
can be used for both for interior and exterior installations, its
exterior capability far surpasses other technologies previously
available. Two other attributes of the SGX system is the ability to
print in white and maximum printable dimensions available up to an
impressive 96" x 180".
True Photographic Imagery:
Pulp Glass Imaging
Also referred to as PGI, this
technology utilizes a true photographic process to print on a
proprietary film layer that is laminated within glass. While this
process is only recommended for interior projects, it produces vibrant
photographic imagery that is most appropriate when the graphic design
demands the highly possible print quality.
Flatbed Digital Printing:
Generally utilizes UV cured inks
and should not be mistaken for inks that are resistant to exposure for
long periods to Ultraviolet Rays, (such as exterior installations on
architectural projects). These systems generally print directly onto
glass and are a good option for short-term applications, such as
interior signage or tabletops. They generally do not perform well when
laminated between glass due to their limited adhesion nor as an ink
system where longevity is required.
Ceramic products utilize screen-
printing that makes the process of multiple colors and non-repeating
designs a very expensive technology for multiple color imaging. It is
best used on projects that are one or two color designs with repeating
images. Ceramics can be very cost effective for larger projects, but
tend to be rather costly for smaller jobs, or projects that include
multiple color imaging. Ceramic colors are also limited to very
specific shades and do not offer the range of colors that can be
generated through digital imaging.
To learn more about SGX and PGI Imaging, contact me at (206)
972-5456 and schedule an appointment. My presentation offers a more in-
depth comparison between available print technologies as illustrated
by great samples and some of our most impressive recent projects.
We'll also discuss formatting and artwork requirements and
introduce our full service art studio which is capable of managing the
most monstrous files and complicated layouts.
You may also email me at email@example.com
Here is a small sampling of some of the questions I can
answer during the presentation:
- Which of the different
technologies is best suited for my application?
- Are the images always
transparent when they are printed?
- Will the hue in clear glass
affect the colors in the image?
- How can I improve the color
density and viewing of the image in the glass?
- What are some examples of how
images in specific applications are affected by light
- How does frameless structural
glazing in curtain walls affect the use of SentryGlas®
- Can SGX and PGI be made with
- Can I use spider arms and point
fittings with both processes?