How to choose the correct flag supplier
For example, a quote for a flag from one company can vary quite significantly from a quote from another. Here is why…
Pause for a moment to consider what happens when you request a quote for a flag.
Criteria to consider:
A flag is most often used outside where it is left for months on end exposed to strong winds, destructive UV, rain and air pollution. A flag printed on sub-standard fabric, that is cheaply finished and printed with low quality, short lived inks will be attractively priced. But, it will not be long before you need a replacement.
When comparing quotes for a flag from competing suppliers be sure to check the following:
- What type and weight of media (fabric) is being used?
Each medium has its own pros and cons. Some media are better suited for windy environments; whilst others are more resistant to dirt or UV damage. Make sure your branding specialist offers the correct media for your intended usage.
- What printing technology is being used?
Not all printers and printing methods are equal, both have their advantages and disadvantages. If a quote is low priced, there will likely be a very good reason why. It may well be that the printing technology being used is entry level.
- What inks are being used?
UV exposure has a huge influence on the lifespan of a product. Make sure your printer is using high quality UV stabilised inks if your application requires UV resistance. In most cases, you will have invested heavily in the development of your corporate ID. Do not betray that investment by selecting cheap branding where colours change and fade with quickly. Combining the correct inks with appropriate media for the best result in various environments is a highly technical skill. Well established service providers have spent years developing this skill and getting the combinations correct.
Ink penetration is a definite must to consider. During printing, only one side of the fabric is printed. An advanced printer will be able to make sure the ink penetrates deep into the fabric meaning the verso of the fabric will look almost the same as the front printed side. Low penetration percentages or strike through, as it is often called, can leave the fabric looking faded and washed out or even white on the verso. Very Often budget printers combat this by using a lighter weight fabric which has the knock on effect of a less durable product supplied. Ideally you want a high strike through of around 90% on a fabric weight that suits your needs.
- An often overlooked feature is the quality of “finishing”.
Just like with clothing, if the stitching is poor, or the edges are not well finished, or the components sewn into the flag are not of high quality, it will not last. In the flag example, a trailing edge that is not well hemmed will quickly fray. If high quality eyelets are not used, or the incorrect fabric is spec’d, the eyelets may tear out.
- Consider the forces that the flag will be subjected to.
A small flag hung outside a store, protected from the wind and brought in each night could last even if printed very cheaply. Yet a four-meter-high flag sitting proudly above a building in the teeth of the wind 24 hours a day needs to be far more robust. These two flags cannot be printed in the same fashion on the same media. In this example, the cheapest quote might easily end up costing more in the long run.
We have used a flag as an example, but this logical comparison applies equally to other forms of branding such as gazebos, parasols, Bowbanners or A-frames, to name a few.
If branding includes hardware such as a frame, choosing the best quality you can, will result in massive savings in the long-run. Hardware can be re-skinned with new printed media to refresh an existing campaign or to support a new one.
The next time you are deciding between several quotes for the same item from different suppliers, consider the variables at play. Choose the service provider that has taken the time to understand your application and has selected the correct mix of media, ink and hardware to make sure your brand is displayed proudly in the environment it will living in.
That higher cost quote will end up saving you money over time!