Duratrans / Backlit Printing
Welcome to our post “Duratrans: An Advertising Option Which Is Worth Considering.”
Most of us might have started forgetting the Kodak story, but not for ardent photographers. Eastman Kodak Company has managed to etch its name deep in the history of photography through its numerous contribution to the field. One key contribution is the Duratrans photographic and printing technique.
What is it?
Duratrans is the shortened name for Endura Transparency technique. This technique was developed and so named in Kodak Company in mid-1979. It refers to large sized backlit transparent color films. The Duratrans name has been adapted to encompass all forms of large display backlit display materials.
In the printing technique graphics are printed on a translucent base film. It is also possible to print them on a transparent base. In the latter, a milky backside membrane, the diffuser, is added to increase the light dispersion across the whole surface.
Quality expectations of the technique
Since its advent Duratrans has been preferred for the following reasons;
• Resolution: Duratrans has a higher resolution than most other forms of print solutions. Under normal print, you can easily get a 1200 dpi print. An optimized print can go up to 4000 dpi for very large prints. As such it is a better choice for large outdoor signages.
• Durability/ color lifespan: Ultraviolet light tends to cause decay on photographic prints especially cheaper pigment options. In has a higher lifespan in comparison to other print materials. More reason to use it for outdoor displays.
• Black opacity: Light blocking is an important feature in making graphic prints sparkle prominently. Dura displays handle this particular print aspect quite well. They are able to block transmitted light which results in a lighter color schematic where there are dark image shades.
• Dot size: It is able to capture so many dots per inch within a small portion. This results in a rich fine picture. As compared to other inkjet prints, it offers some of the smoothest color transition prints
• Contrast and saturations; Due to high pixels and resolution, it is able to produce high contrast prints. The color saturation on its large format display is the best one can get for any displays.
Points to note about Duratrans
• Expensive: It requires skill to produce. It also need specialized printers to produce on the special film. This makes its displays more expensive to produce.
• Turn-around times: The process of producing dura displays has evolved since 1979. Advancement in production processes has meant lesser time is spent producing the pieces. Most graphic design processors ask for between 2- 4 days to complete processing a print. The fastest printers, though, can do it within a day.
• Backlit restriction: Unfortunately, the backlit display prints are restricted to the use of backlights. Without the availability of backlights, the pictures tend to appear distorted.
• Public display advertising: Most of the crisp graphic large displays are made of Duratrans. They are printed so for two reasons. They are well illuminated due to the presence of diffused light. The second reason is that they require lesser light bulbs inside them resulting in lower energy costs.
• Point of purchase display: Most superstores have illuminated signs just above the cashiers. To make sure that customers are able to see these signs (and cut costs) most stores choose to use backlit displays for such signages.
• Lighted wayfinding signages: Ever been lost in the airport? Did you have to use the direction pointer signs? You might have been interacting with Duratrans sign. For the same reasons of illumination and cost, most airports and rails stations choose to use Duratrans.
• Television translites: The background behind many news anchors and talks show hosts are specially formulated to capture and use backlight. These backgrounds are normally stretched horizontally and emblazoned with city landscapes or company logos. The light diffusing property works well in creating a balanced light all across the background.
Factors to consider before using Duratrans display
• Cost: It is expensive in the short run due to high production costs. After installation, they can serve you for longer periods, which offsets the initial adoption cost.
• Usage: If using on large format displays it is the best option to use. If trying on a small signage with clear surrounding light there are cheaper options.
• Period of use: Due to expense it is best used if your mind is made up on middle to long-term use. If you are bent on changing signage and advert displays frequently, you should consider going for another option.
As you might notice, duratrans offer so many advantages when it comes to display. Whenever thinking of advertising, it should be should be among your first choices. Get a couple of trustworthy graphic design printers to help you in this pursuit. You won’t regret it.
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