Guest Blogpost by Del Williams, a marketing and technical writer based in Torrance, California.
Designers, event planners, and marketers looking to visually brand, market or promote a product or organization at trade shows, special events, or building entrances can now transform floor space into an attention-getting canvas with custom, digitally printed dye-sublimated carpets. While posters, banners, and other display media have long been used to reach out to prospects in interior spaces, traditional wall space is often over cluttered. In contrast, interior floor space is uncluttered by design.
Now designers and event planners are taking advantage of the new “blank canvas” they have found to visually brand, market, and promote products or organizations. “The floor is a huge empty space that can be transformed into your personal advertising medium with custom digitally printed carpets, which represent an exciting new promotional channel,” says Ilene Haber, Creative Director at the Marketing Project, a New York City-based marketing specialist of healthcare and nonprofit organizations. “Customers interact with your visual brand – your logo, your message, your mascot – because in this novel format it draws the eye in; they walk over it and they touch it. The surface becomes an event in itself.”
Trade shows, convention centers, schools, colleges, universities, museums, corporate offices, retail spaces, and concert tours are just some of the venues where custom, digitally printed carpets have been used for branding, marketing, and promotion. Designers are exploring the new possibilities – from Aladdin’s magic carpet in Disneyland to a yellow brick road themed carpet in a New York City Furla Fashion Week event; to a promotional New York Jets football field carpet, lined and numbered like the real gridiron; to carpet displaying earthquake fault lines at a California museum; to inlay carpeting of the UConn Huskies’ mascot showing school pride in the basketball locker room.
“Today digital dye-sublimation printed carpets can be printed in the full color spectrum from any electronic image in sizes and shapes limited only by the designers imagination,” says Jim O’Connor, CEO of Enhance a Colour, an innovator in the large format digital printing industry. “If a designer can create an image on the computer screen, we can create and color match it perfectly in a variety of carpet grades.” The company’s promotional grade carpet for trade shows and short-term events is available at up to 10’x 50’ lengths, and can be laser cut into smaller size “tiles” which can be put together to create any size visual display required. Circles and irregular shapes are also possible. Such promo grade carpet with a rubberized back is good for 60 days of use. Heavier, Ultra carpet, designed for corporate settings, museums, schools, retail spaces and anywhere requiring longer term use, can be created in 10’x12’ sections and “tiled” for larger displays.
“From portable to permanent, the branding opportunities available with Enhance a Colour’s custom digitally printed carpets are wide open,” says Haber. “Their logos and visual detail pop with photorealism. They’ve done great work for not only Tiffany’s and Macy’s, but also Nintendo, and the medium is inexpensive enough to be used for trade shows, pop up stores, and special events.” While promotional carpet was available to designers previously, it was limited in size, function, and color matching capability. In the past, for instance, some vendors printed in solvent ink, which could not be walked on, and was not color fast or washable. UV inks were a little better, but still not washable. In digitally printed dye-sublimated carpets, however, the carpet colors are actually transferred into the fibers of the carpet using extreme heat and pressure during printing, a process the company pioneered by designing and building its own custom machinery. This means that the carpet colors are color fast. The carpet can be shampooed, machine washed, or steam cleaned.
Traditional carpet inlay that was sewn together in several pieces seldom matched colors well. In contrast, carpet inlay using dye-sublimated printing can exactly color match even a one-of-a-kind logo, mascot, or insignia. When the UConn Huskies basketball team chose Enhance a Colour’s inlay carpeting to cover their locker room, for instance, the company powerfully presented the university team symbol with the dye-sublimated print process before the logo was cut and inlayed into the main locker room carpet. This not only filled the basketball team with school pride, but also served as a recruiting tool when prospective players visited the university.