Restaurants Are Serving up Ink from Windows to Walls

The next time you walk into a restaurant or bar, take a moment to look around. How many things do you see featuring text, images, patterns, and color? From beer labels and bottles to menus, drink taps, and signs — most of the products there have gone through some sort of printer. 

Although many items — like napkins, coasters, and mugs — are pad or screen printed, chances are most of the other items you see are printed digitally. Digital printing boasts high volumes, quick turnarounds, limitless color options, and precise color matching. And while labels, menus, and standard signage might be obvious examples of digital printing, here are a few you might not immediately think of:

  1. Wall Coverings: We often don’t pay much attention to what’s on the walls when we walk into a restaurant, but digitally printed wall art can have a huge impact on a space. What many people don’t realize is that custom wall designs don’t require a massive printer. The design for an entire wall can be printed using either solvent or UV inks off a standard roll-to-roll printer in sheets, and then pieced together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. To protect wall coverings from bumps, scratches, stains, and other day-to-day wear, they should be coated with a liquid laminate.  
  1. Seating Upholstery: Before you take a seat, take a look at your chair. Many restaurants use digitally printed upholstery to create a custom look for their booths, chairs, and barstools. Using dye sublimation or direct-to-fabric printing, design or text can be printed onto a wide array of fabrics and vinyls. Once printed, the material is cut, sewn together, then attached to the furniture frame just like any other upholstery work. This kind of printing can be done using either solvent or UV inks, depending on the type of printer you have, then treated with a coating to protect against spills and make it easy to wipe clean.  
  1. Adhesive Window Graphics: Restaurants take advantage of every inch of space to create an atmosphere that welcomes guests, reinforces their brand, and promotes their offerings. One way they do that is through their window displays. From hours of operation to featured menu items and current specials, restaurants need a way to display a design that’s durable but not permanent. This is often done through digitally printing on a vinyl adhesive using solvent or UV inks. The trick with window adhesives — particularly the large ones you see in restaurant windows — is positioning them correctly to avoid bubbles and wrinkles. A product like Window Juice gives you time to position the design properly. 
  1. Specialty Beverage Bottles: Saddle up to the bar and scan the top shelf. Although pad and screen printing can both be used to print on glass bottles, digital printing produces more elegant and sophisticated designs that you see on higher-end brands. Using direct digital printing with a printer like the LSINC PeriOne you can print right on the bottle, which holds up better than printed paper labels that can peel, rub off, or bleed. With digital printing you also have a wide selection of ink options, including metallics, as well finishes like glossy and matte. There are even specialty varnishes you can print directly to glass that create a raised, textured design for an even stronger dramatic effect.  

The obvious challenge of printing for a business like a restaurant is selecting print products and methods that provide lasting results that can stand up to heavy use. But that’s not all printers need to worry about. Color matching can be very tricky to dial in. When a restaurant’s brand relies on maintaining a distinct and consistent color palette, not just any shade of a color will do. (Imagine, for instance, if you walked into a McDonald’s and saw different shades of red or yellow across the restaurant. That would never happen — those colors are iconic and core to the McDonald’s brand.)

Not sure how to get started on your next print project? Marabu can help you select the best ink for your printer and project. We offer exceptional inks for digital printing and world-class support for color matching and ink set up. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts. You can check more printing designs here.

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