Silicone Edge Graphic (SEG) signs are a red-hot growth sector in the sign industry for several reasons. First, they look great aesthetically, with a thin, clean look. Textile prints give high-end, brilliant colors, and can be completely nonreflective, unlike rigid plastic or PVC banner media. SEG frames and textiles can be broken down and shipped at a fraction of the cost compared to rigid plastic sign media. Also, once the SEG frame is installed, the textile faces can be replaced quickly and easily without a highly skilled installer.
Typically, a SEG frame has two components: miter-cut aluminum frame side rails, and “L-brackets” for corner connectors. When assembled, the frame includes a slot around the perimeter that receives the textile sign face. Banner Ups (Booth 125) SEGDesign system is different. Instead of aluminum, it is made of strong ABS plastic. Our system includes a molded corner, so there is no need for miter cuts or corner brackets. The rails are straight cut, which makes the system easy to assemble by just snapping the corners and rails together. Also, if you need a custom size, the rails are easy to cut accurately, with any common saw. No miter cuts, and no aluminum.
A printed textile sign face may be created using dye-sublimation (direct and transfer), latex, and eco-solvent technology. Once printed, the textile must be finished by attaching a silicone or PVC cord called keder around the perimeter. This keder edge is tucked into the frame perimeter slot to tension the face into the frame. Traditionally, keder is sewn onto the edge of the textile media (after printing and trimming) with a very specialized sewing machine engineered specifically for this application. At Banner Ups, we introduced KederTape no-sew, peel-and-stick keder. No more sewing needed.
A SEG sign is a precise system. The sign maker must be sure that the keder used matches the size of the slot in the frame. The most common keder sizes are 14x3 mm, 12x3 mm, and 1.5x12.5 mm in that order. They must also be sure to trim the print, and attach the keder precisely, as the proper tension of the final print depends on it. Too wide, and the print will be floppy. Too narrow, and the print will be too tight to install. Different media have different amounts of stretch, so the best approach is to work with a limited range of media, and practice a few times to dial in the method for your chosen media and frames.
The most important trend in SEG is what I call, “democratization.” In the past, SEG has been the province of only the largest, most sophisticated print houses. This is because the frames were not easy to source from the typical sign supply distributors. But now, with the advances in printing technology, frames, and media, any sign shop or digital printer can play. We offer step-by-step video instructions to show our SEGDesign users exactly how to do it (available at bannerups.com/segdesign). It has never been easier to make SEG signs. They are beautiful and profitable. Now is the time to jump in!