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Billboard curiosity question?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by knight, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. knight

    knight Member

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    I know I'll prolly end up answering my own question but.
    The big advertising billboards you see going down the interstates, are those done by some of the printers we all talk about here, like the Roland and etc.. just was being a curious newb
     
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  2. trakers

    trakers Very Active Member

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    I've always wanted to stop and see if they were indeed one piece or several welded together. From a distance it looks like one huge-*** piece of plastic wrapping the entire board.

    If one piece, that must be one big-*** printer!
     
  3. knight

    knight Member

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    I saw some up close and it looks like individual panels.
     
  4. PMG

    PMG Very Active Member

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    allot i have see here in the STL area are done with banner type wraps (1 piece) i would think they print them on BIG Industrial Drum printers!!!!!
     
  5. knight

    knight Member

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    My intentions getting into this was to just make vinyl logos for car winsheilds and some side graphics for family and or freinds and maybe make a couple of bucks, but, after searching around and chatting with people, the sign aspect of it is amazing. I dont look at signs the same way anymore. Wish I got into it a long time ago. Now its like going back to school and learning something new. There is so much to learn out there and I'm thankful for the people here that take the time to answer and help out the newbs.
     
  6. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    I was just talking to my contract printer about this last week. He has several LARGE printers, 10', and he heat welds anything bigger than what he can print.
     
  7. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

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    I believe that most of them are single panel Inkjet printed banners. A local printer used to have a 17' wide inkjet printer to produce just such banners but would occasionally heat weld panels together generally due to mishaps in the print. Can you imagine how much printing you have to do to pay the lease on that machine not to mention the repair cost if it breaks down, it drove that paticular company into bankruptcy.
     
  8. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    I've seen outdoor inkjet printers for billboards. ClearChannel was right across the street from where I used to work. One of the guys there told me that the 16 footer cost about a half million dollars. I said, "I'll take TWO!"

    ~Gear
     
  9. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, they have some big printers out there. I know a guy with two Vutek printers. they're 16' I believe. Even at that he has a seam welder to put together the bigger ones.
     
  10. Graphix Plus Ink

    Graphix Plus Ink Member

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    Trust me 95% of billboards are seemed in some way or the other. They also look like crap close up.
     
  11. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    They look like crap close up because it doesn'nt matter. 10 DPI looks the same as 300dpi at several car lengths away.

    This is not a market that sounds appealing at all. My contract printer tells me that this is a 'whore's market' dropping pricing down as low as 80cents per sq ft. You make money on the high amount of square footage.
     
  12. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Please....no flames intended

    Yes, Wease, whenever anything "easy to perform" comes along with a need...like as in computerized signmaking (not a new subject, I know)....the only money to be made is on the "not so easy" part of it.........the INSTALL! :thumb:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, installation engineers are the new "sign painters" of the world.

    And again, I'm not about starting a flame battle here....just stating what's true. Because, believe me, I do my share of the "easy" stuff as well. I love it! LOL :cool1: But, if you all intend to stay in the fray....get used to prices dropping more and more and more.....

    ~Gear
     
  13. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    Yep, 16 foot grand format printers= 1/2 million $.
    BUT..you could do a billboard with a wide format printer. ( 30 - 54 inch machines can do it.) I had a client ask me about this type of install. I referred him to someone in the business on the coast. Know your capabilities and stay within them.
    Ken
     
  14. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    exactly... that's what he said too. The money's in the install.
     
  15. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    Most billboards are now seamlessly printed on to banner material using a grand format solvent inkjet printers and 16' wide prints are not uncommon anymore.
    Here's a link to some pictures and specs from my billboard printer...
    http://www.flex-fx.com/html/1,1128,Billboards,00.html

    Checkers
     
  16. torgy97

    torgy97 New Member

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    Newer Billboards are one piece of very heavy duty banner material, sewn with hems along the edge, fiberglass poles instered into the hems, and "stretched" using ratchet straps every 3-4 ft. Larger companies (ClearChannel, CBS Outdoor) make some pretty large billboards without any seams.

    As for print quality, up close the prints look very pixelated, but when seen at a distance, you would never notice it. Each pixel is about the size of an eraser head.

    The average 20' x 48' billboard is a 4 man job, and you need a crane tall enough to lift the "flex face" up there.

    When I did billboards out in NYC, they were charging $30-50,000 per month for the boards along the highway, with installation being about 25% of that. Unreal!

    You might be able to make these for smaller boards in your local town. Pretty easy work, and pretty quick. Decent profit.
     
  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Billboard faces I design are output on seamless wraps as wide as 16'. 10' X 30' and 14' X 48' are pretty common layouts.

    I don't design billboards at 10ppi. That's a bit too low in resolution for comfort. It might work when seen from the extreme setbacks of an Interstate highway, but the flaws may be visible when viewed from regular city streets. 36ppi is a pretty comfortable level for most standard billboard sizes.

    Some other projects, such as certain building mounted graphics or anything else potentially viewed at closer distances may require 72ppi. Gotta balance viewing distances with file sizes. Most of my billboard layouts will usually fit on a CD-R disc very comfortably. I've done a few large format designs that weighed in over a couple gigabytes.

    As computing technology continues to advance (adding more RAM capacity, more CPU cores, eventual move to true 64-bit applications, higher res digital cameras, etc.) it will get much easier to design in ever higher native resolutions.
     
  18. Merritt Big Color

    Merritt Big Color Merchant Member

    billboards

    billboards are a very low margin competitive market. shops with 5 meter machines (mostly in the mid west) that are in the business are printing billboards for about .75cents a s/f. Yep you can buy a 14' x 48' billboard for $500.00. We have a 10ft and a 16ft machine and will not touch this with a ten foot pole.

    My advise is to steer clear of this and let the guys with the older 5 meter machines(Nur Blueboards for example) keep this piece of the pie.

    Going home broke and tired sucks.......

    Not to mention within 2 years 75% of all billboards will be constant changing led displays.
     
  19. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    75% of billboards being LED? That's a little optimistic.

    Cost per pixel is going to have to drop by some big proportions before we see LED-based billboards being used in a lot more places. Our company has put up a couple in some very high traffic locations. Right now, the cost for a decent sized board (between 10' X 30' and 14' X 48') is running $200,000 to $500,000. And that's for boards with an appropriate resolution pitch, like 19mm to 23mm.

    LED boards and other electronically controlled methods are the wave of the future for many "out of home" advertising ventures. But large format and grand format printing isn't going to disappear anytime soon.
     
  20. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    believe the 1st printers of large 10 ft & 14 ft size where developed by 3M remembers up in Mpls, Mn. advertising full fleet graphics sure it was early 80s
    seeing them was amazing to me lol when I came to Fl. mid 80s there was only 3 companys in the country lol that did large scale printing shortly later 3 in Fl. lo time does flys 2years ago saw the printers in a magazine with prices lol ..
    freedom is not free
     
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