The start of the art fair circuit has practically arrived! Sign products are a great way to show how green you’ve become. FastSigns (fastsigns.com), a sign and graphic center with franchises throughout the country, offers a variety of eco-friendly sign products onto which FastSigns prints directly. FastSigns franchises that use a UV-printer produce an even more environmentally friendly sign since there are no VOCs or ink waste. Take a look at the earth-friendly displays that could hang in your booth:
- ECO Board is a lightweight, natural fiber board made out of 92 percent post-consumer recycled contents and is both recyclable and biodegradable. ECO Board is a wood-free, tough alternative to conventional particle boards, plywood and other panel products. The front and back are smooth surfaces and the core looks like corrugated box material. ECO Board comes in sheets as large as 48″x 96″ with 3/8″ or 1/2″ thickness. The cost of full-color printing a standard size such as 24″ x 36″ on a 3/8″ thickness averages $100. Although ECO Board is technically considered waterproof, it is more suited to indoor use. “This is our most environmentally friendly product,” states Helen Kunshek, store manager at a FastSigns location in St. Peters, Missouri.
- EcoPlast is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic foamboard. This high impact product made from recyclable plastic and biodegradable core. EcoPlast comes in three thicknesses — .020, .030 and .060 inches. The latter thickness is rigid enough to sit up. The thinner signage is flexible enough to “go on a trade show booth table. They can bend into an easel, table or tent. And it’s thin enough that it can be rolled,” states Kunshek. FastSigns stocks EcoPlast in 4′ x 8′ white sheets. The average cost for full-color printing for a typical 2′ x 3′ signage is just over $50, and between $220 and $270 for 4′ x 8′ sign, depending on thickness. According to Kunshek, EcoPlast “will last a really long time if not exposed to the elements. Outdoors, it can start to yellow in a couple of years if a lot of direct sunlight gets on it.” EcoPlast is also biodegradable. “It will vanish within nine months to five years in a landfill.”
- The Bioflex Banner is made from biodegradable PVC material and is designed to have the same outdoor lifespan of a standard banner made from PVC material. Once disposed, it will decompose within three to five years. Tear and fade resistant, it will withstand all types of weather conditions. “You can use it in a tent or booth situation with some hooks.” The cost for full-color printing of a standard 3′ x 7′ BioFlex Banner is around $200. Kunsheck says that the BioFlex Banner would be most useful to artists exhibiting at outdoor art fairs and festivals. “They are meant to be used outdoors and they are flexible enough. Just roll them up and go.”
Kunsheck notes that a recycled banner recently came onto the market, and will soon be added to FastSigns’ line of products made from ecological substrate alternatives. She also comments that as the demand for eco-friendly signage grows, consumers should expect the lifespan of these products to improve.
“These are new products to the industry so there are tests being done on longevity,” she says.