Sign material suppliers offer a wide range of digital banner media, each with its own distinct set of pros and cons. Whether you own or manage a sign shop, or work in a marketing/advertising department for a public organization or business, understanding the differences between these materials is crucial to making an informed purchasing decision. Some opt for lower-cost, high-hassle materials; others are willing to make a larger initial investment in less-problematic, higher-quality materials.
Bantex, which is manufactured by fabric pioneers Herculite, is widely regarded to make the highest-quality digital sign materials available on the market. Bantex is the only digital banner material that is manufactured here in the United States as the top competitors import their materials from abroad. This is advantageous for consumers in part because it enables Bantex to offer excellent response times.
Bantex is certified for latex HP printers and its micro texture design provides an industry-leading print receptive surface. These features allow for near-photographic print quality, consistent dot gain and predictable color clarity and accuracy. Not only is this high-quality material, it also boasts an available size range of 36” to 80” in width.
No sign material suppliers are able to boast the shelf life of Bantex. Over time plasticizers in the PVC material migrate from the compound, making it very difficult to print on. Bantex is guaranteed to have a print and shelf life of six months from the date of purchase.
For signs that will face significant wear-and-tear, the 18 ounce double-sided Bantex banner material is the strongest on the market. This makes it ideal for cities, campuses, and other locations requiring pole banner material.
Bantex’s Curl Free series is ideal for retractable banner stands, guaranteeing the edges will not curl for five years. This high-quality sign material is unlike any other product on the market due to its proprietary construction.
[The Bantex Advantage: What Makes Bantex the Top Fabric for Digitally-Printed Signs?]
As the name would suggest, Value Vinyls provides cost-effective sign materials. This material is a good choice for organizations and sign shops owners on a tight budget. The company has a relatively diverse product line that includes frontlit, backlit, blockout, and mesh vinyl signage.
Value Vinyl offers printable blockout vinyl that ranges from 12 to 18 ounces, giving consumers a few options when selecting their sign materials.
The downside to Value Vinyls’ lower cost is fewer state-of-the-art features and the kinds of guarantees high-end sign materials suppliers like Bantex can offer. This can negate the initial cost-savings because lower quality materials are more subject to wear-and-tear and will need replacement sooner.
Like the vast majority of sign material suppliers in the United States, Value Vinyls imports their materials from outside the country. This results in slower response times and less customization.
Established in 1984, Value Vinyl has been in the sign material industry for several decades. The company provides a potential option for those with simple sign needs. It also gives sign owners the ability to stock lower-cost materials to appeal to a wider customer base. However, those looking for the highest quality materials should look elsewhere.
Ultraflex sign material is designed to withstand a variety of climates and features gloss face-film that provides vibrant, consistent colors. The company offers over 50 different sign materials with a range of price points.
The PVC sign material from Ultraflex can be used with several printing methods, including eco-solvent, screen, dye-sublimation, solvent and Latex printing. Their product line is quite large with widths from 30” to 196”.
The company’s Ultralon material has integrated low-shrink, crystal-clear polyester yarn that allows the scrim’s pattern to disappear when the sign is illuminated. Being the first material of its kind to offer this feature, Ultraflex established itself as a leader in the sign material supplier industry.
The Ultraflex material ranges in price and quality, but nothing in its lineup offers the Curl Free guarantee of Bantex. It also lacks a print and shelf life guarantee.
Similarly to Value Vinyls, Ultraflex does not manufacture its sign materials domestically. Instead, the product is constructed overseas and imported to the United States, causing potential issues with reliability, customer service, and shipping times.
Ultraflex is a long-running fabrics supplier, with 25 years in the industry. The company provides solid materials that come in a wide range of prices. However, the company’s materials are manufactured abroad and shipped to the United States, limiting their responsiveness and quick customizability. They also do not offer the state-of-the-art features and guarantees of Bantex.
Herculite Bantex, Ultraflex and Value Vinyls are three of the most notable sign material suppliers in the United States. With several large differences between the companies’ products, it is important to weigh their strengths and weaknesses to make an informed decision. It is up to the consumer to decide whether the most important factor in making a purchasing decision is a low initial cost, a wide range of material sizes, or industry-best quality regardless of price.
Bantex offers the best banner material on the market for digitally printed signs. Learn more about the Bantex Advantage and why it stands out from the rest of the competition.