This year we announced the ability to have our X-Gloo tents branded using thermal transfer foil printing (TTF printing). The decision to incorporate this new branding method into our product line was made in order to offer you and your customers a great option for cases where a quicker delivery time was required. As with all of our other branding methods, TTF printing has many benefits, but there are limitations which must also be considered when choosing TTF printing.
The primary benefit to TTF print is, of course, the delivery time. Because the time needed to apply the print to the material is short and because we apply it at our headquarters in Marquartstein, Germany, we can deliver an X-Gloo branded with TTF printing in as little as 2-3 weeks (After graphic approval. Exact delivery time depends on the country).
The price of TTF printing is also a large benefit, especially for a customer on a tight budget. The cost is €159/m2 which makes it a significantly cheaper option than digital printing. And because there is no cost to produce a screen mold it is cheaper than screen printing for smaller print quantities.
The third benefit to TTF printing is that it can be applied to the X-Gloo roof and tubes, as well as to the optional Canopy and Tunnel Part. Walls and Canopy Banners can also be branded using TTF printing, but the drawback is that the standard fabric that we use for these parts is lighter weight and tends to show the impression of the print more prominently and is also prone to wrinkling around the edge of the graphic (See the photos of the MINI-branded walls here for an example of this). For this reason, we recommend ordering walls or canopy banners made from roof material whenever they will need to be branded with TTF printing.
The MINI art to the right and X-GLOO art at the top of this page are both simple graphics which could have also been applied with screen printing if the timeframe had allowed. However, unlike screen printing, TTF printing is not limited to simple logos or graphics – full photographic images can also be achieved using TTF printing. This means that complex graphics with gradients can be applied to the roof of the tent without needing to sew on a digitally-printed graphic and thus compromising the waterproof quality of the tent.
So as you can see there are a number of reasons that this print method might be the right one to turn to. But again, it is also important to know the limitations to TTF printing. One of these limitations is the size of the art which can be applied. Because of the dimensions of the transfer foil, the height or width of applied graphics is limited to 97cm. In other words, a graphic can be very wide but only 97cm high or could be very high but only 97cm wide. The size of the graphic is still, of course, limited to the area to be printed.
The second limitation which needs to be considered – and which should also be clear to the customer – is that with our TTF printing process, colors do not have the vibrancy found when using digital or screen printing. This effect is not as dramatic with all colors but red tones are significantly affected. See the photo to the right of a swatch of our red fabric (200C) beside a chip of the same color printed with TTF printing.
We know that it is possible to achieve vibrant colors with TTF printing. However when making the decision to add TTF printing as a branding method we did not want to just provide a quick branding option but also one which would withstand repeated use and hold up to a wide temperature range and various weather conditions. These requirements dictated that we chose the TTF materials that we did, and these materials are what cause the colors to appear more muted.
Despite this drawback, we are enthusiastic about being able to offer TTF printing to you and your customers. The number of orders we have received so far for tents with TTF printing has convinced us that it will be an increasingly popular option. We hope that it will help make it easier to close the sale in cases where a customer needs a branded tent on a tight timeframe, or for when their budgets would make it impossible for them to purchase a branded tent.