Making photo blinds as a business
Walking along the city streets or while traveling by car, you repeatedly turned your attention to the billboards that filled the entire roadside space. Some of them were made using the old technology: on banner fabric. Others were made on the basis of the latest developments in the advertising industry. A very popular idea is banner ads that work like vertical blinds. An image is applied on both sides (sometimes three-sided strips are used). With the help of special mechanisms, the vertical plates of the banner rotate, showing one or another advertisement.
The technology has become very popular among advertising agencies. But today not only advertisers use printed blinds.
A new word in interior design - photo blinds
Photo blinds are ordinary blinds with a very high quality photographic pattern applied. When the blinds are open, the picture is hardly visible. But when closed, they turn into a beautiful, unlike anything, decorative element that can compete with photo wallpapers, photo tiles and the best paintings of contemporary artists. Even the most boring and ordinary interior becomes unique and unrepeatable thanks to the use of photo blinds.
For managers and owners of large companies, blinds with a photographic image are an opportunity for additional advertising. You can, for example, put a company logo or slogan on all the blinds. Or just adapt them to the overall corporate identity. Everyone will be able to meet their own needs and requirements. You just need to show imagination and ingenuity.
Manufacturing technology of photo blinds at an affordable price
Similar developments are not entirely new. Photo blinds were made earlier. But the procedure was too expensive and not affordable for every average citizen of our country. The most common way of applying photo printing on blinds in our time is the use of a special industrial large-format UV plotter. Also, thermal printing is used to apply a picture using a drum press.
For example, the Russian company Lamel Print offers everyone the technology of making photo blinds using a compact inkjet color ESFR3 printer. This equipment, produced by the Japanese company Epson, is specially modified for printing on long slats (the same ribbons that make up all blinds). The print size reaches impressive figures: 32 cm X 3000 cm. At the same time, the printer itself has a relatively compact size and weighs no more than 15 kg. That is, it can be used even in an ordinary city apartment. But the most pleasant thing is the production cost: a square meter of printing will cost no more than 60 rubles. This is more than 30 times cheaper than photo printing using the above technologies.
The cost of an ESFR3 printer in Russia, when ordering through Lamel Print, is only 115 thousand rubles. The price includes a full set of everything you need to start your own photo blinds business: a printer, a constant ink supply system, a set of nine colors of ink, a set of necessary wires, instructions and software. In addition, each customer will receive as a gift a training video course on DVD, which will tell in detail about all the intricacies of starting a vertical photo blinds business.
About the manufacturing process
Beautiful always improves your mood. Especially the need for beauty is felt wherever you live or work. “If you are depressed or periodically haunted by a bad mood, decorate the interior of your environment of promise,” advises psychologist Anna Ardasheva. - It is important that the eye does not instantly "blur" on the innovation, as often happens when you buy a new thing. Literally, after a few hours, it seems that it has always been this way. It is good if the “picture” appears or disappears, for example, like a photo blind ”.
Of course, this is why photo blinds will be in demand by both designers and residents. “It is possible with a high degree of probability to assume that the demand for them will increase,” the expert of the startup community, KE, is convinced. n. Associate Professor Igor Malyugin. - Note that conventional vertical blinds were once an entrepreneurial hit. The experience of their operation has shown their practicality and reliability. Often the problems boiled down to the fact that some liked one color, while others liked another. Here the color gamut is wider, which only increases their consumer value ”.
Innovation to Help
Actually, quite recently this business ran into an expensive start. Until recently, complex drawings created by Photoshop, or ordinary photographs, were applied to lamellas on a large-format printer (uv-plotter). For example, the Roland VersaUV Series Hybrid UV Printer can print photo-quality images up to 1440 x 1440 dpi on a wide variety of flexible and rigid materials, as long as they are no thicker than 13 mm.
Such printers could apply complex texture combinations, in particular, white denser ink with increased color density was used as a substrate, and varnish on top of the picture allowed creating 3D special effects. The problem was only in the cost of both the UV plotter itself and the consumables. As a result, the picture on the blinds cost at least 2300 rubles per square meter, and the circle of customers, as a rule, was limited to exclusive clients of companies of popular brands and firms in the elite segment.
Since this printer is specialized, the manufacturer, as an option, encloses a DVD with information for a startup that produces vertical photo blinds, and, in the conditions of minimal space, up to a room in his own apartment. Manufacturers have worried about everything that may be of interest to a novice businessman - these are contacts of ink suppliers for the printer, addresses of warranty services in Russia, where and for how much you can buy components for assembling vertical blinds, and even how to organize advertising and marketing correctly.
“In our city this type of service is not developed at all, so this topic interested me greatly, especially since there are good comrade designers. If there are good advice, it will be great! " - this is how the NewLife forum member outlined his wishes at a specialized business forum. The answers of advanced members of the forum are worthy of being cited as an expert assessment.
“Today, any type of printing is suitable, in particular, printing with sublimation inks plus calendering,” suggests nickname Zastawa. - You can combine sublimation with phototex technologies. Experience shows that printers that print with dye-sublimation inks and eco-solvent inks can be used for this business, the main thing is to take into account that the lamellas should have a repeating pattern with overlapping 1 cm. "
"If you print with sublimation inks, remember that they dry completely at room temperature in about three minutes," explains the ZAKHAR forum. - If a lot of orders are stable, then you can dry them in a few seconds in ovens with forced air circulation. For example, in the Flexy Term oven, which has two chambers: hot air and cold air. Moreover, the room must have low humidity and a temperature of at least 18 degrees. "
“It is advisable to have an apparatus for fusing printed lamellas,” advises entrepreneur Ilya Kanareikin. - The color becomes brighter and richer. Dramatically increases attractiveness. In this case, the finished lamellas can be wiped off with a damp cloth and even washed. "
“There were difficulties at the initial stage,” writes Evgenia Mironova from St. Petersburg. - My husband ran from house to house, posted ads, but the people did not go. I thought - everything! It's a lost cause. Moved after a small PR campaign. I agreed with a friend who works in one newspaper, that dear soul, she published several articles about how cool it is to have such wallpapers, they say, even princes and oligarchs order. Only then did it start. It paid off in six months. "
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Walking along city streets or while driving, you repeatedly turned your attention to the billboards that filled the entire roadside space. Some of them were made using the old technology: on banner fabric. Others were made on the basis of the latest developments in the advertising industry. A very popular idea is banner ads that work like vertical blinds. An image is applied on both sides (sometimes three-sided strips are used). With the help of special mechanisms, the vertical plates of the banner rotate, showing one or another advertisement.
A person always tries to equip his home or workplace in such a way that it is practical and beautiful. It is difficult to disagree that the beautiful always raises the mood. And what is most interesting now, using modern technologies, you can make the ordinary beautiful.
At one time, the market was conquered by vertical blinds, which have shown their practicality and reliability. And the whole problem was reduced only to the choice of the color of the matter, which would fit the interior. But now it is possible to significantly expand the color gamut and offer the consumer to apply images to blinds that would please the eye and create the desired atmosphere in the room where they are used.
Photoblinds - a fresh trend in interior design
So, photo blinds are essentially the same traditional window blinds on which a photographic drawing is applied - and of a fairly high quality.
As long as the photo blinds remain open, this pattern is almost invisible. But when they are closed, a very beautiful decorative element appears in their place, in terms of its aesthetic characteristics capable of competing with photo tiles, photo wallpapers and even paintings by masters. In addition, the owners of commercial companies can use photo blinds for advertising purposes - for example, applying the slogan of their company to them.
What you need to make your own photo blinds
In general, the most common methods of applying photo printing to blinds are still: a) printing with an industrial large-format plotter, b) thermal printing with a drum press.
The advantage of these options is that they make it possible to produce photo blinds in large volumes and at high speed. However, the financial cost of implementing these technologies is extremely high for the average novice entrepreneur, so we will not consider them in this article.
Fortunately, thanks to significant technical progress in this area, today there are more affordable and simpler ways to produce photo blinds - albeit not on a production scale, but for a newcomer in business to immediately start on such a scale, perhaps even and to nothing. In business, it's almost always best to start small.
In our case, this small (both in the financial and in the physical sense of the word) are special compact inkjet printers that apply color photographs to the blinds. In Russia, for example, the ESFR3 or L800 printer from the well-known Epson company gained fame, which was modified for printing on long lamellas (lamellas are those tapes made of fabric or polyester from which vertical blinds are made).
The covered printing area more than covers the standard sizes of ordinary lamellas (v33, v34), and in general the printing area is 32cm by 3000cm.
In a nutshell, the process of creating a photo blind looks like this: first, you select a high resolution image that you would like to see on the blind. Then, in a graphic editor, cut it into strips, the number of which should be equal to the number of slats in the blinds. After that, the lamellas, one after another, pass through the printer, at the exit representing separate parts of a single image. Which you just have to fold in the correct sequence, collecting the blinds together.
Agree that with the advent of the possibility of applying high-quality large-format photographs - and not only on paper, but also on completely different solid materials - in terms of design solutions, our capabilities have expanded significantly.
So, for example, as an alternative to ordinary wallpaper, we have high-resolution photo wallpapers, and even 3D wallpapers that can turn an ordinary room wall into a very realistic seashore or, say, a forest landscape.
In addition, we can now transform ordinary mono-colored blinds into real paintings, comparable to works of art - and this is how many photo blinds look when closed. Well, thanks to the new opportunity to print images on ceramics, we got at our disposal real photo panels, which are now used to decorate kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants, cafes and other rooms where photo tiles can be used.
In general, now it is generally difficult to find such a surface in the house that could not be decorated with high-quality photo coating. And yet, if we talk about private houses, such surfaces still remain (more precisely, remained), among which are our fences and barriers. After all, you cannot stick photo wallpapers on them, you cannot put a photo tile and you cannot hang photo blinds.
However, not everything is so sad, and a solution was found for this case too - we are talking about a photo grid, or, as it is also called, a photo collection. But before proceeding to a description of what it is and how you can build your own business on it, let's touch on the question: is there a need for it at all? And, accordingly, will a business selling it be profitable?
Photogrid business: is the game worth the candle
So, to this question, in principle, one could immediately give an affirmative answer, if only because in this case we are not talking about some kind of innovative experiment. If you use a search on the Internet, you will easily find that firms selling photo grids for fences have been around for several years. Which, of course, would not have been observed if the photo grid was not in active demand and did not bring profit to entrepreneurs. At the same time, it cannot be said that the market is already overflowing with such offers; photo picking is still a relatively new phenomenon among our compatriots, so you have every chance to become the first one to implement it in your area.
Why there is a demand for this product
There are at least two reasons for this: aesthetic and practical.
Aesthetic: agree that an ordinary concrete or wooden fence (or fence) will be completely transformed if you place such a high-quality photo canvas on it that a rainbow sunlit lawn or a refreshing coniferous forest captured on it will seem to be a reality. At the same time, at the same time, you close all the defects on the fence, and now it looks like new, refreshing the overall exterior of the house. Well, when, over time, defects appear on the photo grid itself, or you just get bored with it, you can easily change it to a new one, already with a different image.
Practical: If your fence is mesh, then your house, yard and adjoining area for strangers are, one might say, on display. Someone may be happy with this, but many probably would like to somehow hide from other people's curious glances. Which is understandable - on your territory you want to feel at home, and not feel psychological discomfort from the fact that you are in full view. If we are talking about fencing your garden plot, then photo sampling will be useful in order to hide your cultivated crops from possible ill-wishers, thereby not provoking unnecessary interest in them.
What is a photo grid and how to make money on it