Geordies Signs chooses PVC-free Kavalan, UFabrik, and PONGS® roll materials from CMYUK

Wall graphic designed using PONGS® Softimage Contrast® Blackback textile material
Education setting for PONGS® Softimage Contrast® Blackback textile material

Geordies Signs has chosen PVC-Free Kavalan and PONGS® Blackback roll materials from CMYUK as it expands its services into tension frame graphics and single-piece wallcoverings.

The County-Durham-based business, which acquired an exhibitions company during Lockdown is committed to printing onto green materials that offer responsible end of life solutions.

“It’s all about making the change, reducing the number of materials used for jobs and doing our best to stop our print going into landfill. We’re not 100 per cent PVC-free but we’re trying to do our fair bit.” says Bryan Bell, co-owner.

CMYUK eco materials

Helping the company make the change to greater sustainability is CMYUK, which through Regional Sales Manager (North), Ian Farrand, has introduced Geordies Signs to its eco materials portfolio that includes market leading brands Kavalan, PONGS® and UFabrik.  

Geordies Signs has just completed a job for a school using Kavalan PVC-free Gecko. This is a PVC-free grey backed polyester-based textile. With B1 and EN13501-1 fire ratings, it also meets stringent environmental standards being EN-71, 33P, ROHS, REACH, and Life Cycle Assessment approved (LCA). It is available in widths up to 5m and is suited for use with both UV and Latex inks.

Bryan printed and tested samples using Gecko and an equivalent. Output results spoke for themselves, with the Kavalan product outperforming the competitive sample with its superior high print quality and colour reproduction.

“Kavalan Gecko was a lot more vibrant, which is a big selling point because when you’re installing graphics in schools, colleges, and the like, the colours need to really pop and be in your face.  It’s now up on the school walls. It was great to print, easy to install and nice to use,” he says. 

Tension frame graphics with PONGS®

Bryan has ordered samples of PONGS® Softimage Contrast® Blackback textile material, and impressed by the quality of reproduction, has used it to create the business’ very first tension frame graphic for a green energy supplier that is exhibiting at the Caravan Show.

PONGS® Softimage Contrast® Blackback is the market leader for the events and retail sectors. Compatible with all sublimation processes and UV inks, it is ideal for expo walls, frame wraps, retail and interior displays, and backdrops. With stretch properties and anti-scratch black block out backing, it is PVC-free, recyclable, fire rated and REACH compliant.

“A lot of the historic exhibitions work has been printing, mounting onto Foamex, and laminating but we want to use single piece stretch frame graphics. We’ve just sampled PONGS® Softimage Contrast® Blackback textile and we’re really impressed with it. We’re using it for our very first tension frame graphic. By using this we’ve immediately saved using six panels of 8 x 4 Foamex, vinyl laminate, and magnetic tape,” says Bryan.

Family affair

Geordies Signs was started in 2009 by entrepreneurial father and son, George, and Bryan Bell. Father George has been successfully running a Taxi business, and after leaving school, son Bryan went to help out.

The strains of anti-social hour working, especially when Bryan had his first child, led the two of them to take a step back and decide on a new course of action. While signage and Taxi driving may seem incongruous, there is a link, as they had installed a small plotter in-house in order to produce print, albeit expressly for the Taxi Business.

They then went onto buy another printer, which they housed in the Taxi premises after recognising a growing trend for on-demand canvasses. Along with labels and stickers, they began to offer this as a service. Bryan then attended a couple of design courses at Newcastle College, and steadily the printing business grew through word of mouth. 

“We built one business up while at the same time running one down,” remembers Bryan.

Since 2009, Geordies Signs has expanded its service offerings, which in turn reflect its equipment path upgrade. “We’ve always looked to latest technology and better print quality. It’s all about investing in better,” he says.

Now with a staff of five including a dedicated graphic designer, the business offers interior and exterior signs, window graphics, vehicle wraps, banners, display products, labels, and stickers. It also offers trophies, laser engraving, printed clothing, business cards, leaflets, and more.

Back in the summer, Geordies Signs invested in a Mimaki UJV55-320 UV LED 3.2m wide printer. This has enabled it to produce both large one-piece and tension frame graphics in-house, significantly updating the exhibitions and retail services, which it recently added to its business portfolio.

Going forward, the company is keen to push forward on surface textile production and is looking to collaborate with CMYUK to further explore its Arkutex range of architectural material solutions.

Back to school with PVC-free grey back Kavalan Gecko

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