Four Misconceptions About Digital Traffic Sign Printing

Monday, May 8, 2017 5:00 am PDT


Margaret Adams, Marketing Automation Specialist, Avery Dennison Reflective Solutions

In 2013, Avery Dennison introduced the TrafficJet Print System™ to the traffic sign industry and since then, we have installed over 250 printers in sign shops all over the world. While digital sign printing has become widely accepted, some are still a little hesitant. Let’s walk through some of the misconceptions about digital traffic sign printing that exist today and why it’s time to embrace this technology.

1. Digital printing isn’t durable
Highway safety depends on durable traffic signage, which is why we invested the time and resources to get it right with the TrafficJet™ Print System. As you know, screen printed and computer-cut signs are trusted around the world. One of the challenges the industry has with digital printing is trusting it to the same degree as these time-proven techniques in common use today.

When we talk to public agencies about their concerns, we find that nearly all of their hesitations can be blamed on what we call “imposter printers.” These are digital printers that aren’t a good fit for the traffic sign industry because they cannot print signs meeting the strict performance and durability standards - up to 12 years of outdoor life, that is required. Making sure your digital signs are printed using a specification-compliant printer, not a graphics printer, avoids this problem. It’s not the technology that is to blame, it’s usually the wrong application of the technology and wrong components

2. Digital printing is expensive
Budgets are tight and the investments in the sign shop too often get the short end of the stick. But the reason the sign industry is beginning to embrace digital printing isn’t because they have extra money to throw away, it’s because it makes financial sense. At about $35,000, the TrafficJet Print System is the most affordable, specification-compliant, digital traffic printer available - especially when you compare it against other systems that can cost more that $200,000. Sign shops around the world are able to justify this investment because it saves them labor time, reduces capital tied up in large inventories of sheeting, computer-cut films and screens, and is more environmentally-friendly, reducing costs for waste disposal.

3. Digital printing is slow
Digital printing isn’t a perfect fit for every job. Some signs (like stop signs) might be easier or quicker to screen print, especially if you’re printing high volumes. But when it comes to many other print jobs, variable number printing or signs with multiple colors, you’ll save a lot of time and money using a digital printer. In many cases, sign shops have added a digital printer to expand their print capabilities, not replace other methods.

4. Digital printing is a temporary fad
It may seem like traffic sign digital printing came out of nowhere a few years ago, and that might make you think it will leave as quickly as it came. But digital print technology isn’t new to the printing industry. Commercial print and packaging has moved from traditional print methods to digital in the past decade or two. Why? Because they can respond to their customers quickly with the flexibility of digital, and add new value to the marketplace. The same is true for the traffic industry.

Join the TrafficJet Revolution
Digital print technology has been durability-tested and is rapidly gaining acceptance by the industry. With Avery Dennison’s TrafficJet Print System, sign shops are confident that they’re producing durable traffic signs while modernizing their operation. Learn more about the TrafficJet Print System and its advantages at our website, You can sign up for a live web-based demo to see it in action.

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