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If it’s all a matter of attracting your audience to what your advertising, your run-of-the-mill posters can pretty much get the job done. But, if you’re after impact and a more lasting impression, the effect that your print can convey can get supported with the proper tech. The difference can be as subtle as providing a cool lighting effect to really make your images literally shine.
Enter Duratrans which also goes by the name of a common element used for tradeshows and exhibits that can display messaging using a backlit format. Kodak was the original manufacturer of this Duratrans material that has a translucent plastic base paired with photographic emulsion. Though Duratrans may somewhat be in reference to a certain photographic process and product, over time this has become a general reference for any backlit imagery. This may be reproduced conventionally through a photographic process or in a digital scheme like printing with an inkjet apparatus.

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With people’s penchants for shortening terms, Durable Transparency most likely evolved into what we now know as Duratrans. The transparent characteristic therefore allows light to pass through in chosen areas of the print. Probably, bus stops would be the most common place for all of us to notice these specialized prints. Aside from the illumination it provides, creative marketers felt that posters would be viewed more since commuters, especially at night, are drawn to the light. Compared to paper where the light diffusion isn’t as obvious, Duratrans has a way of distributing the light more evenly throughout the whole canvas.

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Using cheaper alternatives may not produce the same cool effect that advertisers look for with Duratrans. The image printed on this revolutionary material just makes the image more lifelike and gives off a unique etherealness. But, there are also some points to consider why this particular surface has become the ideal pick for backlit displays.

The resolution can be built up effectively to about 1200 dpi which fares better than other processes in the 300 to 1200 dpi range. The colors are more vibrant, the edges more refined and the details are projected with even more clarity. There are smoother color transitions within the graphic image because of this dot size. This helps with the saturation and color rendering because it is brought to a higher and deeper level that cannot be achieved by other solutions. The blocking ability for the transmissivity of light or the opacity of Duratrans is more pronounced. That’s why the dark areas seem sharper and more solid. These prints also have a better life expectancy especially when continuously exposed to the elements.

Movie posters become more enhanced with this particular style. The main characters just seem to become more alive as the light is projected behind them. Yes, aside from bus stops, theaters have benefitted from this advertising form. As patrons are waiting to enter for the next show, their eyes are drawn to the well-lit images on the display wall. This hopefully gets them excited and encourages them to eagerly await the next big attraction. Such is the Duratrans hypnotic effect that really grabs the attention of those looking at what their signs are saying.

The inkjet may be able to replicate in some way, but it possibly can never equal what Duratrans can offer. For that high quality backlit presentation, it’s always good to go with the best material available.

Let’s explore somewhat why inkjet prints may not achieve the same level as an image reproduced on Duratrans.

First of all, the printing of standard photographs is very different compared to the production of backlit prints. Your usual photos need the light to bounce off from the front. With prints using a backlit effect, the light source comes from behind and is slowly revealed to the field of perception. That’s why the printing process determines the best output for the intended use.
Inkjet printers use fine granules of colors very much similar to sand grains that are colored. The reflection capacity is very good since it is opaque in nature, but they cannot transmit any light. This then presents the disadvantage of inkjets due to the composition of the ink. This mutes the color gamut. Translucent dyes are the more advantageous option on Duratrans. Light can freely pass through because of the engineering involved. The inkjet process has strong points with other uses, but for the backlit effect, translucence is key.

When ink gets sprayed with the inkjet process on an absorbent surface, the lighter highlight areas will receive less ink in comparison to the darker areas. Such shadowed areas will be challenged in depicting fine details. Duratrans has been exposed to light and thus prevents that unnecessary buildup of darker areas which might compromise some details. The bleeding of this ink is somehow prevented. There is only so much ink that the inkjet media can take in. So, when viewed from a backlit perspective, there is a dark grayish effect that occurs. Combine these grayish shadows and a muted color gamut that an inkjet process produces and there’ll be a mark difference in showing how much clearer the Duratrans material can be. There have been no engineering improvements at the moment for inkjet to catch up with Duratrans. It’s difficult to match the color saturation, the details in the shadows, and the overall dynamic effect of the image produced with Duratrans. Backlit displays need that proper support and the correct materials to achieve the desired outcome.
Because of this unique proposition, those considering such an effect must take into consideration the principal factors to make this a viable solution. In other words, don’t go for saving money in making a costly mistake for the display of your backlit prints. Good to be sure from the start, so that you won’t be paying for something lackluster and less effective in the long run.


Let’s be practical and face some facts that when your consumer traffic doesn’t notice what you’re showing, then you can chalk that up as a failed attempt. Backlit Duratrans are meant to give you that extra edge and oomph in showing what your product can do. Blockbuster films have relied on this very three dimensional like feel to make their movie become more alive. Fast moving consumer goods and other visible products need to enhance more visibility. If they can’t see you, then all your efforts would have been for naught.

The main purpose for investing in these backlit displays is to really grab the attention of your viewers, so that you stand out from the usual posters and prints that are likewise competing for that same market.

These large transparencies because of their given lighting source just literally light up to be seen and to be noticed. Front lit images may have their own merits, but a backlit image just cannot be beat with its very clear details. Especially from a distance, the eye is really drawn to the effect given off by these memorable scenes. Airports, malls, restaurants, and other establishments make full use of this dynamic medium to attract more foot traffic through their front doors.

At Prolab Digital, their Duratrans displays are a true photographic product. These are readily produced on their Lightjet 430 digital printer in available sizes of up to 50” x 120”. With a 300 dpi resolution, the color saturation and vividness can be quite astounding. That’s why these types of displays are highly recommended to get you the impressions you deserve. This hopefully translates into more business on your end.

Perhaps, it has been ingrained into our DNA to head towards the light. Maybe our vision is the most active sense we depend on in order to interact with the world. This brightness is what helps our eyes to see clearer details. We are able to function better because we can see where we’re going. The light is meant to draw our attention because our eyes need that illumination to bring out the image in our line of sight.

Strategically locate a photo on a specific light source, and you’ve created a formula for drawing so many eyes to what you’re showing. It’s just instinctive for us, especially when placed in a dark area, to head towards the object giving off that light. Add the very detailed translucent effect that backlit Duratrans intrinsically project, those passing by may find themselves slowing down a bit to check out just where that light is coming from.

Other materials may be a cheaper alternative, but the light wouldn’t be as friendly compared to what Duratrans has to offer. The quality of the light is very important becomes if it comes out too dull or unimpressive, that might just be a wasted effort that could have been easily prevented.

So, let your eyes be the most trusted judge in this case. Really take a look at what options are available and see what could grant you the most effective solution. The answer could pretty much be right in front of you. When the most optimal factors come together, your advertising masterpiece will definitely be shown in the right light. For this situation, it’ll come out with the preferred back light and the proper material to effectively disperse that light.


When it comes to producing top quality photographs on a variety of mediums, you need only to trust in the more than capable professional hands at Prolab Digital. Dealing with the intricacies of Backlit Duratrans is part and parcel of their portfolio. Whatever you may need to bring out the benefits of this specialized display, this team makes them readily available to properly provide that backlit ad for your specific needs.

With their headquarters based in Los Angeles, the show business capital of the world, this group is very much experienced in letting your ads shine like they’re supposed to. Bus stops gain more entertainment value. Movie posters may be taken to another experiential dimension. Where you hope to put up your advertisement in this style will be magnified and professionally executed to the best of their abilities.

Don’t settle for that ordinary poster that may fail to get noticed. By going through the information of this article, you can see why Duratrans is the way to proceed in getting that marketing impact that you’re after. If you’re unfamiliar with the process and what needs to be done to accomplish this task, you can always rely on the extensive knowledge that this organization can share with you.
Feel free to call them at +1 (310) 846 4496 and get informed recommendations for your marketing project. They have an extensive network of seasoned professionals throughout the country. So, be at peace and let them properly install that backlit order to your preferred specifications. Their assistance is the one you can really rely on to get your marketing campaign started on the right foot.
When potential customers can’t help but notice how well your display has been backlit, when the ad just subtly relays its message, when the wait for the bus becomes less boring because of the amazing advertisement installed, then you know you’ve partnered with the right group. They only seek to do what’s best for your brand and to properly share with the general public the great offer that they shouldn’t miss.

Discover how it is to produce one of those backlit displays using Duratrans to inform everyone about the next upcoming blockbuster, the musical or theater production that is definitely a must-see, or the product that every household should have in conveniently stored in their cabinets. That backlit effect attracts the eye like no other, so why not bank on something that’s already been tried and tested? With Prolab Digital, you’ll be assured of procuring the backlit display to make your event, brand, or message just pop. Given the right lighting, the correct setting, and the ideal spot, effective marketing is now within your grasp. See how this advertising medium can lead to your business success in the very near future. ■

ORDER NOW or call us at: (+1) 310-846-4496.

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