Grow your business by transforming your traffic-signage production
The market for printed traffic signs is growing by 9.3% each year . The rapid growth of the urban and suburban built environments — prompted by migration to cities in developing countries and flight to the suburbs in developed ones — is fueling a building boom, with the global construction sector set to grow by 35% a year .
These new built environments require roads to connect them. Add to this the need to communicate pandemic-related public-health information; the rise of new vehicle types, requiring specific information; and the growth of low-emission zones, and it’s clear why the market for road signs is set to grow for years to come.
For print service providers (PSPs), the question is how to break into this lucrative and growing market. The answer is to use HP Latex printers, specifically designed to produce durable, bright and easy-to-read signs that you can produce on demand.
What to look for in a road-sign printer
Road signage may be produced in batches: think, for instance, of new public-health signage. Planning officers must ensure that the same information is reproduced in a memorable and easy-to-read form in many different locations, without variation. The same is true for standard traffic directions and other types of public information.
But increasingly there’s also a need for customization. Some signs have always required tailoring for their specific location or function. But in the move to push post-lockdown recovery, councils and other public bodies will need to promote local attractions. This requires custom signage.
A good road-sign printer should be able to accommodate both types of work: short-batch, fast-turnaround custom jobs and large runs of standardized signs. It should be easy to operate, allowing you to produce a finished sign in as few steps as possible.
To maintain margins and ensure the business runs efficiently, the ideal road-sign printer will have management features — which should be accessible remotely and at the machine itself. For instance, the system should give you timely ink and media alerts, should compile media-usage and productivity stats and should inform the operator of the status of the job, particularly when the operator is working remotely.
And, of course, the ideal road-sign printer should be able to product bright, durable traffic signs that are suitable for a wide range of applications. They should handle a wide range of colors and print on specialist materials such as reflective sheeting. Only in this way, can you serve the widest range of customers and address the widest range of use cases.
HP Latex printers for road-sign production
HP Latex Printers are designed and optimized for the task of printing road and traffic signs. With water-based HP inks, you can print to a wide range of media, creating signs that are durable and highly visible in all conditions. For the best results, the HP 360/365 produces the best results on media of up to 1625 mm in width. For super-wide printing, the HP Latex 1500 Printer supports media up to 3.2m in width.
When you use either printer you get:
• The ability to print bright, durable  traffic signs  with full-opacity; print green, blue, brown, red, purple, black, and yellow colors .
• Low running costs, thanks to reliable, high throughput, automatic, low-maintenance printing — at speeds of up to 74m2 every hour .
• Ease and speed of use, thanks to quick installation and training time, an easy user interface, and no special equipment needed—no special ventilation  or external dryer is required.
• The confidence of knowing you can produce signs with warranties up to 12 years with the 3M™ MCS Warranty.
• Produce your signs in just a few easy steps — design, apply ink directly on the sheeting, laminate, cut and install. 
• The HP Latex Mobile App, which allows you to remotely monitor printer and job statis as well as see a wide range of productivity metrics, from your mobile device.
The latest additions to the HP latex-printing portfolio, the HP Latex 700 and 800 Printers, have been also certified by 3M for traffic signage. This makes them ideal for print service providers who work in, or wish to break in to, the lucrative traffic signage sector.
And because water-based HP Latex Inks contain no hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) , this not only makes handling easier, and produces odorless prints , it also makes disposal simpler and stress free. Taken together, these design attributes mean no special ventilation or dryer is required. And you send zero supplies-related content to landfill when you use these HP printers .
Getting started with latex road-sign printing
There’s never been a better time to get into road- and traffic-sign printing or, if you’re already in the sector, to expand and accelerate your business. With the HP Latex 360/365 Printer and the HP Latex 1500 Printer, both easy to install and configure, you can be up and running in no time.
To find out more about HP Latex printing and how it can help you get into the road-sign sector, check out the brochure ‘The HP Latex printing solution portfolio for traffic signage’. In it, you’ll find details of the latex print portfolio and how you can use it to grow your share of this lucrative and expanding market.
- For more details including durability performance according to defined printing guidelines, see: 3M™
Diamond Grade™ DG Reflective Sheeting Series 4000 series, 3M™ High-Intensity Prismatic Reflective
Sheeting Series 3930, 3M™ Diamond Grade™ VIP Reflective Sheeting Series 3990, 3M™ Engineer Grade
Prismatic Reflective Sheeting Series 3430, and 3M™ Diamond Grade™ Fluorescent Work Zone Sheeting
3924S Fluorescent Orange.
- The digital HP Latex Printing Solution with 3M™ Reflective Sheeting for regulated traffic signage
applies to green, blue, brown, red, purple, black, and yellow colors.
- HP Latex 700/800 printers cannot print traffic yellow, this color is not retroreflective enough to meet the traffic requirements.
- The HP Latex 1500 Printer operating at 3-pass, 6-colour, 90%.
- Applicable to HP Latex printers. No special ventilation equipment means air filtration systems are not required to meet U.S. OSHA requirements. Condensate collection systems are provided on some models. Special ventilation equipment installation is at the discretion of the customer—see the Site Preparation Guide for details. Customers should consult state and local requirements and regulations.
- For more information visit www.3M.com/trafficsignprinting
- HP Latex Inks were tested for Hazardous Air Pollutants, as defined in the Clean Air Act, per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Method 311 (testing conducted in 2013) and none were detected.
- There is a broad set of media with very different odor profiles. Some of the media can affect the odor performance of the final print.
- The ink cartridge HP Eco-Carton outer carton is 100% recyclable through local cardboard/paper programs. Inner materials including the ink bag are 55% recyclable and can be returned free of charge to the HP Planet Partners program for reprocessing of plastic parts. Zero landfill. For ink bag and printhead take back, visit http://www.hp.com/recycle to see how to participate and for HP Planet Partners program availability; program may not be available in your jurisdiction. Where this program is not available, and for other consumables not included in the program, consult your local waste authorities on appropriate disposal.