If You Think About It, Custom Inflatables Are Really Just a Giant Piece of Artwork
While the size and shape can be designed and produced without images, your inflatable won't take on its personality without artwork.
As vital as this element of the process is, you might think it would be one of the most pressing issues inflatables’ manufacturers address. Not so. In fact, other manufacturers often downplay it so much that the overall look and quality of your inflatable suffer just so that the manufacturer can offer a lower price. That's because artwork greatly affects the pricing; sometimes even more than the size of the inflatable.
Choosing the correct method and sending high-quality art files on time for your custom inflatable is a cornerstone in how the project will turn out.
Digital printing, appliqué and paint are the three primary ways to incorporate art. While all have their place, there’s not one right way to do every project. Some inflatable manufacturers focus on getting the price as low as possible, and choose whichever art method it takes to make it cheaply. This means the overall end product will almost certainly suffer the consequences through fading and peeling.
Examples of Airbrushed Inflatables
Examples of Digitally Printed Inflatables
Pros and Cons of Airbrushing & Digital Printing
There are numerous methods for including artwork in your custom inflatable project for a reason. Not all are best suited to every job. While others quote the cheapest form of artwork just to entice you with a low price, Landmark Creations carefully considers the purpose and use of your new inflatable, so we can ensure the artwork will hold up to substantial wear.
|Digital Art Benefits||Airbrushing Benefits|
|Provides an accurate replication of artwork or photos||More durable (digital ink can be scratched)|
|Can be backlit (paint looks dark when the inflatable is internally lit)||Can match a wider variety of colors (pinks, purples & metallics are difficult to match on digital prints)|
|Consistent, repeatable imaging (slight variations can occur between painted inflatables)||Easier & less expensive to repair|
|Faster turnaround times for larger, complex projects||Good for creating personality in characters and subtle shading in organic-shaped objects|
Getting Your Artwork Approved
Getting artwork approved can become one of the biggest challenges for meeting project deadlines. Too often, inflatable manufacturers will commit to deadlines without completely explaining the need for artwork. These companies collect your down payment (50% is standard) and then leave the rest for you to worry about, which can ultimately result in significant project delays.
At Landmark, we pride ourselves on meeting deadlines and exceeding our customers’ expectations. We prefer to be up front about what is required to get the projects completed on time and looking better than expected.
This usually involves three steps:
1. Approval of Art Concept - Once you submit your art files, we'll work up a computer-generated concept drawing for you to approve. This usually consists of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional rendering of how the finished inflatable will look.
2. Agreement on Artwork Method - We'll make suggestions as to what we feel is the best fit for your project whether that is digital, airbrush, appliqué or a combination of techniques. Once the method is approved, the process can begin.
3. Delivery of Art Files - Because the artwork you send will be used as-is, specific requirements must be met. You'll find complete instructions here for preparing and delivering art files for best results.
With some preparation and a good education about what's expected and how it will impact the finished product, your custom inflatable will be created with stellar results.