Backdrop Printing

Backdrop printing for theatre and film productions is the ideal alternative to the old-fashioned method of hand painting backdrops. Printed backdrops are faster and more cost-effective to create. Not only that, but they’re also more durable too. This makes it much easier to transport your backdrops as you travel around with your theatre group or band because there is very little chance of them getting damaged.

Digitally printed backdrops are perfect for several different applications. You can use them for studio photography, film scenery, theatrical productions, outdoor events, weddings, music concerts, and so much more. The list of possibilities are simply endless. Best of all, you have total control over the design because it is created on the computer. There are no limitations on what you can create like there are with hand-painted backdrops. And you don’t even need to print the backdrop until you approve of the design first. How cool is that?

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Backdrop Printing benefits

  • Non-reflective matt finish
  • Flame retardant materials
  • Lightweight ideal for hanging, storing & transporting
  • Single or Double-Sided
  • Wide choice of material including voile & block-out fabric
  • Bespoke finishing to your own specification

Due to the advances of digital printing technology

Due to the advances of digital printing technology, printing can be achieved on a wide range of roll-to-roll or rigid materials. Some of these materials include cotton and synthetic fabrics, muslins, canvas, sharks tooth scrim, and PVCs; just to name a few! Seamless images can be printed up to five meters high and forty meters wide. Larger sizes can be achieved by joining printed panels together. This can be done by either sewing or welding them with an “invisible” seam.

Digitally printed backdrops provide several advantages over those manually painted backdrops. For instance, if a digitally printed backdrop is spoiled or gets damaged for some reason, it can be easily and quickly replaced with a new one. You don’t need to hire a painter and wait a few days for them to recreate the design. Since the digital design is already saved on the computer, it doesn’t take long at all to just print a new backdrop from that design. This will be extremely useful for when you go on tour and have limited time to devote to anything else.

If the printed backdrops suffer a lot of wear and tear, the design can be saved and used again repeatedly. It can even be saved for a period of ten years or so. But don’t worry because the printed backdrops can be hung and stored many times without affecting the quality of the image. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about printing another backdrop for a long time.

If your storage space is tight and you need two different types of designs, then it is possible to print on both sides of the backdrop in order to give you better flexibility on the set design. Then you can just flip the backdrop around to the other side to show the opposite design. This can also save you time and money too. The only downside is that if something happens to that backdrop, you’ll need to reprint two designs instead of one.

Artwork for Backdrop printing

You can use your own design or use a design from a stock artwork library like Shutterstock. Alternatively, if you want some help with your creative backdrop we can provide a design service.

During the design process bear in mind the effectiveness of bright colours and copy size. With theatre backdrops its all about perspective and lighting. Small copy might not be legible at the back of the theatre.

The print resolution is approximately 300 dpi, like standard home/office printers, which can yield sharp, crisp prints from high-resolution originals.

Getting the design print ready the file must be CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). If your artwork has been designed in RGB (Red, Green and Blue) please convert as there will be colour shifts.  Ensure the resolution does not drop below 100 dpi (dots per square inch) at full size. This will create a large file so ensure your computer can handle it. Save the file as an EPS or high resolution JPEG.

A common issue is a client will download a design from the web which is tiny in file size. Then ask us to print it 1000 times bigger. Unfortunately, its just not possible. If the original file is not at a high resolution the print results will not be good. If in doubt call us.

Finishing for Backdrop Printing

There are many finishing options like a standard pocket top and bottom for a pole. Or a simple hem with eyelets we can cater for some of the most complexed of backdrop requirements. We can finish you backdrop to suit your needs. Please contact us to discuss your options.  

Where did is all start?

Scenic backdrops have much advanced since Florentine artist and architect Filippo Brunelleschi discovered the values of linear perspective in 1425. Using Brunelleschi’s system, artists could precisely measure and design a scene with visual accuracy onto a backdrop. By the end of the 16th century it was all the trend on the theatre stage. 300 years later, new technology has been established that has further affected stage design. Using digital artwork and supersize printers, backdrops for stages can now be computer designed, printed and delivered in less than a week. Although digitally printed backdrops will never replace the artistic hand-painted effect of theatre backdrops in certain circumstances they do offer many advantages.

Printing processes, digital print using UV or Dye sublimation

With our Dye Sublimation backdrops, you can wash them in a washing machine without any worries. The colors should stay intact just fine after going through a wash cycle in the washer and a dry cycle in the dryer. However, the Dry Sublimation backdrops should only be washed periodically because the colors can eventually start to fade away if they’re excessively washed. This is no different than when you wash clothes with prints and images on them and then eventually start to see those colors fade away. But it won’t happen for a while with the backdrops, so don’t worry.

The cost of producing a bespoke backdrop is often cheaper than you think. We only create original backdrops for our customers. There are no templates or predesigns used ever. Just contact us with your requirements for the design of the backdrop and our creative design team will get to work on it right away.

For more information, please or visit our blog for news on our latest work.

Backdrop Printing