The Magic Touch has taken on US-headquartered Decoral’s Duraluxe aluminium product for distribution, which it says is an outdoor signage first.
Magic Touch managing director Jim Nicol said that Duraluxe is the first product of its kind to be printed on using sublimation inks and be suitable for outdoor use. Signing the agreement last week, the garment and textile specialist will have the material in stock from next week at its Bedfordshire site, having initially announced the partnership earlier this month at The Print Show in Telford.
Pricing is not yet set but Nicol described it as a “premium product with pricing the same as normal metals”. This is the first time it has distributed for Decoral, having visited its Florida headquarters last month and printed more than 200 trial panels.
“This is the first time this has ever been possible,” said Nicol.
“With metal, and in terms of aluminium, if you print using sublimation ink and put it outdoors it doesn’t matter whether it’s sunny or whatever, within three months it eliminates by about 30%. If in direct sunlight it goes a lot quicker.
“What has happened in the past is that we sell a metal to use indoors and it’s great for pictures of dogs and cats but for actual proper signage you can’t use it. This you can. It’s got a patent, proper certification and it’s new. So the bottom line is you are imaging a piece of metal, run through a transfer printer, press the transfer for two minutes, peel the paper off and that’s it.”
The powder coated aluminium sublimation product, which will be distributed via Magic Touch’s DyeSubMagic brand, is compatible with a variety of sublimation inks, including from Sawgrass, Epson and Kiian. Protected against the effects of UV, graffiti and weathering, panels are 1.2mm thick and available in various widths of up to 2.4m.
“We have a lot of customers out there with sublimation printers so in theory they only need the metal,” added Nicol.
“So it will encourage those sitting on the fence to think ‘I’ve got some equipment and maybe I should be out there marketing these ideas’. Every front door on the planet needs some sort of sign.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, 25-staff Magic Touch has two other sub-brands, its traditional toner division and its MagiCut cutter and plotter division, each of which comprise around one third of its £5m turnover. It distributes printers, inks, consumables and media from the likes of Oki, Roland and Sawgrass.