Hyper-realistic printing – The Station Hotel impresses with its sheer realism

Dominique Schroller

Published on 14.02.2020

Thanks to photo-realistic digital printing carried out on many different materials, the Station Hotel really managed to stand out from the crowd out at viscom.

Visitors to the show really did a second take when they saw the Station Hotel space stage, as it looked as though the lobby had come straight out of a real hotel. The motto of this special space staging event was, “Feel, see and experience”. The process involved printing high-resolution images on different materials digitally. The fictional Dusseldorf hotel was a collaborative project involving the printing services provider Photofabrics together with Primex, Igepa and KREA, all suppliers of innovative materials for interior design. The whole event took on its unique appearance thanks to the use of photographs provided by the agency pullPIX and also some images from the public domain.

Many visitors were fascinated by the realism of the sheer variety of printed materials on display in this context. “Guests” of the Station Hotel were able to experience the hotel as a realistic location, with its printed floors, wallpaper, partitions and textiles, right through to illuminated frames and light panels.

One immediate eye-catcher for visitors on entering the hotel lobby was the custom-printed floor made of Tex Walk. This is a fabric covered in a white matt vinyl structured coating with an R12 anti-slip rating, even without the protective laminate. Tex Walk can be printed using all commonly available printing systems and is suitable for use as carpeting, tiles, linoleum, stone floors, concrete, parquet and laminate. After a few metres, the floor in the Station Hotel switched to a polymer vinyl foil. At this point, carpet had been stuck over another layer of carpeting. This was not a problem, however, because there is also a thick and powerful special adhesive available for the vinyl that also provides adequate adhesion on uneven surfaces. Vinyl is particularly good at providing a razor-sharp, photo-realistic image.

Not only was the Station Hotel floor printed in an unusual manner, the walls were also a real eye-catcher. The textile-feel wallpaper also added something special to the overall atmosphere. The material used is also perfect for banners and art reproductions.

Special light boxes were used to create a special atmosphere in the room. They each consist of an aluminium profile with an LED module which guarantees even lighting. With approx. 1600 lux, a light box is illuminated on one or two sides.  The unit is provided with power via a plug-and-play connection.

Each of the different printed materials created a special effect individually, but together they generated something really special. The Station Hotel is an impressive example of just how such materials can work in combination with one another, opening up all sorts of new possibilities for the world of interior design. Large-format digital printing makes it possible for you to print a particular motif on all sorts of different materials. It is important, however, to make sure you use a file that uses a colour profile corrected to suit the printing material in question. It is also helpful to use test proofs when matching colours and print results for different materials.

To date, however, the printing industry has really lacked opportunities for demonstrating just how effective it can be when everything combines to work together like this, whereby the range of applications it could be put to is huge. It is possible to create entire theme worlds by using photo-realistic printing on all sorts of different surfaces – whether we are talking about trade fairs, stores, offices, hotels or restaurants – realistic space staging is a real eye-catcher.

VISCOM 2020

Images: viscom