Duratrans and Backlit Poster Prints

When it comes to developing OOH advertising and marketing materials for your business, it is difficult to beat the stunning clarity and visual impact produced by translucent base duratrans and backlit posters. Combining brilliant colour, astonishing depth, and even light dispersion, these eye-catching illuminated displays are a fantastic sign solution across a range of indoor and outdoor applications.

At JMF, we have spent decades in the production and delivery of the finest large-format duratrans and backlit photographic prints. We offer our UK clients a comprehensive service, covering everything from consultation and design, to manufacture and delivery—for an all-in-one solution at an incredible price, you won’t find better than JMF.

To talk to us about how we can bring your backlit images to life, give our team a call today. Alternatively, keep reading for our guide to all-thing duratran.

What Is a Backlit Poster? (or, “Duratrans” vs. “duratrans”)

In the late 1970s, Kodak (then: Eastman Kodak Co.) released the world’s first backlit colour transparencies. Their ‘Endura Transparency’—shortened and subsequently trademarked as ‘Duratran’ in 1982—was a huge success; so much so that, like Kleenex, Hoover, and Tannoy before, its name became genericised to refer to all forms of backlit film (whether faithful to the Kodak method or not).

So, Duratrans(big D) are printed on Kodak’s proprietary translucent base material, while duratrans(little D) are backlit posters on other transparencies. Let’s take a look at the differences:


Duratrans are light-sensitive photographic products. Much like traditional photographic printing, in order to apply artwork to Duratrans film, an image must be exposed to it; this exposure can be carried out via a photographic negative and an enlarger. Once the translucent base material has been exposed, it can be developed through a dark room-based silver halide process, before mounting in lightboxes or other backlit frames.

Backlit Posters (“duratrans”)

With the introduction and mass adoption of large format printing came a quicker, cheaper method for creating full-colour artwork for backlit mounting. Inkjet printing onto translucent material offered many benefits over the Kodak method, with greater support for digital files, as well as the option for suppliers to print images in-house without the need for a dark room.

So, Do I Need Duratrans or duratrans?

Broadly speaking, when people seek duratran prints, they are really seeking backlit posters. Traditional Duratran printing is costly and time-consuming, and there are very few companies who still offer a “true” Duratran print. What’s more, professional backlit duratran printing yields results that are as good as—and frequently better than—the traditional method, with high-resolution durable transparency film that is ideal for the printing of fine art and archival photographs.

Phew! With that out of the way, let’s look more in-depth at the benefits of backlit poster prints, and how they can be used in your business or organisation.

The Benefits of Duratrans Printing

As we’ve seen, duratrans prints are ideal for backlit displays. But what does that mean for you and your business? Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits:

Photographic Prints / Fine Art Prints

As we briefly touched on earlier, backlit posters offer the same level of detail and resolution as traditional Duratrans. This is because they are printed using high-quality large-format printers, with translucent base material that supports photographic images. The sharpness, contrast, and clarity of duratran artwork is second-to-none, with fantastic vibrant colours that look stunning when illuminated from behind.

Interior and Exterior

Duratran prints can weather the elements, allowing them to be displayed at both indoor and outdoor locations; if there’s a lightbox there, there’s a duratran to fit! Printed on weatherproof, fade-resistant material, backlit posters can be placed in shop windows and other external-facing locations without fear of damage from the sun or rain. What’s more, all of our duratrans are printed with UV-resistant inks, meaning they will retain their vibrancy for years to come, even when placed in direct sunlight.

Durable and Archival

When printed on professional backlit film, your posters will be durable and long-lasting. This is ideal if you need to use them in a high-traffic area, or if you want to keep them on display for an extended period of time. What’s more, when stored and cared for properly, backlit prints can last for decades, making them a sound investment for anyone wanting to create long-term marketing materials.

Noticeable and Impactful

When placed in a lightbox or other backlit packaging, duratran prints are impossible to ignore. Bright, vibrant, and eye-catching, they are the perfect way to grab attention and make a lasting impression. Whether you’re looking to display product advertisements, announcements, or simply catch people’s attention, backlit posters are an ideal solution.

Easy Installation

Thanks to its rigidity, durable transparency film is significantly easier to replace than traditional paper-printed items. This is ideal if you need to frequently update your displays, or if you want to be able to change them quickly and easily.

Turnaround Time

Unlike traditional Duratrans, the production process for backlit poster prints is quick and easy. At JMF, our lead time for duratran printing is the lowest around, so if you need your backlit prints yesterday, give us a call.

LED Technology

Duratrans are ideal for mounting in LED light boxes, which—as well as being highly versatile and durable—draw as much as 90% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. As a result, displaying your durantran graphics is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly method of marketing your products and services to the world.

Duratrans Framing and Mounting Options

When it comes to displaying your duratran graphics, you want to find a method which works perfectly for your artwork, your location, and your budget.

Take a look below for some of the most popular duratran mounting options:

Lightbox Mounting

When it comes time to make your duratrans stand out, it’s difficult to beat LED lightboxes.

A lightbox (or light box), is an illuminated display case that is specifically created to show off backlit graphics. Offering even edge-to-edge light distribution, an LED light box is designed to show the finest details of your artwork with stunning clarity and picture quality.

At JMF, we produce the widest range of standard-size (up to 33 inches x 47 inches) and bespoke lightboxes for businesses of all shapes and sizes. From external light box displays, to counter-top point-of-sale frames; we have all the tools necessary to create lightboxes that will wow clients, no matter the limitations of your space.

For more information, visit our dedicated LED lightbox page.

Acrylic Mounting

Whilst a light box offers incredible clarity and vibrance, its size and weight can make it difficult to transport and install. If you’re looking for something a bit more lightweight and easy to carry, then an acrylic mount might be the answer.

Acrylic mounts are produced by melting the duratran between two sheets of premium-quality acrylic; in so doing, the print becomes secured and protected, while the acrylic allows for even diffusion of light across the print.

Roll Mounting

A recent trend in duratran mounting is to roll the print material into a tabletop centrepiece, effectively turning your marketing materials into a lamp shade.

This method is ideal for those wanting to create an unusual—yet effective—marketing display, particularly at awards ceremonies or tradeshows.

Where Are Duratrans Found?

The beauty of duratrans printing is it can be used for a wide range of marketing applications, both indoor and outdoor; you’ve probably seen a number of duratran prints without even realising it!

A few popular examples of where duratrans are used include:

  • Movie Theaters: In movie theatre locations, film posters are regularly printed onto backlit duratran. These are placed in lightboxes and used to advertise new movies coming soon, as well as any special events or showings.
  • Transit Stations: You’ve probably seen a number of backlit billboards when walking through an airport or busy train station. These are often made using duratrans and can be very effective in catching the eye of a weary traveller.
  • Retail Stores: Many large stores use duratran graphics to advertise special offers and sales. These are usually found in the windows or at the entrance of a store, acting as an enticing welcome for customers.
  • Gallery Exhibits: With their high quality and print resolution, duratrans are ideal for the printing of photos and professional digital artwork. What’s more, gallery spaces offer artists the opportunity to light their art or photo materials in unique ways, forgoing the uniform distribution of LED lightboxes.
  • Fast-Food Restaurants: Did you know that those backlit menus in McDonald’s and other fast-food chains are printed onto duratrans? These often use LED lightboxes to that is easy to read for a distance, with options to alert a customer to new products or services.
  • Shopping Centres: You’re likely to see a number of duratran graphic displays in your local shopping centre, whether they be in the form of window displays or for wayfinding around the building.

Duratrans Pricing

No matter the size of your business, cost is always a consideration. You don’t want to get cheap marketing materials, but at the same time, you don’t want to pay over the odds for print materials that may not yield the results you hope.

Duratrans printing is surprisingly affordable. As a general rule, you might pay:

  • Indoor Duratrans: £7.49 per square foot
  • Outdoor Duratrans: £9.49 per square foot
  • Fabric Duratrans: £12.49 per square foot

At JMF, we offer a range of discounts on our duratran prints, helping you to get the most for your money. For more information on pricing, please get in touch with one of our team today.

JMF Group: For All Your Duratran Printing Needs

If you’re looking for high-quality duratran printing, then look no further than JMF; our all-service team are on hand to assist in all aspects of backlit poster printing and delivery, and all at a low price that doesn’t compromise on quality.

Need some help with design? Whether you have a sign design ready to go, or are looking for a little help, simply upload artwork to our design team and they’ll ensure the final print is as good as it can possibly be.

Worried about installation? Our UK-wide fitting engineers are available to get your print materials up safely and securely. Or, if you can handle the job yourself, we can arrange super-quick delivery at a time to suit you.

Need more details? Give our customer service team a call today—we can’t wait to get to work!

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