Graphicomm Digital scores a strike with Drytac Polar vinyl

Graphicomm Digital completed a project just in time for the UK summer holidays: a massive 200sqm of wall graphics printed on Polar Premium vinyl from Drytac®.

Founded in 2000 by Commercial Director John Hardaker and his wife Janet Hardaker, and Production Director Paul Sharpe and his wife Colleen Sharpe, Graphicomm Digital moved from providing less lithographic work towards more digital wide-format graphics printing 13 years ago and, according to John, ‘haven’t looked back’.

“Signage is far and away the biggest part of our business,” he says.

Over this time, Graphicomm Digital has done numerous projects for a family-owned amusement park in its home city of Plymouth. When the same family business was undertaking a major renovation of another of its attractions, the New York Thunderbowl bowling alley and entertainment complex in Kettering, it called the Graphicomm Digital team to discuss its interior graphics needs.

Working with the client, Graphicomm Digital’s in-house graphic designer created an eye-catching wall graphic concept for the bowling alley: an underwater scene complete with coral and tropical fish, complementing images from the film franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. With such a large space to work with, Graphicomm Digital considered the material options for the job.

“We use vinyl every day so were more comfortable using vinyl again for the New York Thunderbowl project than, say, a wallpaper material,” explains John Hardaker.

Antalis, a supplier of Drytac products, recommended Drytac’s Polar Premium with a matte finish – a polymeric self-adhesive PVC film ideal for a range of applications including wall graphics, POS displays and general signage – plus a second Drytac product for laminate work.

The installation, which took place in early August, included applying the marine scene to two side walls measuring around 17m long, and across the front of the bowling alley area – a 21m-long space. In the cafe area Graphicomm Digital installed the biggest drop: a 5m-tall image of Pirates of the Caribbean character Captain Jack Sparrow.

Printing and laminating the graphics – using a Roland VersaCAMM VS-540 inkjet printer/cutter – took four days. The Graphicomm Digital team also undertook two full-day site visits ahead of the eight-day installation, a two-person job.

While Graphicomm Digital had used other Drytac products in the past, the bowling alley project was its first time using Drytac Polar.

“It’s a great product,” says John. “It prints well and is a lovely material to apply. The matte laminate finish looks and feels nice. We have already used Drytac Polar in two more projects as a result of the Thunderbowl job.

“This was a one-off, major overhaul of the entertainment complex so the graphics will be in place for a good many years.”

Check out more images from the project!
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Drytac appoints Gilbert Espinosa as West Coast Territory Manager

Drytac® is excited to announce the appointment of Gilbert Espinosa to the position of West Coast Territory Manager in the USA.

Gilbert joins Drytac – a leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large format print and signage markets – with over 26 years’ experience in the sign and graphic industry. Based in Drytac’s California office in Sante Fe Springs, Gilbert will be responsible for Arizona, Southern California, Hawaii and Nevada. He will be tasked with building upon existing accounts and acquiring new business accounts throughout his territory.

“We’re excited to welcome Gilbert Espinosa to the Drytac team,” comments Wayne Colbath, Vice President of Sales, Drytac. “Being bilingual in English and Spanish combined with his two decades of experience managing various sized accounts make Gilbert a great addition to Drytac in the USA.”

Gilbert will be joining Drytac at PRINTING United. Please stop by booth 6224 to meet him and other experts from the Drytac team.

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The people behind the products

Peter Bourgeois, Territory Sales Manager, Western Canada, Drytac

When you’re surrounded by exceptional people, innovation and creativity every day, it’s easy to take for granted what can be achieved. As an employee of Drytac I have visited our coating facility in Brampton, Ontario many times, but recently I had the pleasure of accompanying one of my customers on a tour, giving me the opportunity to see the plant with fresh eyes. It truly was a great experience to see the pride in quality and service that everybody takes – at all levels – at Drytac.

From the moment you walk into the office you see professionals who are dedicated to our customers’ success. Kam and Doreen in the front office consistently provide our customers with a level of service and care that is unparalleled. When you arrive in the manufacturing plant and put on the required safety equipment (a stunning orange vest!) Luigi takes over. Luigi knows more about adhesives and adhesive media than most of us will learn in a lifetime and is instrumental in the quality of Drytac products. As you journey through the plant you see the methods used to analyse our processes and the quality control that ensures all Drytac products meet the high standards required by our end users.

But the main thing I began to realize as we continued our tour is that it is not just the testing, manufacturing processes and quality of components that let us make a great product: it is the individuals involved. Everybody in our plant, from the operators to the directors, are working towards that same goal of creating a product we can be proud to stand behind.

Over the next two years, all of Drytac’s Canadian operations will be consolidated into a single, state-of-the-art facility. Spanning over 70,000sq ft, this new plant will include improved R&D facilities, expanded space for the production and storage of media to meet growing demand, and much more to improve the efficiency of operations. However, perhaps more importantly, the move to new premises will allow Drytac’s entire Canadian staff to work under the same roof for the first time. Already a business built on teamwork, Drytac will strengthen the relationships that maintain its success and progress.

No matter what you do, it is important to stop and look at the bigger picture of how your company, product or service gets from here to there. It does not matter what policies, procedures and processes you have in place if you do not have the buy-in from everybody within the organization. At Drytac we have that in excess and for that I am proud – and wish to thank everybody who is involved in making the products that I am lucky enough to sell.

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Award-winning Drytac to create immersive experience at PRINTING United

PRINTING United 2019 will feature an immersive experience for visitors, packed with applications using Drytac® products – while experts from the self-adhesive materials brand will also present an unmissable educational session.

PRINTING United is the new trade show from the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), taking place in Dallas, TX from October 23rd to 25th 2019. A major draw for visitors will be The Experience Zone, an inspirational and immersive showcase of printing applications and their potential environments – such as packaging, retail signage and hospitality graphics. Drytac floor graphics media will cover the entirety of the floor in The Experience Zone.

Drytac materials will also be on show at the brand’s freshly designed booth (6224), including the five products to have won awards at the SGIA 2019 Product of the Year competition. A panel of judges representing the printing industry declared Protac™ Anti-Scratch Gloss 10 mil, Polar® Chrome, ReTac® Textures, ViziPrint® Illuminate and ViziPrint® Deco SR to be the best in their categories in this prestigious annual contest. An awards ceremony will be held before PRINTING United, on October 22nd. The Drytac team will be on hand to share their wealth of knowledge and experience about these award-winning products – and the whole Drytac range – throughout the show.

In addition, Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager at Drytac, and Dennis Leblanc, Eastern and Central Canadian Territory Manager, will be presenting an educational session on Adhesives for Retail Graphics on the first day of PRINTING United. The presentation will be packed with practical information on the diverse types of adhesives available, the products best suited to specific applications, and how installation costs should be a key part of any retail visual graphics project. Adhesives for Retail Graphics is scheduled for Wednesday October 23rd at 11am (Room C140).

Drytac is partnering with several print technology manufacturers and distributors who are also exhibiting at PRINTING United, allowing visitors to see Drytac products in use across the show floor. This will demonstrate the compatibility of Drytac ranges – including ViziPrintSpotOnReTac and Polar – with a variety of different printing technologies and applications. Regular updates will be posted on Drytac’s social media platforms prior to and during PRINTING United.

PRINTING United will take place in Dallas, TX, USA from October 23rd to 25th 2019, with Drytac participating on Booth 6224. For more details and to register for the show, please visit

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Drytac picks up an incredible five awards at SGIA 2019 Product of the Year competition

Drytac® has been recognized for its adhesive material innovations in an incredible five categories at the SGIA 2019 Product of the Year competition – exceeding last year’s win of two awards.

The awards have been announced ahead of PRINTING United, the newest event from the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) stable. Taking place in Dallas, TX from October 23rd to 25th 2019, the show covers the gamut of printing technologies and will feature Drytac at Booth 6224. An awards ceremony will be held ahead of the show, on October 22nd.

Drytac came top in the Laminates, Adhesives, Films, Coatings category for its Protac™ Anti-Scratch Gloss 10 mil (250μ), a clear PET laminating film with a scratch-resistant hard coat and high-gloss finish, which is coated on one side with Drytac’s clear-as-glass pressure-sensitive adhesive. It is also available in a 4 mil (100μ) version.

In the Media – Adhesive Back (Not Vinyl) group, Drytac received the SGIA nod for its exceptional Polar® Chrome product, a silver satin reflective PET film designed for eye-catching indoor and short-term outdoor displays and signage. It is also ideal for ultra-reflective and durable labels and stickers – as proven by an epic cross-country motorcycle trip undertaken by Drytac’s Jerry Hill earlier this year.

Drytac ReTac® Textures picked up the SGIA trophy for Media – Adhesive Back Vinyl, in recognition of its ability to add depth and visual appeal to flat images thanks to its embossed textured finish, with ReTac ultra-removable adhesive backing for easy removal and repositioning – making it the perfect option for high-impact wall graphics.

ViziPrint® Illuminate, a translucent matte PET film designed specifically by Drytac for incredible window graphics and decals, won the Media – Films prize, while SGIA honouredViziPrint® Deco SR in the Media – Non-PVC category. Like Illuminate, this window film has been developed for stunning graphics on glass and other smooth surfaces, with extra staying power.

The SGIA 2019 Product of the Year awards were decided by a panel of judges representing the whole printing industry, who evaluated over 200 entries in 72 categories.

Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, SGIA, comments: “One of the things I like best about our competition is that it is juried, and judges are basing their decisions on objective criteria. And with outstanding entries like Drytac’s products, they had their work cut out for them.

“The Product of the Year competition represents the best of the best among commercial hardware, software, consumables, and industrial and screen equipment. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager at Drytac, says: “In 2018 we were recognized in two categories in the SGIA Product of the Year competition, so to have won five in 2019 is fantastic. These five awards are testament to the market-leading innovation of the whole Drytac team, who consistently look to the market and its changing needs to develop exciting new products.”

He adds: “We’re looking forward to demonstrating all five of these award-winning products – and many more – at the new PRINTING United show in October.”

PRINTING United will take place in Dallas, USA from October 23rd to 25th 2019. Drytac will exhibit at Booth 6224. For more details, please visit For further information on Drytac’s products and services, please visit

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