One film does not fit all – Why specialist products can pay off

A multi-purpose graphics film could seem like a good deal, but you may end up spending more money and time than you bargained for. Jerry Hill from Drytac explains why.

Authored by Jerry Hill, Vice President of Sales, USA, Drytac

The term ‘multi-purpose’ sounds great. One product for different applications, helping your business keep costs low and stock keeping units (SKU) simple – what’s not to like? However, in reality, that smart multi-functional product will be better for some jobs than others, in terms of appearance, performance, cost efficiency and longevity. This might seem like an acceptable balance, but some products claiming to be effective across multiple applications might do well for some jobs but perform downright poorly for others.

This is especially important when choosing graphics media. The type of product, and particularly its adhesive element, should be dictated by the application’s environment and required longevity. A multi-use product might perform well for a few weeks but may cause problems if left in place for months, after which the adhesive will fail. In the case of floor graphics, curling edges would pose a safety risk aside from looking unsightly. Conversely, the product may be designed for long-term or permanent use when the application is short-term. If so, you will spend more time and money removing it than you expected.

Naturally, the cost to your business – in money and time – is the big factor. Nobody likes paying more or taking longer to get results. It’s therefore understandable to look at the price and ease of use of graphics media developed for indoor applications and hope it will work just as well for outdoor graphics, for example. However, in this case, the indoor product will lack the weatherproof adhesives specifically engineered for exterior use, meaning it may simply fail. A specialist outdoor product would cost more but will offer peace of mind that results will last. Again, the reverse can be true: one product could be priced correctly for floors and the specialist adhesive this application requires but overpriced for walls where this adhesive would be too aggressive.

Indeed, even for indoor applications, the product must be compatible with the intended surface. In addition to remaining safely in place, it should be cleanly and easily removed at the end of the project. Products that are designed for high-tack applications such as brick can also work on windows, but be aware: apply it to drywall or plasterboard and it may never come off without pulling the wall surface away with it.

Alongside its suitability to do a job, consider the aesthetics of the product. There is a fantastic variety of textures and finishes available for graphics – why restrict yourself to a matte finish when you could choose glossy, or even sand, linen, canvas or woodgrain effect?

If you’re still leaning towards a product marketed as multi-purpose, consider a loaf of sliced bread. Perfect for toast in the morning, but how about as a hot dog bun? You could use it, but why would you want to? It completely changes the experience. That sliced loaf might be ideal for the kids’ packed lunches, but would you serve it at a dinner party? What if you or your guests have a gluten intolerance, or you simply want to serve something more special with your soup? One product might seem to tick all the boxes, but in reality it needs more thought. For a graphics application, just like in a bakery, the best thing since sliced bread might be a lot more sophisticated.

Here at Drytac, we have solutions designed for specific applications. You can view our solutions here! Please reach out to a team member if you have any questions.

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HugePrints shines bright with Drytac Polar Chrome

Drytac Polar Chrome

HugePrints says its ‘gamble’ in using a product new to the graphics business – Drytac’s Polar Chrome – paid off with a set of ‘flawlessly’ printed signs for a car show.

Founded in 1999 and owned by Ben Boese since 2018, Rockford, IL-based HugePrints produces a wide range of signs, banners, posters and displays. However, Ben says the team ‘loves to tackle unique graphics projects’, including a recent project for the World of Wheels car show in Chicago.

A local customer planned to submit three restored motorcycles to the show together with displays listing their key information. The signs were based on an existing one from a previous event at which it had exhibited a car. HugePrints decided to print the motorcycle signs slightly smaller, since the bikes themselves were on a smaller scale than the car, but still wanted them to stand out and draw attention.

“We decided to use Drytac Polar Chrome for the printing,” says Ben Boese, President of HugePrints. “Just hearing the word ‘chrome’ made us think it would be a good fit for a car show. This was our first time using the material and the first time working for the customer, so this was a little bit of a gamble. Luckily, it printed flawlessly on our HP Latex 360.”

Drytac Polar Chrome at Motorcycle Show

Polar Chrome is a silver satin reflective PET film ideal for eye-catching billboards, exhibition graphics, POS displays and public transport advertisements, as well as labels. It offers three-year indoor and two-year outdoor durability thanks to its clear permanent adhesive and is easy to apply. The 75 micron (3 mil) product is available in rolls up to 60″ wide and has excellent compatibility with eco-solvent, solvent, latex and UV printing technologies.

The signs were 6mm PVC, bent to shape with the printed graphics applied on top. HugePrints added a protective glossy laminate and finished the displays with a carbon fibre vinyl and knifeless tape to free-hand a curve at the bottom and add contrast – matte black against the glossy chrome, carbon fibre texture against the smooth gloss, and black against the colour print.

Ben adds: “The customer was thrilled with the end result, saying that the reflective material made the print almost look 3D. And the three bikes took first, second and third place awards in their category. We’d like to think that the chrome shine of the signs helped draw more favourable attention from the judges.”

HugePrints has been using Drytac products since meeting the representatives of the manufacturer at the SGIA Expo in 2018.

“At the time, we were pursuing material for a few sports-related projects, and one of the reps had done something similar to one of those projects with an NHL team,” Ben says. “So not only did we get to talk hockey, but found some great materials that helped more unique projects!”

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Get instant attention with new Drytac Polar SandTac Floor one-step media in the USA

Drytac has released Polar SandTac Floor in the USA, a new economical print-and-go floor graphics product that provides slip resistance without lamination. This makes installation safe, quick and simple.

Drytac has expanded its floor graphics media range even further with the release of Polar SandTac Floor, an economical, one-step product that can be applied in seconds, grabbing attention straight away.

As a leading international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, Drytac has met unprecedented demand for floor graphics media this year. Polar SandTac Floor sits within an extensive range of new and established products that provide the ideal combination of safety, professional appearance and ease of use.

Ideal for short-term indoor advertising and social distancing markers, Polar SandTac Floor is a one-part product and has achieved several slip ratings without the need for lamination. It can be applied directly to ceramic tiles, sealed wood, concrete, waxed vinyl, marble or terrazzo flooring without any kind of top layer, saving time, money and labor.

Its textured, matte white finish helps printed graphics stand out for the duration of the project – up to six months indoors – while its non-damaging adhesive makes removal quick, clean and simple.

“Floor graphics are the biggest application story of 2020 and Drytac has responded with a wide range of suitable media, to give customers as much choice as possible for their advertising or directional project,” says Jerry Hill, Vice President of Sales, USA; Drytac.

Polar SandTac Floor is a print-and-go product, providing slip resistance without lamination, so users can simply print their graphics and install them as quickly as they are needed.”

Drytac Polar SandTac Floor, 7 mil (175μ) PVC film with a removable, solvent pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive, is now available in the USA in roll widths up to 60″ (1524mm). It is compatible with UV, latex solvent and eco-solvent printing technologies.

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