Using short-term graphics for timely, impactful messages

Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac

Social distancing has become standard practice across the world in recent weeks. As businesses and public spaces reopen or prepare for a swell in customer numbers, it’s essential to provide guidance in the form of graphics. Whether they are floor graphics designating to stand apart, or wall or window decals informing shoppers of a new queuing system, printed displays are reliable form of direction.

Furthermore, during periods of social change or difficult trading conditions, every business needs to stay relevant. Retailers and other public-facing companies need to grab their customers’ attention – and not just once, but time and time again to retain an ongoing, loyal relationship. Installing temporary graphics is an effective, affordable way to regularly refresh a brand and promote up-to-the-minute messages.

Temporary graphics offer almost unlimited creative potential. It’s possible to wrap whole buildings, inside and out, with colourful designs and branded messages. Walls, windows, doors, ceilings, elevators, stairs, floors, shelf edges, counters – you can advertise in 360º. However, with so many options to choose from, it’s possible to overwhelm customers.

Instead, choose your graphics carefully for the biggest impact. Focus on one or two parts of your space – for instance the windows or the walls – and refresh them regularly to engage with your market more effectively, and more long-term, than a flood of permanent graphics. Short-term graphics need to be applied quickly and, just as importantly, replaced quickly too. Drytac has a large selection of short-term graphic solutions that can be applied by hand with no specialist equipment – and no need to hire a professional installer – and can be removed cleanly without leaving adhesive residue. These products can also be layered over existing graphics, speeding up installation further.

Graphics media also need to withstand the duration of the promotion without fading, ripping or curling at the edges. In short, they shouldn’t attract attention for the wrong reasons. To meet these requirements, it’s important to use the right graphics media for each job. Using a product just because its sticks to brick or glass can result in problems down the line.

There are a lot of self-adhesive films and mounting adhesives on the market that have been designed for specific applications, such as window graphics. They will have been developed as an ideal blank canvas for vibrant prints, to be easy to install, to offer durability against everyday wear and tear, and to be simple and clean to remove without residue. For example, Drytac SpotOn vinyl films feature adhesive arranged in a unique dot pattern that assists air egress, removing bubbles upon application and easing removal. Drytac SpotOn White and Drytac SpotOn Clear monomeric PVC films perform brilliantly on window glass, showcasing promotional messages at their best, and can be repositioned and removed easily without leaving smears.

Similarly, Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 polymeric PVC film is coated with ReTac ultra removable and repositionable adhesive which makes it easy to get the installation of wall and window graphics just right. Alternatively, Drytac WindowTac is a clear, double-sided mounting adhesive with a unique embossed release liner, that allows printed temporary graphics to be easily installed onto glass, acrylic and other non-porous surfaces.

Drytac has also recently launched Protac Antimicrobial in the UK, a new laminating film that contains antimicrobial additives to protect graphics and surfaces against bacteria and fungus. These growth inhibitors are added to the film during the manufacturing process to ensure even distribution and durability throughout the life of the graphic, even after repeated cleaning. Protac Antimicrobial is suitable for graphics installed in hospitals, schools, restaurants and retail environments where hygienic is crucial.

Many graphics products are designed for multiple applications but check their suitability for your specific project before use, to ensure compatibility with the surface, environment temperature, cleaning products and, importantly, required levels of safety. On flooring, only specialist floor graphics media should be used as these products have been rated for slip hazards, for example. In any public space it’s essential to use media that has a fire rating too. For outdoor applications in extreme temperatures, product ranges such as Drytac Polar may offer the extra durability you need. There may also be environmental guidelines to follow, so check how used graphics media can be recycled. For advice, get in touch with a Drytac expert.

Get your temporary graphics correct now to retain your customers into the future.

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Drytac launches Protac Antimicrobial for extra peace of mind

Drytac has released Protac® Antimicrobial in the UK & Europe, a new laminating film that protects surfaces against bacteria and fungus.

This clear film is composed of a textured polyester with a hard top coat. The antimicrobial additives are incorporated during the manufacturing process to ensure even distribution throughout the top coating. These antimicrobial agents disrupt the microbial cell wall of bacteria and fungus, inhibiting growth up to fifteen years. The film’s chemistry also provides scratch and chemical resistance which allows daily cleaning without loss of effectiveness.

Thanks to its reliable and consistent protection from contaminants including MRSA, streptococcus, E. coli, salmonella and more, Protac Antimicrobial is ideal for use in environments where hygiene is of particular importance, such as hospitals, schools, nurseries, restaurants and cafeterias.

It also provides extra peace of mind for anyone conscious of hygiene on surfaces such as counters, control panels, door plates, switches and equipment, and on signage and POP graphics and displays. Its textured yet clear finish ensures colours are not diminished while providing good resistance to abrasions.

Drytac – a leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for markets including large format print and signage – has developed Protac Antimicrobial with a solvent acrylic adhesive for permanent applications and comes with an indoor durability of up to fifteen years.

Protac Antimicrobial is ideal for preventing the growth and spread of bacteria from touch surfaces,” comments Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager for Drytac. “Its applications in environments such as hospitals and health centres are practically limitless, with many more potential sites in retail, education, transport and hospitality. For anyone with concerns about hygiene and contamination, this innovative product can help.”

Drytac Protac Antimicrobial has a thickness of 150μ (6 mil), a width of up to 1200mm and a textured matte finish.

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Keeping people safe with floor graphics

Authored By David Morgan, Technical Assistance, Drytac Europe

Floor graphics are an effective tool in many scenarios and are increasingly used to guide the public around a space safely. By reminding people to keep their distance, often acting as a visual barrier, floor graphics can play a key role in maintaining a safe but efficient flow of shoppers and other groups. However, if the intention is to protect people the last thing anyone wants is to create an injury risk.

To ensure floor graphics are appropriate for their setting, invest in the right product. When public safety is a priority, it’s not enough to use any self-adhesive graphics media that sticks to the floor – only a product designed specifically for this application should be used. This, partly, is because it will have been tested and rated for its slip resistance.

The test standards used to measure slip resistance vary across different geographical regions and even within the same country. In the USA, ANSI/NFSI B101.3 is commonly referenced but you will also see ASTM E303 and ANSI A137.1 /A326.3. In Europe, look for EN 13036-4 or DIN 51130. AS HB198:2014 and AS/NZS 4586 are used in Australia and New Zealand. Comparison between the standards is difficult as each will either differ slightly in test method or by using completely different instruments, but all are essentially measuring the same thing: floor friction.

The tables below go into further detail and give some guidance on the recommended rating required for the intended environment. For example, with DIN 51130, slip resistance is measured with R ratings: an R9-rated product is only suitable for dry indoor areas such as offices; R10 would be suitable for areas that are kept mostly dry but have potential for spillages such as supermarket aisles, hospital corridors and warehouses; while R11 can be used in areas that can get wet like external walkways, bathrooms or serving areas. It is important to carefully consider all the conditions a floor graphic will be subjected to – and not just wet or dry situations. Contaminates like oil will affect floor friction more so than water, floors at a gradient are also different to level floors, and the amount or type of traffic endured by the graphic will impact the durability.

Fire ratings are also applicable to floor graphics. Ensure all products used in a public space have achieved a sufficient fire safety certification. The manufacturer or supplier of your selected floor graphics product will be able to tell you both the slip rating and fire rating – and to help you choose the right media for your specific environment.

Another reason for choosing a specialist floor graphics media is to avoid a trip hazard. These products will have been developed to adhere securely to most typical floor surfaces – but, again, check your intended setting – without tearing or curling at the edges. They may have been engineered to withstand heavy foot traffic, high-heeled shoes and machinery without being damaged.

It’s important to keep floor graphics clean, and crucial if they display safety or directional information. Even with a specifically designed product, special care should be taken to minimise the adhesive’s exposure to water and cleaning products as these can degrade the bond to the floor and create a tripping hazard. You can minimise the risk of lifting by edge-sealing the graphic upon application.

The print itself should withstand cleaning chemicals too – as well as potential fading from UV light – so check that the product is compatible with both your cleaning solutions and the ink technology used to print it. Most specialist floor graphics films are designed for vibrant, long-lasting results with all major digital printing technologies.

Safety is paramount. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your product manufacturer or supplier for expert advice.

Click here for a pdf of the above!

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ArtSoft weathers temperature challenges to collect award with Drytac Polar Premium

ArtSoft Expo Solutions has completed an eye-catching project for the Grocery Innovations Canada conference in challenging weather conditions, thanks to Drytac Polar Premium printable vinyl. 

Founded over 20 years ago, ArtSoft provides complete trade show display solutions to customers across North America, offering services from project management all the way through design, manufacturing, logistics, on-site installation and dismantling to storage.

For three consecutive years ArtSoft has worked with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers on its Grocery Innovations Canada event. Most recently, this project included a building wrap design inspired by virtual reality – an application recognized by Big Picture magazine’s Best of Wide Format Awards.

On such a large-scale design, it was essential for ArtSoft’s in-house designer to carefully cross-check elements to enable application with minimal issues, for the production team to ensure the final product’s print consistency to make it appear as if one seamless piece of work, and for the installation team to apply the design quickly and without problems.

Every step of the process depended on using the right printable media. Joe Chan, President, ArtSoft Expo Solutions, comments: “We tested over ten different types of adhesive vinyl to find the best to install onto glass and aluminium trim. At the end we picked Drytac Polar Premium as when we were installing the wrap in October we faced a big challenge of temperature changes: in the morning it could be 10ºC (50ºF) and at noon it might get up to 30ºC (86ºF).

“With Polar Premium, our installers managed to work very well during the installation process. Furthermore, there is no residue left on the glass or aluminium frame surfaces after removal.”

Drytac developed its Polar range specifically to deliver exceptional quality performance in extreme temperature ranges. Compatible with all standard digital printing technologies, Polar Premium is an ideal choice for stunning graphics on flat surfaces such as external walls and windows.

ArtSoft sourced Polar Premium from ND Graphics, who also supplies Drytac FloorTac for floor graphics – currently used by ArtSoft for social distancing floor stickers.

“I enjoy working with Drytac products and services,” Joe adds. “Before the start of the Grocery Innovations Canada project I was shown several types of Drytac materials and received all the samples that I needed for testing. Thanks to ND Graphics and Drytac this was a very successful project.”

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Drytac announces new PVC-free floor graphic solutions in Europe

Drytac has launched two new PVC-free floor graphic products in Europe to meet the growing demand for non-slip, easy-to-apply solutions in this market.

Drytac Polar® Floor PET 170 is a new print media for indoor floor graphics that meets essential anti-slip requirements without the need for lamination. Part of the popular Polar range, Polar Floor PET 170 PVC-free polyester film has achieved a post-printed anti-slip rating of R10 according to DIN 51130, has been classed as low slip potential by the UK Pendulum Test and is certified to the US ANSI A137.1 slip test. These credentials are crucial for ensuring safety throughout floor graphics campaigns in high-traffic areas.

Drytac has also ensured Polar Floor PET 170 is scuff- and tear-resistant for short-term indoor applications – even able to withstand high-heeled shoes – so printed graphics remain visible and vibrant. The white, ink-receptive film has a textured, matte finish that is perfect for directional notices, retail promotions, POS advertising and decals in place for up to six months.

Polar Floor PET 170 is coated on one side with a clear, pressure-sensitive adhesive which enables installers to apply, reposition and remove graphics easily. This dimensionally stable film has been tested to endure extreme temperatures and is compatible with standard flooring surfaces including ceramic tiles, sealed wood, concrete, waxed vinyl and short pile carpets.

Also new from Drytac is SpotOn® SynTac Floor. One half of a two-part solution with Drytac’s Interlam EcoTex PVC-free overlaminating film, this new product has been developed with the environment in mind. Featuring Drytac’s unique SpotOn dot-pattern adhesive, SpotOn SynTac Floor is easily applied to and removed from smooth floor surfaces including ceramic tiles, sealed wood and concrete. When paired with Interlam EcoTex, this printable matte white, self-adhesive film gives floor graphics a pebble-texture finish.

Like Polar Floor PET 170, the SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex combination solution is a safe choice for short-term indoor floor graphics. Interlam EcoTex has been tested in accordance with DIN 51130 standards and has been awarded an R10 anti-slip rating to give end users peace of mind.

“Floor graphics play many roles in a wide range of environments but it’s essential they remain safe for public use,” says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac. “Polar Floor PET 170 from Drytac has been designed to be non-slip and scuff-resistant without the need for lamination so users can apply them straightaway, speeding up the process for fast-moving projects.

“Drytac’s SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex solution provides an environmentally friendly option to ensure users retain their sustainability credentials while creating impactful, safe floor graphics.”

Drytac Polar Floor PET 170 has a thickness of 170μ (6.8 mil) and is available in widths up to 1524mm. SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex have a combined thickness of 240μ and is available in roll widths of up to 1370mm.

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Warwick Printing builds excitement for new store with striking Drytac graphics

Warwick Printing has installed a huge storefront wall graphic using Drytac ReTac, building excitement for a new beauty store.

Founded in 1995 as an offset press commercial printer, Warwick Printing has increasingly moved into digital printing and adopted wide format technologies in the last two years. This has helped the Lethbridge, AB business to increase its client base and to offer new services to its existing customers.

In March 2020 Warwick Printing undertook a substantial wall graphics project to promote a new Sephora store in Park Place Mall in Lethbridge. Sephora sells cosmetics and beauty products from over 2,600 stores in 34 countries around the world, attracting loyal customers and a significant following online.

Lee Weighill, Owner of Warwick Printing, says that it ‘seems many people are excited about this store judging by the comments heard during the install’.

He explains that his team worked with a USA-based design firm on the hoarding, which measured 54′ wide by 12′ high (16.5m x 3.7m).

“We did a site survey, sent the updated specs to their design team, and had the files back printed and installed within four to five days. The actual install took about six hours,” says Lee.

“We chose Drytac ReTac because we have used it previously and know the properties of it, what to expect when printing and installing. Because the panels were very wide (52″) and were over 12 feet tall we wanted a fairly thick, stable vinyl and also one that would be easy to remove in a couple of months.”

Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 is a polymeric printable PVC film coated with ReTac ultra-removable adhesive technology. This enables easy installation, repositioning and removal of indoor wall graphics, even on curved, textured or angled surfaces. ReTac Smooth 150 has several fire ratings, making it suitable for public areas that require compliance with strict fire regulations such as malls and retail stores. This 150 micron (6 mil) product is available in matte and gloss finishes and is compatible with latex, UV, solvent and eco-solvent printing technologies for stunning wall graphics.

“We use Drytac products whenever possible because they perform excellently for us, both printing and installing,” says Lee. “We use on a regular basis ReTac Smooth and Textures in the Canvas finish, SpotOn, Printable Eclipse for banners, Polar polymeric films and Polar Premium, Interlam Pro textured laminate and have recently done a few projects with Polar Chrome Silver Satin which is really cool stuff. We love all the Drytac products we have used so far, all are excellent.”

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We’re still open, still innovating and still moving forward.

In the last few days Drytac has shipped huge quantities of
floor graphic materials and slip-rated laminates, most of this to meet
the urgent demand for Covid-19 awareness and safety signage.

We’re also shipping high volumes of WipeErase & Chalkmate
temporary whiteboard and chalkboard materials, as people adapt
their homes into functional offices and even classrooms.

Easy to apply and remove adhesives make all of these products
perfect for in-store and at-home application by your customers.

We’re currently living through strange and unprecedented
circumstances, and here at Drytac we’re doing all that we can to
assist you in keeping the wheels of your business turning.

If we can help you in any way, please get in touch.

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Helping your graphics withstand deep cleaning

Authored By David Morgan, Technical Assistance, Drytac Europe

For anyone giving their site a deep clean, or simply sprucing things up during downtime, it’s important that disinfectant chemicals don’t cause damage to signage and displays. Museums, photo studios, retailers, schools and many more sites will have a range of graphics materials installed that will need to remain safely intact and in a good visual condition after cleaning.

Wall murals, decals, floor graphics, window displays and signage may all need cleaning, but how to approach this will depend on the graphics material, especially that of its overlaminate product. An overlaminate is used to enhance graphics but is also essential to protect an underlying image or surface from damage caused by UV exposure, scratches, graffiti and indeed cleaning chemicals.

Drytac’s range includes several types of overlaminating films, all of which will withstand cleaning with everyday commercially available cleaning agents and disinfectants, but for more intense cleaning it’s important to check the film’s chemical resistance. The majority of customers will be using a PVC, polyester or polypropylene film – all of which have different levels of chemical resistance.

PVC has good resistance to aliphatic alcohols such as isopropanol, a widely used disinfectant within pharmaceutics and hospitals and dilute acids/bases found in common cleaners like bleach. However, organic solvents such as ketones (for example acetone), aromatics like toluene, and esters should be avoided as they will damage the PVC material.

Polypropylene (PP) has a similar resistance to that of PVC and is also durable against esters. PET can withstand cleaning with all of the above, including organic solvents.

Regardless of your type of film, ensure that you wash your graphic with a soft non-abrasive wipe to avoid surface damage and scratches. Even the toughest overlaminate will suffer from attention with a rough brush. Be sure to take care with exposed edges; chemicals and liquids can detrimentally affect adhesives if given the opportunity to ingress. This is especially crucial on floor graphics, as reduced adhesion could result in a tripping hazard – and of course these are the graphics likely to be cleaned more often.

As always, Drytac can answer any questions you have about applying and maintaining your graphics for a safe and effective project – just get in touch.

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Drytac’s Commitment During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear valued partner,
 
As the Coronavirus pandemic escalates, I am writing to share Drytac’s commitment to you, our customers and partners, throughout the world.
 
At Drytac, we are taking seriously the responsibility we have to all our employees, partners, and stakeholders to implement best-practices as advised by the World Health Organization as well as the local and federal governments in the jurisdictions within which we operate. 
 
In light of this, Drytac has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure we continue to supply our customers as safely and prudently as possible under the current circumstances. These include:

  • Wherever possible, Drytac employees have been provided with the appropriate tools so that they can work remotely. Aside from the production and warehouse teams, all Drytac employees are now working from home.
  • Essential production staff are now on staggered shifts to ensure that only the minimum required number of employees is on site at any one time to ensure timely delivery.
  • A comprehensive moratorium on all company-related travel. This travel suspension extends beyond air travel and now includes customer-site visits. Please note that Drytac personnel are available via phone and/or video conference to provide guidance and assistance when required.
  • Drytac’s procurement team has been working very closely with our raw material suppliers across the globe to mitigate any potential raw material delays. This team has been working with our suppliers over the past seven weeks to ensure we have enough material on hand to fulfil demand. We believe that they have effectively accomplished this.

We continue to monitor our operating environment and will keep you abreast of any developments that may impede our ability to supply. Of paramount importance, however, is the health and safety of our employees and the customers they serve.
 
For further information on our evolving contingency plans please reach out to your Drytac contact.
 
On behalf of Drytac, I wish you continued good health and thank you for placing your trust in us.

Hayden Kelley
CEO

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AutoTrim & Signs’s Drytac window graphics promise warm treats in cold weather

AutoTrim & Signs of Niagara has created a window display using Drytac SpotOn media, an ideal product for quick and simple installation.

Founded in 1989 near the famous Niagara Falls in Ontario – AutoTrim & Signs designs, produces and installs a wide variety of graphics such as trade show displays, wall and floor graphics, vehicle wraps, raised-letter signs, interior displays and window signage. Its clients range from independent businesses to large corporate customers, including hotels, city authorities, retailers, tourist attractions, colleges and individual homeowners.

This winter AutoTrim & Signs completed a window display project for chocolate brand Hershey’s for the Falls Avenue Holiday Market, an event featuring pop-up stores, live entertainment, seasonal food and drinks, and a walk-through gingerbread house. The window graphics advertised s’mores, the popular cold-weather treat made from marshmallow, chocolate and cookies.

For the graphics AutoTrim & Signs used Drytac SpotOn, a 100µ (4 mil) high-quality, ink receptive printable vinyl featuring Drytac’s innovative ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables easy bubble-free application and repositioning on window panes and other smooth interior surfaces. It is available in matte and gloss finishes and offers durability of up to three years indoors and six months outside, with clean, residue-free removal at the end of its use.

Rick Knapp, President of AutoTrim & Signs, comments: “For the Hershey’s application we chose Drytac SpotOn because of its ease of application, the short time we had to install it in colder weather and the fact that it will remove cleanly when we want it to. It also has a lighter adhesive making it stand out in the evening when it is darker outside but the lights are on inside.”

For other projects in low temperatures, Drytac has created the Polar range. Comprising PVC films and vinyl, there is an ideal product for any signage, exhibition display or window graphic application destined for cold environments – even decals for motorcycle helmets.

Rick Knapp adds that AutoTrim & Signs uses several Drytac products for this type of low-temperature work, such as ice rink boards, hoarding wraps at construction sites, wall graphics and decals.

Please visit http://autotrimniagara.ca/ to learn more about AutoTrim & Signs Niagara.

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