In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marlow Town Council has adopted an advisory one-way pedestrian system, enabling the local population and visitors to the popular riverside town to socially distance and keep themselves as safe as possible as the lockdown eases. The pedestrian one-way system has the support of Buckinghamshire Council and Marlow’s police and is being funded by Marlow Town Council.
Some 250 stickers have been adhered to the pavements of the town showing pedestrians which direction they are requested to walk. Nick Wintle, Managing Director of Globe Park Print Store explains: “By reminding people to keep their distance, the graphics are playing a key role in maintaining a safe but efficient flow of shoppers throughout the town.”
The temporary graphics were printed on Globe Park Print Store‘s Roland DG SOLJET EJ-640 eco-solvent printer and cut on a Roland CAMM-1 GR-640 large format vinyl cutter.
“The directional pavement stickers were installed by a team of four within a timeframe of two hours, using heat guns for extra adhesion,” adds Nick Wintle. “Safety is paramount. We had to ensure we weren’t creating a trip or slip hazard; that’s where Drytac’s solution came in. 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.”
Thanks to its superior anti-slip qualities, and its scuff- and UV-light resistance, Drytac Emerytex can be used for laminating floor graphics in a wide variety of environments; it is perfect for applications in public areas that require compliance with strict regulations.
Pixel Imaging says Drytac SpotOn graphics media has allowed them to think ‘outside the box’ and offer non-traditional exhibition displays to its customers.
Based in Calgary, AB, Pixel Imaging is a leading supplier of event and trade show graphics. Projects range from booth wraps for a music festival’s VIP area to a wall mural for a women’s business conference, to floor graphics for an energy industry trade event. Pixel Imaging needs a specialist product for this type of work, as Owner John Bek explains.
He says: “We discovered Drytac SpotOn through our media vendor, ND Graphics. We were searching for a vinyl that was just as easy to remove as it is to install, without causing damage to walls or furniture surfaces.
“We now use SpotOn vinyl to create custom branding and decor for the event industry. SpotOn is a great product for this application as it allows us to easily vinyl-wrap just about any surface, and remove it when the event is complete without damaging any of the surfaces or spaces. They are ready for something new for the next event.”
Drytac has developed SpotOn specifically to meet this demand. SpotOn is a 100µ (4 mil) ink-receptive printable vinyl combined with Drytac’s unique ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables simple, bubble-free application on smooth interior surfaces such as walls and glass. Perfect for POP and retail signage, trade show and exhibition graphics and office interiors, SpotOn can be installed and repositioned easily, removed cleanly and reused if stored correctly. Even non-professionals can apply this high-quality product (available in clear matte, clear gloss, white matte and white gloss finishes) to create vibrant graphics.
John continues: “Drytac products have helped our business as they have allowed us to go outside of the box and to use printed vinyl wraps in very non-traditional ways. Our clients love seeing the results and we consistently work together with our event partner company in Calgary to come up with new and immersive ways to create stunning visuals.
“We would certainly recommend Drytac products to anyone who is looking to create vinyl graphics that can easily be installed and removed by the end user, without creating any frustrations for them.”
Drytac has expanded its North American range of specialist floor graphics media with two new additions to its FloorTac family. Both FloorTac Textures and FloorTac Emerytex White RB are one-part solutions with non-slip certifications, designed for optimal ease of installation and maximum safety in public spaces.
Drytac FloorTac Emerytex White RB provides safe, vibrant floor graphics with indoor durability of up to nine months. The slip-rated single-part floor graphics solution features a matte pebble textured finish that provides slip resistance and is also simple to apply thanks to its pressure sensitive removable acrylic adhesive. It is suitable for standard printing technologies including eco-solvent*, solvent*, UV and latex inks.
A second new product, Drytac FloorTac Textures, has achieved slip-resistance certifications without the need for an overlaminate, helping to save time and money. It is fire-rated to give users extra peace of mind, with indoor durability of up to six months, and its pressure sensitive grey acrylic adhesive makes installation easy and removal clean at the end of its life.
The first product release from the new FloorTac Textures range has a Sand finish, complementing Drytac’s ReTac Textures series for walls and retail environments. It is particularly suitable for printing with UV eco (solvent)* and latex inks to produce bold, impactful floor graphics in public spaces such as schools, hospitals, restaurants, stores and supermarkets.
“There are many potential applications for floor graphics and in a public space it’s essential that a specially designed product is used to ensure safety,” comments Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager for Drytac. “FloorTac Textures and FloorTac Emerytex White RB are both slip-rated and fire-rated without an overlaminate, ideal for floor graphics that need to attract attention while ensuring public safety. It’s a true one-part solution: just print and install.”
Drytac FloorTac Emerytex White RB is an 8 mil (200μ) monomeric soft calendered white PVC film. Both are available in rolls in widths up to 54″ (1,372mm). Drytac FloorTac Textures in Sand is a 6 mil (150μ) textured matte white polymeric PVC film with an adhesive layer.
Drytac, a leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large format print and signage markets, has appointed Stark Digital as its new dealer in New Zealand.
Based in Auckland, Stark Digital also has locations in Wellington and Christchurch to ensure it can supply the highest quality digital printing consumables and equipment nationwide.
Stark Digital is headed by David Raos, whose 35 years in the industry and passion for bringing the latest ideas to the market is a perfect fit for Drytac. The team also includes Dave’s nephew Matt, son Jack and daughter Devon, all working as a close-knit operation.
David Raos, Director, comments: “Stark Digital evolved as a specialised business to the sign and digital market, bringing new products and ideas to our clients based on our wealth of experience. The model is not to be the biggest, just the best at what it does; not to be everything to everyone but work with customers in a two-way relationship.”
This echoes the approach of Drytac, whose R&D team works closely in partnership with its clients to develop new adhesive products, both for general distribution and as bespoke materials.
“We are delighted to welcome Stark Digital as our latest dealer and to extend our network into New Zealand,” comments Steve Broad, European and Asian Sales Director, Drytac. “This family business has a wealth of experience and knowledge of signage and digital printing so is excellently placed to introduce Drytac’s exciting range of adhesive products such as SpotOn, ReTac and ViziPrint to the national market.”
Amanda Brown, Global Marketing Manager for Drytac, adds: “Our customers are incredibly creative, so we’re looking forward to seeing how Stark Digital’s clients across New Zealand use our products in their work.”
David Raos concludes: “Drytac offers consistent product quality, an extensive range of speciality products and great service and support. We at Stark are looking forward to working alongside Drytac to establish it as the go-to brand in our market.”
The appointment of Stark Digital follows that of Shann DPM in Australia in February.
Drytac has compiled a new, free guide on how signs and graphics can be used effectively and safely to inform and provide guidance to people in accordance with government guidelines.
As lockdown restrictions are eased and we transition to a new normal, businesses are finding that floor graphics, wall displays and window signs are essential for non-verbal communication. Graphics can convey safety information such as social distancing, hand washing guidance and queuing systems, and to alert customers about updated services or opening hours.
As we enter uncharted territory, best practices remain essential for businesses to ensure their legal obligations are met and people are kept safe. Drytac’s new guide, Open, Innovating, Moving Forward, is intended to help retailers and installers to choose the correct graphics solutions that meet these requirements. It outlines what to look for – from fire ratings to slip ratings to FDA approvals – and lists Drytac’s products that may be suitable for relevant applications. These are categorised into window graphic solutions, one-part and two-part floor graphic solutions, writable media, wall graphic products and antimicrobial films.
The free-to-download guide is both easy to use and interactive: clicking on a product listed in the guide will open the associated Drytac webpage, providing more details, datasheets and application videos.
“We’re seeing more short-term graphics than ever before and it’s absolutely essential that they are safe and legal for their specific environments,” says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager for Drytac. “Our new guide will help businesses make the right decision when choosing and installing informative graphics.”
Drytac Polar Street FX is designed for safe, durable outdoor floor graphics applications without lamination. This aluminium product is also 100 percent recyclable.
Drytac has released Polar Street FX, a PVC-free aluminium print media designed for durable floor graphics in outdoor locations without lamination.
The latest addition to Drytac’s already extensive portfolio is in response to significant market demand for floor graphics as a social distancing tool, while reflecting the need for products that are quick to produce, easy to apply and safe for their specific environments.
“There is a huge market for floor graphics, and we expect that to continue for some months,” says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac. “It’s essential for any print businesses offering this application to provide graphics that are safe and durable, however urgent the timeframe.”
Polar Street FX has been especially developed to adhere securely to rough ground surfaces including concrete, brick and asphalt, and any other low-energy surfaces, thanks to its uniquely developed adhesive. Its aluminium composition provides extra durability in high-traffic areas – for up to twelve months – without the need for lamination.
Polar Street FX has achieved several slip ratings and certifications, including DIN 51130:2010 where it achieved a R12 and has passed the ANSI A137.1/A326.3 slip test. This makes it ideal for public areas such as shopping streets.
As a one-part solution, Polar Street FX can be installed straight from the print room, with no heat required for application and no overlaminate product necessary. Eco-friendly disposal is also simple: aluminium-based Polar Street FX is PVC-free, meaning it is 100 percent recyclable.
“Polar Street FX is the ideal product for floor graphics applications in high-traffic outdoor locations,” comments Shaun Holdom. “It can be installed quickly and easily, is non-slip and can be recycled, ticking a range of boxes for public graphics projects.”
Drytac Polar Street FX is a 250µ (10 mil) textured printable white matte aluminium film, coated on one side with a clear, high tack adhesive. It is available in widths of up to 1,200mm (48″) and is compatible with all common digital printing technologies including eco-solvent*, solvent*, latex and UV.
Drytac explains why high-quality release liners are crucial to easy printing and installation.
Authored by D’Arcy Lewis, Technical Sales Manager, at Drytac.
When installing self-adhesive graphics, the last thing you probably think about is the remnants you throw away. However, the quality of these remnants – better known as release liners – can make a significant difference to the printing and installation process of a graphic, and the end result.
Release liners are a critical feature of self-adhesive print media. They are a key component for the delivery of the product and the application performance, but as they are ultimately disposed of they are often perceived as being of low value. That couldn’t be further from the truth. By spending just a few more pence or cents on a graphics solution with a high-quality release liner you can save yourself a lot of hassle, time and – ultimately – money.
Typically paper-based (although they can be made of Polyester/Polypropylene), release liners are usually applied during the manufacturing process of print media, including films made from PVC, polyester, polypropylene and synthetic paper. Coated on one or both sides with a release agent, they are used to prevent the sticky surface of a substrate from adhering prematurely or to the wrong surface.
Reduce printer head strikes
There are a number of key aspects of release liners that can affect their compatibility for a job. For example, some printers use extreme heat which can shock cheaper liners, potentially causing cockling or head strikes. Using a higher-quality PE-coated liner will help the material lie flat during the printing cycle.
Stablise thin materials
A thicker release liner is also required to stabilise thin materials during printing. For instance, a 50-micron/2 mil polyester would normally be too delicate, but the correct release liner enables their use.
Help machines see optically clear materials
In addition, optically clear materials require an opaque or white liner so machines can see the materials and print on them.
Stability during cutting
A good liner will also add stability during cutting, especially on integrated printer/cutters where the material is gripped by pinch rollers. These machines truly whizz the material around, so the liner has to grip to give accurate cut lines.
Heavier release liners will help graphics lay flat and easier to install
The weight will also influence installation; a heavier release liner will help the graphics lay flat to ensure a much easier installation process. Air release liners have added technology to make materials easy to use: tiny channels which enable air to flow and not get trapped between the material and surface, which would otherwise create bubbles. Standard PVC is not porous so this release paper technology makes graphics materials, particularly those used in vehicle wrapping, more forgiving.
Moisture stable liners help media lay flat
Paper absorbs and disperses moisture from the air, always trying to achieve a balance. This constant change, due to the environment, can cause lay-flat challenges. Moisture stable release papers overcome this challenge. They are coated on both sides with polyethylene which inhibits the absorption of moisture and eliminates changes in the paper’s profile. The paper is then siliconized on the adhesive receptive side.
All Drytac’s products with release liners are designed to tick every box for higher quality. Only dimensionally stable base papers are used, with two-sided PE coating for moisture stability. Silicone, adhesive and paper chemistries are specially formulated to eliminate tunnelling of the media and to work with Drytac’s adhesive solutions.
For something that is usually considered waste and is thrown away, a lot of technology goes into good-quality release liners. Spending a little more on a better product will prevent printer damage, reduce downtime and speed up the installation process, making the job easier and cheaper in the long run.
Material is a neighbour of Minuteman Press, which runs three different departments from three sites on Bath’s artistic Walcot Street. Founded by David Ghent in 1998 as a high-street print shop, the business has expanded to include in-house designers, a digital print and finishing department, a large-format studio and sales and marketing teams.
“We see ourselves as a one-stop shop for all things graphic communication,” says Kieran Blacknall, Large Format Manager, Minuteman Press.
Commenting on the project, he says: “Material wanted to add some colour to the street by having monthly window graphics that tie in with a theme. Every month it’s something different so we look forward to seeing what their designer has come up with – we’ve had bunnies at Easter, lollipops in the summer, fireworks in November. We like to guess what will come next month.”
For its regular appointment with Material, Minuteman Press relies on Drytac Polar Premium, an 80 micron (3.2mil) polymeric printable self-adhesive vinyl designed to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions. It is available with a removable adhesive for short-term graphics applications that ensures a smooth, bubble-free finish on application and easy removal without residue when removed.
Kieran explains that Drytac Polar Premium – which is printed on its HP Latex 360 and cut on either its Summa vinyl cutter or Valiani flatbed cutter – was recommended by Drytac distributor Antalis.
“It turned out to be one of the best recommendations we’ve had,” he says. “For the Material project we needed a strong and durable product that performs all year round and can be applied quickly: the window graphics are removed and installed within an hour. The salon is on a busy road and is exposed to the elements so it was important for us to use something strong. We tried using low-tac solutions but as the weather got colder the adhesives started to fail, which is not an issue with Drytac Polar.
“We find it so easy to install with a water solution, and removing it is easy with the right tools. The fact that it’s a polymeric vinyl really helps with removability. We’ve found that monomeric equivalents tend to break during removing, particularly in cold weather, so I’m happy to use a premium product as it does save us time in the long term.
“We now use Drytac Polar Premium for the majority of our vinyl work, even for simple things like kiss-cut labels and wrapped boards, because it’s so reliable and versatile. Using Polar for more jobs has highlighted issues with our previous vinyl media choices; production times and overall product quality have benefited. We also use Drytac SpotOn for floor graphics and we’re always looking for ways we can use other Drytac products in the future.”
FD Signs has completed a mammoth project to help Transport for London (TfL) passengers abide by social distancing guidelines, using Drytac media to ensure maximum safety.
Based in West London, FD Signs has over 20 years’ experience in delivering high-quality sign and graphics projects. TfL is a regular customer for the business but the social distancing project was on a scale never seen before, as Fintan Delaney, Founder and Director of FD Signs, explains.
“TfL needed to prepare for more customers using its services while adhering to social distancing, at a very quick turnaround,” he says. “Over a period of ten consecutive, 18-hour days FD Signs delivered 6,000 graphics a day for overnight installation in London Underground stations, by 30 different installation teams. At the same time, we produced other graphics for the Croydon Tramlink, Arriva Trains and Network Rail. In all we delivered in the region of 100,000 social distancing floor graphics.”
As well as displaying messages effectively, it was essential that the floor graphics were safe for their environment. Fintan specified a product that is R11-certified for slip resistance, meaning it has been approved for exterior applications and transitional areas that can get wet – ideal for stations on the London Underground network. The media also had to hold relevant fire safety certifications for use in a public space.
The ideal solution was Drytac Polar Grip overlaminated with Drytac Interlam Pro Emerytex, delivered to FD Signs as quickly as the team could print it, says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager for Drytac.
“Fast and efficient turnaround was key as the time frame FD Signs was working to was very small,” he says. “We were making daily deliveries to Fintan to keep up with his 24-hour production.”
Drytac Polar Grip is a white polymeric self-adhesive vinyl that adheres securely to any surface, including floors, metal, plastic, wood, glass and brick, for up to five years. As well as providing the fire safety certification (EN 13501-1) required by TfL, this 80 micron (3.2mil) PVC film is compatible with all major printing technologies – including the Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 UV printer and the Roland XR640 printer used by FD Signs – to deliver sharp, attention-grabbing graphics.
Drytac Interlam Pro Emerytex is a pressure-sensitive overlaminating film that protects graphics from abrasions, UV light, weather and temperature changes to increase durability and longevity. This film has been officially tested and certified for fire safety and holds the R11 slip rating necessary for this project.
Shaun Holdom comments: “We worked closely with Fintan and the FD Signs team to ensure all of the products complied to the strict requirements of the customer, including providing all of the technical information.
“It’s an ongoing project and we expect to see more transport operators, retailers and other businesses following suit. Floor graphics have become incredibly important for social distancing but it is absolutely essential that they are safe. Drytac is the market leader and our experts can provide all the advice and support our customers need.”
The attention-grabbing effect of floor graphics was demonstrated at the FESPA Global Print Expo in Munich in 2019, where around 70 directional floor graphics printed on Drytac media were in situ across the show floor. All were installed by Drytac staff before the halls opened on the first day.
Drytac offers advice on choosing floor graphics solutions for new carpets – a potentially tricky installation surface.
Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager; Drytac
Floor graphics are a great marketing medium and, increasingly, an essential communication tool thanks to their effectiveness in guiding people around a space. It’s crucial that floor decals or markers are installed correctly to avoid slips and trips and the graphics product itself is safe for its environment. Most materials and adhesives designed for floor graphics applications are compatible with all common flooring types, but carpets can present an issue.
Specifically, some users may find adhesion is difficult on new carpets – in fact the same type of graphic applied to an old carpet within the same location could suffer no adhesion issues while installation on a new carpet could prove almost impossible. The reason may be the material, the coating and even the design of the carpet.
Certain types of recycled, low-VOC or environmentally friendly carpets may be labelled as ‘stain resistant’ or ‘never stain’ and their properties also reduce adhesion. Often sold as carpet tiles, they are typically made from either durable and resilient nylon or polypropylene. Also known as olefin, polypropylene will not fade, will not absorb water and can contain anti-staining additives – which also repel adhesives.
In addition, polypropylene carpet will have a low surface energy (LSE) surface, which means it has a weak molecular attraction and is therefore more difficult to bond with other substances such as adhesive. Combine LSE with anti-staining additives and you get a surface that is very difficult to adhere to – very much like low-VOC latex/Teflon paint on walls. Normal removable adhesive will take 48 hours to properly wet out, but with this new type of carpet the adhesive does not wet into the surface.
Floor graphics products are generally rated for application to low-pile, industrial grade, smooth-surface carpet. Textured carpet – any design with ribbing, grooves or cut-outs – will not be compatible as the textured surface gives far less adhesion points for the glue to stick too.
To ensure a floor graphics product’s suitability for its intended location on any surface, an adhesion test is recommended before proceeding. No-one wants to spend time and money on a project that ends in failure and this is especially important with floor graphics; loss of adhesion can pose a serious safety hazard.
Drytac’s experts can provide more advice on floor graphics of all types; for more information, please contact us!