Making an impact: How to create double-sided window graphics

How to create double-sided window graphics Drytac

Authored by Gareth Newman, Academy Manager, Drytac

Window graphics are now regarded by many brands as a key part of the marketing mix. These graphics are an inexpensive form of advertising that retailers can easily apply – themselves – to windows in order to capture the attention of passers-by.

But why not take this a step further and maximise window space to capitalise on more marketing opportunities inside the building too? Double-sided window graphics allow marketers and brands to do just this, with such applications reaching consumers both inside and outside stores.

This double-impact marketing can also be achieved without affecting the amount of natural light that would otherwise be blocked when using other forms of large-format print marketing materials such as posters or signage. Specialist films allow light to pass through and continue to brighten up the store.

In addition, installation time is drastically cut when using double-sided window graphics over other forms of applications. As the film vinyl is printed on both sides – either with the same or a different design – it would only need to be applied once rather than having two separate pieces of print.

In terms of the type of material you can use for these applications, there are a number of options available. You could opt for a clear media such as Drytac ViziPrint Deco with five layers of print: mirrored CMYK, white, black, white and forward-facing CMYK.

Another option would be a white block-out material that can be paired with a clear print media. Here, you can pair the adhesive white blockout film, printed with a forward-facing graphic, with a reverse-printed graphic on a clear film – all without the need for white ink.

For this secondary method, one product that would fit the bill is Drytac Polar Blockout, which can be paired with Drytac SpotOn Clear Gloss or Polar Premium Clear Gloss to achieve this effect.

When it comes to mounting the graphics, a clear double-sided mounting adhesive can be applied to one side of a double-sided print on synthetic paper or other cardstock. This can be done using any printer that can print double-sided pieces, including standard, residential printers. Options for this method include WindowTac and ReTac Duo, both of which are available from Drytac.

We are yet again approaching the busiest time of the year for retailers and with shoppers back on the high street this year, shops look set to be busier than ever in the lead up to the festive season. Capturing the attention of consumers will be vital and double-sided window graphics offer shops a clear advantage in the battle for customers.

To find out more about Drytac and its wide range of adhesive solutions, please click here.

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To laminate or not to laminate? That is the question.

In the blog that follows, Dennis LeBlanc, Territory Sales Manager - Eastern Canada, and the Greater Toronto Area at Drytac, discusses when graphics should and shouldn’t be laminated.

Authored by Dennis LeBlanc, Territory Sales Manager – Eastern Canada, and the Greater Toronto Area at Drytac

To laminate or not to laminate? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If not, then perhaps you should. It could be the difference between winning or losing your next job.

Laminates are an integral part of graphics and will be for years to come. However, there is a time and place for them – as well as occasions and applications when they might not be needed.

So, what are the reasons for laminating? The most common use for lamination is to protect your output from the elements – such as UV degradation – and enhance outdoor durability. You can also use laminates to finish a job with gloss, lustre or matte textures or to add an extra property to the graphic such as an anti-graffiti coating or slip resistance.

Laminates can also be used to add body and thickness to your output. This can be particularly useful when printing onto thinner materials; the extra layer will stop the graphic stretching and simplify the installation process.

All of the above should be considered when planning print jobs. However, there are some additional things to consider.

Firstly, when it comes to UV protection, lamination is a must for long-term applications if they are to stand the test of time. After all, these projects will be exposed to the elements and will need support if they are going to survive.

If your focus is on protecting the ink layer of a graphic, you should also consider laminating all long-term work – both indoors and outdoors – as well as output that will be situated in high traffic locations such as corridors and hallways.

When considering lamination for finishing effects, this is only necessary on some occasions as most print media is available in different finishes. Newer print hardware even allows for gloss and matte output from the get-go through their ink setup.

Did you notice a reoccurring theme here? Most of the reasoning behind lamination is for longer term applications, or, to put it simply, projects that will remain in place for more than one year.

This begs the question: what about short-term revolving graphics? Do you need to laminate these as well? Outside of the need for adding additional functionality to the graphic, in most short-term applications you can eliminate the need for laminating by choosing a thicker print media with an easy install or removable adhesive solution.

These materials will do the job wonderfully and avoid the added cost and labour of lamination, providing substantial savings for you and your clients.

Today’s print media offerings have addressed this with 4mil materials and dot adhesives for easy installation and 6mil removable solutions that won’t stretch as you work with them.

To that point, there are now textured solutions readily available that can provide scuff, scratch and slip resistance on their own.

Taking all this into account, perhaps ask yourself again: to laminate or not to laminate? That is – indeed – the question you should be asking. It might just save you both time and money.

To find out more about Drytac and its lamination products, please click here.

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Setting out your stall with countertop graphics

Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager

When it comes to capturing the attention of – and interacting with – people in today’s fast-paced world, retailers, brands and other settings need to think creatively and consider how to best use their environment to their advantage.

Countertops are the point where a business will have one of its first interactions with its customers. They are prominent features in many locations including retail, restaurants, bars, gyms, medical settings, hotels, schools and more, and present an incredibly unique way of connecting with people.

Much like the walls that surround them and the floor underneath, countertops are a blank canvas and offer all sort of opportunities when it comes to placing graphics. Be it generating new sales, improving brand awareness, providing information or promoting products, countertop graphics can be an extremely valuable marketing asset.

While these graphics may be used by many brands for decoration and raising awareness, there is also the potential to add useful functionality to further boost interaction with people.

Take for example a fast-food restaurant counter; here, graphics could be installed to display a menu and highlight special offers on food, as well as instructing customers how to order their food online via a printed, scannable QR code integrated into the design.

Countertop Graphics Drytac 2

Then there are customer service desks in settings such as shopping malls. Graphics placed on these countertops could feature a map of the shopping centre, as well as a QR code that the consumer could scan to access an online version of that same mall map.

In education, students could scan a QR code that takes them to a digital learning portal that allows them to access more materials online.

These are just a few examples, but the possibilities for countertop graphics are seemingly endless. By working with your customers, you can come up with all sorts of unique and thought-provoking ideas that could add a whole new dimension to marketing and branding strategies.

In terms of the type of material you should work with, Drytac has a host of high-quality and reliable products ideally suited for countertop graphics.

Adhesive technology featured in Drytac’s products means the countertop graphics will not slide when installed. This offers a significant advantage over traditional printed mats that often slip and slide over the counter, causing issues for the consumer and brand alike.

Drytac has a range of permanent and removable options, suitable for either short-term or longer-term installations, and offers FDA-approved laminates for accidental food contact, opening up a plethora of opportunities in the food and drinks sector.

For those countertop projects in hygiene-sensitive high traffic environments such as medical facilities, Drytac’s Protac AMP film with Microban antimicrobial protection is the ideal solution. When harmful microbes meet the film, the cell walls of the microbes are disrupted and are unable to reproduce, which in turn cuts the risk of bacteria spreading.

While your customers will almost certainly be aware of the advantages of window, wall and floor graphics, they may not have thought about using their counters to interact with people. The addition of graphics to countertops offers all sorts of benefits in many environments and by working with reliable materials from Drytac, you can access these untapped and profitable opportunities.

Drytac Recommended Countertop Solutions

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How to apply media to bricks for wall and floor graphics

Drytac Blog: How to apply media to bricks for wall and floor graphics

Authored by Gareth Newman, Academy Manager, Drytac

Graphics can be incredibly impactful, changing a room – or even a whole building – with colour and design. But it’s not necessary to fight what’s already there, or to ignore the natural finish of the surface. Applying a mural or decal to bare bricks or concrete can really complement an industrial space or heritage property.

For any wall or floor graphics application, it’s essential that the graphic itself will stand the test of time. Bricks and concrete, being rough and porous, are not the easiest surfaces to work with, but these tips should help you achieve great results.

Polar Grip applied to an interior cinder block wall.

Firstly, preparation is key. Use a stiff brush to remove dust and dirt and, if necessary, use a de-greasing cleaner and leave to dry for 48 hours. Next, you’ll need to choose the right graphics media. A product that can conform to the rough or uneven surfaces is key. High tack adhesive and long-term indoor/outdoor durability is also ideal for the application at hand. There are lots of graphics media on the market, so it’s important to conduct a small-scale test on-site two to three days before the project to ensure the best adhesion and desired results.

Polar Street FX applied to an exterior brick wall.

Before you get started on the application make sure you have the right tools. You’ll need a heat gun, a squeegee, and 3D texture applicators which will save you time and make your graphics stunning. Apply the graphics with a squeegee first to get the initial tack, then use the heat gun, working in one direction – left to right or right to left – in order to push the air out and avoid creating air bubbles. Work brick by brick then move to the mortar joins, thinking about where the air is going and may get trapped. Depending on how deep the mortar is, your graphics might shrink and not fit your desired location correctly, so be aware of this at the design stage.

As with many things in life, preparation is key. Before installing graphics on brickwork and mortar, check your design is suitable for the application and be doubly sure you have the right media and the right tools to hand.

At Drytac, we have several solutions for rough surfaces. Drytac Polar Grip is a polymeric self-adhesive PVC film, that is designed to deliver up to five years’ indoor or outdoor durability thanks to its unique high-bond adhesive. It is flexible, making it ideal for curved or rough walls and comes in a choice of matte or gloss finishes and when paired with Interlam Pro Emerytex, long-term, slip-rated floor graphics can be created.

Drytac Polar Street FX is also ideal for rough surfaces including concrete, brick and asphalt, and any other low-energy surfaces. This textured printable white matte aluminium film is coated on one side with a clear, high tack adhesive and is 100% recyclable. Polar Street FX has also achieved several slip ratings and certifications making it ideal for public areas. Both solutions are compatible with all common digital printing technologies including eco-solvent, solvent, latex and UV.

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What’s the future for floor graphics?

The future of floor graphics with Drytac; pringles can social distancing example in grocery store.

Authored by Brad Haupt, USA Midwest and Southwest Territory Manager at Drytac.

While floor graphics have been a staple part of the industry for some time now, the pandemic of the past year or so – and the need for social distancing signage – has seen the popularity of these applications skyrocket.

Simply put, floor graphics have played a significant role in the battle against Covid-19, helping us keep a safe distance from each other when out and about, as well as directing people around one-way systems in a whole host of environments including shops, schools and vaccination centers.

With floor graphics having showcased their undeniable value during times of Covid, it is now time to look to the future to see what sort of a role these applications might have as we begin to move out of the pandemic and towards a more “normal” world.

Sitting up and taking notice

If there is one thing that is unquestionable about floor graphics, it is that consumers do take notice of these applications – something that was very clear to see when it came to social distancing markers and one-way systems. After all, customers are always looking down at their phone, so why not give them something else to look at and showcase your products at the same time?

Consumers’ new-found familiarization with floor graphics also opens a host of opportunities for new forms of interaction. For example, retailers can print specific offers on the graphic and direct the customer to where this can be found in the store. A play on the one-way systems that we have become used to in Covid time, if you will. A study by the Center for Advanced Retail and Technology reported sales increased by 17% for products featured on floor graphics in their product aisles.

Get creative and push the boundaries

While Covid may have slowed and limited creativity in some sectors, this was certainly not the case for floor graphics, as retailers and brands took the opportunity to explore the many different ways they could use this media to promote their products while keeping people safe.

Some excellent conceptual examples could include a proposed floor graphic encouraging shoppers to remain at least six tubes of Pringles apart from each other, while a DIY brand might feature a giant tape measure on its social distancing graphics.

The future of floor graphics with Drytac; tape measure showing social distancing while still remaining true to its brand.

Flexibility and adaptability are key with floor graphics

What makes floor graphics so unique is that they can be used in almost any environment that you can think of and for all sorts of reasons.

Be it promoting new products in shops and supermarkets; serving as way-finding directions in hospitals and event venues; or even educating pupils and students in schools, colleges and universities. Floor graphics come in such an array of forms they are sure to have a major role to play in the post-pandemic period and beyond.

This flexibility is also true in terms of the surfaces that floor graphics can be applied to, both indoor and outdoor. Films and vinyls, including those available from Drytac, are suitable for use on floor tiles, wood laminate flooring and short pile carpet indoors, as well as concrete, asphalt, tarmac and concrete tiles outside.

When it comes to floor graphics, there is no single product that will work on all jobs; it is down to you to establish which is the most effective and suitable solution for each individual project.

Once equipped with the right material, you can then get creative and continue to stretch the boundaries of what has become an incredibly innovative and imaginative sector that will only continue to grow.

To find out more about our floor graphics products, please click here.

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What goes up must come down

Drytac Dynamic Plus Laminating Film

When installing graphics, equal consideration must be given to the clean removal of printed substrates.

Authored by Peter Bourgeois, Territory Sales Manager for Western Canada and North West USA, at Drytac.

When I do a training session on Drytac products with end users and installers, I usually start by asking if anyone has ever had an issue with an installation. Usually, a few people sheepishly put up their hand. I then ask the follow up question: “Has anybody ever had an issue with removal of a graphic?” and just about everybody puts up their hand. 

When installing graphics, the first thoughts often relate to how easily an image will go up and how well it will anchor to the surface it is mounted to. Often forgotten is what will happen at the end of the life of a graphic. Does it need to stay up for days, weeks, months or even years? 

Knowing what will happen at the time of removal is critical to customer satisfaction. Complications in the clean removal of graphics can cause many issues and a costly clean-up. In the worst case, it can damage the surface to which the graphic is applied, leaving your customer extremely disappointed and potentially creating liability.

Luckily, businesses such as Drytac look at the entire lifespan, refresh cycle and/ or removal requirements of the printed product. Our adhesive scientists test and consider these factors to give you what could be seen as the holy grail in adhesive graphics: predictable installation and predictable removal. Our manufacturing facilities run tests that ensure you have proper understanding of how the adhesive bond of your graphic will go up, how it will last and how it will come off.

Drytac SpotOn SynTac can be installed with ease and removed cleanly.

The most common options available are permanent or removable adhesive substrates. Permanent is just that; the adhesive is designed to stay up long term and there are no expectations about how easy it will come off. Removable adhesive is less aggressive and is designed come off. Depending on the surface you have mounted to, it may require some heat and elbow grease but should come cleanly off. It is important to remember that with time – usually six months to a year – a removable adhesive will become more permanent due to changes in the chemistry of adhesive.

There’s now another option available. Repositionable (or peelable) adhesives can be used multiple times and are designed to be easy to apply as they can be put down and picked up to ensure proper placement. They can be used multiple times and are residue-free upon removal.

Whatever the challenge, Drytac has adhesives that will exceed all your requirements. Whether using a professional installer or an inexperienced end user, the right adhesive will guarantee predictable installation and predictable removal. When you pay attention to the entire life cycle of a graphic you will help to eliminate customer disappointment – and hopefully gain more repeat business.

As per the well-known phrase: “what goes up must come down!”

Drytac is renowned as being the adhesive science experts. Some of its technological advancements include:

  • SpotOn – A ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables easy, dry bubble-free application on a wide variety of smooth interior surfaces, including walls, windows, floors and more. With SpotOn, anyone can install graphics anywhere and at any time.
  • Polar PET 170 – a textured PET wall or floor media that uses a removable pressure-sensitive adhesive which sets in 24 hrs and enables installers to apply, reposition and remove graphics easily. 
  • ReTac – it’s permanently peelable adhesive technology enables PSPs to install, remove and reposition graphics without leaving residue on the surface. You can print, remove and reposition graphics on a range of surfaces
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Flexibility and reliability are critical for antimicrobial films in medical settings

Drytac Protac AMP Ventilator

Applications in medical and healthcare environments require antimicrobial films that are both reliable and steadfast. Drytac Protac AMP offers this and much more.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant rise in the use of antimicrobial protection products, in an effort to help protect people across a number of environments.

However, the use of such products places a tremendous amount of pressure on those tasked with carrying out the installation work. How can they guarantee the film will not only help prevent the spread of Covid-19, but also stand the test of time in what are often challenging and high-touch environments?

Drytac Protac AMP antimicrobial protection film has been put to work on all sorts of projects over the past 12 months, playing a critical role in allowing some businesses to reopen, as well as helping others carry out work in a safe manner throughout the crisis.

Perhaps the most important use of Drytac Protac AMP is in medical and healthcare settings, which have faced unprecedented levels of pressure during the pandemic as staff work day and night to treat people around the world.

Drytac’s Protac AMP has also been involved in the ‘Ventilator Challenge’ group which was set up at the start of the pandemic. Comprising industrial, technology and engineering companies from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, the businesses came together to produce medical ventilators for the UK.

The flexibility of Drytac Protac AMP means it can be applied to a range of medical surfaces, including on machinery such as these mechanical ventilators, which have played a critical role in helping to treat people suffering with Covid-19.

Protac AMP is the perfect solution for applying graphics – in this case important control instructions –  to ventilators, mainly due to the fact that the film offers extremely strong performance over its lifetime. Such is the flexibility of Protac AMP that it can be applied to a wide range of heavy-touch surfaces, including machinery where buttons are constantly being pressed.

Another obvious benefit of working with Drytac’s Protac AMP film in medical and healthcare environments is that it has Microban® antimicrobial protection. When harmful microbes meet the film, the cell walls of the microbes are disrupted and are unable to reproduce, which in turn cuts the risk of bacteria spreading.

Protac AMP guarantees the graphics remain in place for at least eight years. If the overlay graphics were to fail, then this would raise all sorts of safety issues, and potentially put the lives of patients at risk.

The reason Protac AMP is so durable and able to stand the test of time is that it is hard coated, making it not only resistant to daily and industrial use, but also vigorous cleaning with the chemicals used in hospitals and other healthcare environments.

Safe in the knowledge the ventilators are produced with Protac AMP, a reliable and high performing material, supplied by a company with a host of globally recognised credentials, healthcare professionals around the world can continue their incredible work in fighting back against Covid-19.

For more information on Drytac Protac AMP antimicrobial protection film, please click here.

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How HP Latex ink works

The media that Drytac manufactures is part of a larger solution; before any graphics application can be delivered, it needs to be printed and finished. Understanding how materials work with specific print and ink technologies is a key foundation of the company’s product development.

Drytac maintains a close relationship with hardware and ink manufacturers to ensure its products achieve the best results and – as part of this close collaboration – Drytac launched a series of ink blogs written by some of these leading businesses.

In this blog, Bruce Wayne Van Greunen, Pre-Sales Technical Consultant at HP, explains how HP Latex ink works.

Explainer: How HP Latex ink works.

Authored by Bruce Wayne Van Greunen, Pre-Sales Technical Consultant at HP.

Have you ever wondered how HP Latex ink works?


Until 2008, the 3 primary digital print technologies used were Aqueous or Water-based inks, Solvent and UV Based inks

  • Aqueous or Water based ink –was used primarily for indoor use, the quality was great, with excellent colour gamut, but the durability and water fastness meant it was not really suited to outdoor applications.
  • Solvent based inks –They were used primarily for outdoor signage, the water resistance and UV stability made it perfect for Outdoor applications, but the print quality was not great for up close viewing. Eco Solvent inks a subset of Solvent inks along with Mild Solvent, were developed as an economy version of solvent inks by removing some of the more costly chemicals.
  • UV cured Inks the king of rigid media, what they lacked in flexibility they made up for in adhesion, UV could print onto almost any surface but the colour gamut and print quality was similar to that of the solvent ink of the time. A flexible version of UV ink was later developed, but it lost some of its adhesive power, and to use it the inks had to be physically swapped at the expense of time and with significant waste in ink. 

Then in 2008 HP launched the world’s first water based outdoor durable ink, HP latex ink technology.

The objective was to have the world’s first and most environmentally conscious print technology in the market. HP latex Inks also boasted having the best of both worlds, the quality of water-based inks and the outdoor durability of Eco Solvent based inks. This offered unparalleled versatility for the first time, one printer could offer both indoor quality as well as outdoor durability using the same ink set, as well as being safe for the environment and the operator.

By 2013 HP had released the 3rd generation of the HP Latex ink.

HP are continually improving the HP Latex ink technology and the printer performance. By Introducing the Optimizer, a clear ink that helped eliminate the requirement for dryers in the print zone, while maintaining the perfect dot gain. HP also added an anti-scratch component into the ink for improved durability of the print and improving efficiency of the curing technology allowed for an increased productivity.

In 2018 HP debuted the HP Latex R Printer Series, with hybrid capabilities, a Roll to Roll and Flatbed Printer. This introduced the 4th generation of the HP Latex ink, and the first HP Latex to have white ink.

The 4th Gen inks further reduced curing temperatures, allowing for even more media variety, and separation of the anti-scratch component from the ink to a separate ink called the Overcoat. Having the Overcoat separate means there is a choice on when to use it, like when the print is going to be laminated in the case of high abrasion applications such as vehicle wrapping, there is no need to use the Overcoat.

And of course, the whitest of white inks in the industry.

On February 2nd, 2021 HP introduced the HP Latex 700 and 800 series of printers also available with HP Latex white ink.

The mechanics

In both the 3rd and 4th generation HP Latex inks, the Optimizer is the first drop fired from its HP Thermal Inkjet printhead.

The positively charged particles in the optimizer are only placed where the image is going to be printed.

This is followed by a droplet of ink that is fired from its HP thermal Inkjet printhead.

That drop of HP Latex ink consists of:

–           Water (65%),

–           Pigments (colourants)

–           Latex polymers (synthetic, totally hypoallergenic)

–           Tiny amounts of other chemicals

The negatively charged pigment is attracted to the positively charged Optimizer, giving perfect control of the dot gain, and ensuring that most of the pigment is at the bottom of the solution on the media.

Finally, the Overcoat (if needed) is printed on top.

The media moves through the print zone towards the curing system where evaporation starts to remove the water.

In the curing zone of the printer the remainder of the water is evaporated, and the Latex polymers and the anti-scratch components are melted to encapsulate the pigments onto the surface of the media.

Finally, a thin, transparent, flexible, and waterproof latex film is formed, the anti-scratch agent protects the pigments from being scratched, the print is ready to be handled, and is ready to be finished!

The benefits of HP Latex


  • The prints are completely dry out of the printer.
  • The media is fully conformable, without the risk of cracking or fading when stretched.
  • Does not change the characteristics of the media, so unlike UV and Solvent based inks they do not change the characteristics of the media you print onto, so if the media is Fire Rated or recyclable it retains the ratings even if they are printed with Latex.
  • Versatility, the ability to print onto an even wider range of medias from paper to PVC, SAV to PETG, or even textiles.

Ease of use:

  • With great design and many time saving features, and the ability to observe and manage your production with HP PrintOS (

Good for the environment and for the operator

  • HP Latex Printing Technologies provide many opportunities to reduce and recycle. The ink cartridges, printheads and in some cases the maintenance cartridges are recyclable free of charge though the HP Planet Partner program (
  • The 4th Generation HP Latex ink cartridges are made from cardboard and a readily recycled with your current cardboard and paper. The printheads can be recycled through the HP Planet Partners program.

About Drytac ICC Profiles:

Drytac understands that media profiling is key to the success of any of its products; having access to thousands of profiles for materials on a wide range of different printers is paramount. By working in tandem with hardware manufacturers, Drytac creates easy access to profiles.

Drytac also has the in-house capability to provide custom profiles as required for its customers for any specialist application, to maximise the colour output. More information can be found here.

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Fast forward to fast food

Drytac explains how products imbued with antimicrobial technology can help fast food outlets protect surfaces from bacteria, fungi and mould in between cleaning.

Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac.

With the food, beverages and hospitality sectors having been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Drytac has sounded out how its Protac AMP antimicrobial protection film can help restaurants reopen as the world begins to edge back towards normality.

Covid-19 restrictions meant many fast food restaurants and eateries were forced to close for large parts of 2020, costing them millions in lost income and resulting in many staff losing their jobs. However, with the pandemic now starting to subside, and vaccination roll-outs ongoing, restaurants are looking forward to welcoming visitors back through their doors.

While this reopening is fantastic news for restaurants and other catering venues, they will still face a number of strict social distancing and safety measures before they are allowed to get back to business.

Thankfully, there are products on the market that help businesses adhere to these strict requirements by protecting surfaces from bacteria, fungi and mould, in between cleaning.

One such solution is Drytac’s Protac AMP antimicrobial protection film. This flexible, self-adhesive product can be easily applied to a wide range of high-touch surfaces – including counters, door plates, touch screens and tables – helping to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and microbes.

Protac AMP features Microban® antimicrobial protection, meaning when harmful microbes meet Microban reservoirs in the film, the cell walls of the microbes are disrupted and they are unable to reproduce, which significantly reduces the risk of any spreading.

Aside from the stand-out benefits of helping cut the risk of bacteria on surfaces, Protac AMP film also ensures that they are protected from stains, odours and premature degradation caused by bacterial growth.

Such is the strength of Drytac Protac AMP with Microban technology that the film will help protect against other bacteria in the long-term, including those that cause the most issues for restaurants such as E. coli and Salmonella.

At a time when restaurants and other venues need all the help they can get to reopen without putting the health and safety of their staff and customers at risk, Drytac Protac AMP offers a cost-effective and highly reliable solution for hospitality businesses of all sizes.

For more information on Drytac Protac AMP antimicrobial protection film, please click here.

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Roland DGA: Types of inks for digital printing

Understanding how print media and ink technology work is key

The media that Drytac manufactures is part of a larger solution; before any graphics application can be delivered, it needs to be printed and finished.

Understanding how materials work with specific print and ink technologies is a key foundation of the company’s product development.

Drytac maintains a close relationship with hardware and ink manufacturers to ensure its products achieve the best results. As part of this close collaboration, Drytac has launched a series of ink blogs written by some of these leading businesses.

In the brief blog that follows, Lily Hunter (above) from Roland DGA explains a bit more about the types of inks for digital printing.

Types of inks for digital printing

Authored by Lily Hunter, Roland DGA Product Manager, Textiles, eCommerce and Supplies

My kids love visiting Roland DGA headquarters to see all the different types of printers and the cool things our inkjets can produce. They typically ask me to print on a variety of things, ranging from banners and stickers to clothing and backpacks. While they know that there are different printers for different types of print jobs, they’re still too young to understand the differences between an eco-solvent, UV or dye-sublimation model. In their minds, all I need to do is put an object into whichever printer I choose, and it will magically come out with their customised design printed on it! When I try to educate them, I get blank stares… followed by a request to custom print another item.

I’ve spoken to a variety of people at trade shows, and even friends, who are interested in learning more about digital printing. Whenever I do so, I break it down to the types of inks and what they’re used for. This helps match the application to the best print technology. For Roland DGA printers, here’s a quick breakdown of ink characteristics.


Mild solvent is the carrier liquid for the pigments. During the printing process, the solvent ‘bites’ into the media and deposits the ink pigments. The heat from the printer platen evaporates the solvent, leaving the output vibrant and dry. These are extremely versatile inks that can be printed onto a variety of media, like decals, posters, signage, canvas and heat transfer paper, allowing for many different types of applications.


Again, mild solvent is the carrier liquid for the pigments. The UV inks lie on the surface of the media or blank, before a UV lamp goes over the printed area to cure or dry the inks. You’re able to build up the ink layer and create a variety of textures on either rolled material or flat material. The output is dry and can have a glossy, satin or matte finish, depending upon the UV lamp and curing process. This printing technology is good for signage, promotional products and even fine art.

Dye Sublimation

Water is the carrier liquid for dyes in this process. You print onto a transfer paper, the output mirrored and looking dull and unimpressive at this stage. Sublimation takes place at the heat press, where the inks are transferred from the paper onto a polyester fabric or polyester-coated rigid substrate. At 400°F (204°C), the solid inks from the paper turn into gas and penetrate the polyester – this is when the colours bloom and become vibrant. Dye sublimation is ideal for textiles such as apparel or soft signage, but it’s also used for promotional items, décor and metal photo panels.


This type of ink, where water is the carrier liquid for the pigments, is used in Roland DGA‘s compact direct-to-garment (DTG) printer, the VersaSTUDIO BT-12. Just like with UV, the inks lie on top of the surface of the fabric, typically cotton-based products. Colours are vibrant, but the inks still need to be cured, which is done on the heat press. Unlike dye sublimation, the inks do not penetrate the fibres, but are cured on the surface.

To learn more about Roland DGA inks, printers, and applications, visit

About the author: Lily Hunter currently serves as Product Manager, Textiles and Consumable Supplies for Irvine, California-based Roland DGA, where she manages Roland’s textile and dye-sublimation printer portfolio, as well as the company’s media product line. Prior to joining Roland DGA in 2013, Hunter held various sales support and product management positions over a 14-year period with Arlon Graphics.

About Drytac ICC Profiles:

Drytac understands that media profiling is key to the success of any of its products; having access to thousands of profiles for materials on a wide range of different printers is paramount. By working in tandem with hardware manufacturers, Drytac creates easy access to profiles.

Drytac also has the in-house capability to provide custom profiles as required for its customers for any specialist application, to maximise the colour output. More information can be found here.

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