Epic journey through desert and snow proves Drytac Polar Chrome’s endurance

Authored by Jerry Hill, Vice President of New Business Development, Drytac

Drytac®‘s new metallic print media has been put to the test during an epic cross-country journey – and survived.

This March Jerry Hill, Vice President of Business Development at Drytac – a market-leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large format print and signage markets – decided to travel from Drytac’s US HQ in Richmond, VA to the ISA International Sign Expo in Las Vegas not by plane, but by motorcycle.

The 2,400 mile, 36-hour ride to Las Vegas (and back again) presented a great opportunity to test out Polar Chrome, Drytac’s bold new reflective film designed foreye-catching indoor and short-term outdoor signage, billboards and exhibition graphics, POS displays, bus and subway advertisements, and ultra-reflective labels and decals. Tests have shown Polar Chrome offers exterior durability of up to two years, and Jerry’s extreme motorcycle ride proves it can withstand even the toughest conditions.

Jerry Hill explains: “A decal was specially designed for the occasion and applied to my black powder coated panniers. The decal would tag along for the ride.

“I never thought that I would have to endure the extremes of 112ºF (44ºC) of Death Valley and the snow, sleet, and hail of the southern Colorado mountains, with temperatures dropping to 28.5ºF (-2ºC).

“I ended up with a 5,600 mile journey of personal exuberance with the decal performing flawlessly, never budging, shrinking, or peeling – even a smidge.”

Jerry adds that Polar Chrome was not developed as a vehicle graphic media but his test more than prove its endurance for applications such as signage, award plaques, and POP displays.

“I now know that I can tell my customers, with confidence, that whatever graphic they build, that Polar Chrome will be at their side until the end of the journey,” he says.

Polar Chrome is a 75 micron (3 mil) reflective satin silver PET film, available in rolls up to 60″ wide and compatible with eco-solvent, solvent, latex and UV printing technology. For indoor applications, it offers durability of up to three years, and is easily and cleanly removed after use.

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The hidden cost of ‘box movers’

Authored by Dennis Leblanc, Territory Sales Manager for the Greater Toronto Area at Drytac.

In today’s ‘show me your invoice, I’ll beat it’ environment it’s difficult to compete against the ‘box mover’ business model. Everyone wants the lowest price and many people think the product is the only thing that counts, so why pay more?

However, this mentality has one goal: to move the same product as the competition at a lower price, with no concern for the customer experience, no support for if things go wrong and no added value. As the term suggests, it’s about moving those boxes off the shelves, period.

So have any of us looked at the back-end expenses that this approach actually cost our businesses? Buying from box movers rather than experienced, knowledgeable industry professionals can create a host of problems for your purchasing team that – I can almost guarantee this – you’re not taking into consideration before or after a purchasing decision. Your chosen supplier might have provided the same product as a more expensive competitor, but what if it’s the wrong product for what your client or project needs? Without the industry and application specialists whose knowledge is imbued in buying products from a professional company, it’s impossible to know. You could do the all the research yourself, but this costs you money and takes your focus away from what’s important: your business.

Let’s look at an example. You’ve been asked to quote on rigid POP displays for a short-term retail application. Your purchasing department calls a box mover dealer and requests a quote for the same cast film you always buy. Makes sense – they don’t use the product, so how are they going to know any different? The box mover quotes on the cast film as requested which, of course, is the cheapest price in the land. You submit your final costs to your client. Then the crickets start chirping; you wonder why you never heard back.

Here’s the alternative story. You’ve been asked to quote on rigid POP displays for a short-term retail application and your purchasing department reaches out to your dealer or manufacturer partner. These are trained experts in not just their product range but in the market and its typical applications. They ask the right questions to truly understand the project’s requirements and, as a result, recommend a low-cost monomeric film for short-term POP applications – the most suitable product for the job. You get your pricing back from the purchasing department and voila: no more crickets. And, by using the right material for the right application, you are more cost effective for your client, and are likely to actually achieve better margins.

It’s important to understand and remember that price is not the only important factor in the total equation: using the right materials for the application is paramount to success. It’s this knowledge and support that true industry professionals are here to provide. By working with the right dealer or manufacturer partner, there are no hidden costs, just happy customers.

Drytac has an extensive range of products for every display application – and a team of experts to help you choose the right one. Contact Drytac now to discuss your needs.

For more information on Drytac’s other products and services please visit www.drytac.com.

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Stickers and decals: stay on message without the mess

Authored by Dave Daniels, Northwestern Regional Sales Manager – USA, Drytac

We’ve all seen or placed stickers on things like laptop computers, refrigerators or the ubiquitous car bumper. Vibrant, punchy sticker art on items like skateboards – often called slaps – are everywhere. Stickers and decals are a great way to convey a message, to show loyalty to a brand or band, to promote your own business and much more.

But what happens when you want to change the message? When a brand identity has a refresh, or when you have a new campaign to promote? Unfortunately, most stickers and decals are difficult – or nearly impossible – to remove. They leave a sticky residue that attracts dirt and using cleaning chemicals can damage the surface further.

Luckily, some folks have paid attention to one of Drytac’s amazing products that has great adhesion yet is permanently removable: ReTac. ReTac Smooth 75/150 is a polymeric vinyl film available in thicknesses of 3.2 mil and 6 mil (75 and 150 microns), compatible with latex, eco-solvent and UV printing technologies. Using ReTac you can apply stickers to any compatible surface safe in the knowledge that when they wear out or the message becomes outdated, they can be removed easily and cleanly, even years after initial installation.

Another key feature of ReTac’s innovative adhesive is that it makes ReTac graphics repositionable too, so if you’ve applied your sticker in the wrong place or slightly askew you can move and reinstall it without losing adhesion now or later; despite these incredible qualities ReTac maintains its adhesive strength over time.

Importantly, ReTac Smooth 75/150 is easily cut to the shape you want with vinyl cutting systems – making it perfect for producing stickers and decals in an infinite range of designs. It’s also wipe-clean, so ideal for keeping those refrigerators and laptops hygienic, and car bumpers and skateboards on-message.

With an excellent white point for vibrant results and roll lengths of 54″ x 150′ and 61″ x 150′ available, ReTac Smooth 75/150 is also used worldwide for much larger applications, from window decals to large wall displays – like Wembley Stadium! Just like small but eye-catching stickers, these graphics are repositionable, removable and easily cleaned, meaning you can let ReTac do the talking when you want to send a message and remove it when you don’t.

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Say I do to customized wedding floors

Authored By Jerry Hill, Vice President; New Business Development

Floor graphics are fantastic way to grab attention in a range of environments. Displaying special offers in a shopping centre, directional information in a hospital or transport hub, marking out zones at an exhibition or trade show – floors offer a new dimension. Graphics are also ideal for customizing what can be a featureless empty space, turning a room into something magical, even making a newly married couple’s first dance extra special.

Recently, I gave my daughter a beautiful surprise for her wedding by transforming a plain floor into a customized dance floor. I had a custom checkered design with the couple’s new monogram printed on an EFI VUTEk onto Drytac SpotOn Floor 200, a media specifically designed to add effective graphics to standard common floor coverings. This 8-mil (200 micron) embossed printable white matte monomeric PVC film designed for short-term, indoor floor graphics with no need for lamination, featuring Drytac’s innovative ‘dot pattern’ adhesive for clean removal.

Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 has been developed to be so easy to use that, as I’ve said, ‘a salesperson can do it’ (yours truly!). I was really impressed; despite having no prior large floor graphic installation experience myself, I was able to complete the install in under an hour. In doing so, I was able to ensure my daughter had the perfect surprise for her wedding.

All Drytac floor graphics media is developed with safety in mind too – no-one wants the bride or groom to slip over during the couple’s first dance, after all. Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 has an R-10 anti-slip rating and a ‘low slip potential’ post-print, as well as a Class B1 Fire Rating making it suitable for any public areas with strict fire regulations – including wedding venues.

I went for a classic and sophisticated design for my daughter’s big day, but couples can be as creative as they like. Why not take inspiration from Print Three’s transformation of a shopping mall into a tennis court? They used Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 to promote the Calgary National Bank Challenger event in Canada. The temporary blue and white tennis court offered some fun to shoppers, and a sporty couple could even do something similar to add personalization to their wedding. Alternatively, why not go for something totally different? The possibilities to design something unique for a wedding are practically endless.

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Facemounting to acrylic for high-end fine art

Authored by Steve Yarbrough, Product Support Specialist

Face-mounting a print, especially a photograph, can really make the image the focus of the space. At Drytac we have developed Facemount®, a high-quality, optically clear mounting adhesive, specifically for this application, but that’s not all you need to produce a stunning result.

In fact, there are five critical physical material aspects to consider when completing or ordering acrylic face-mounts in order to get the results you are looking for.

Photo Paper/Print Media

First of all, an essential aspect to acrylic face-mounting is the choice of photograph paper or print media. Use only top-of-the-line photo paper for an acrylic project print – remember you’re creating an eye-catching display. The most popular photo paper – and the one I prefer for most projects – is a metallic paper. Be it metallic satin or metallic glossy, metallic paper truly enhances the vibrancy of the photograph. However, not all pictures call for metallic paper; portraits, for example, very often benefit from a photo paper with a pearl finish. Every surface has a Roughness Average (RA) and, keeping that in mind, the smoother the surface of the photograph, the better your results when face-mounting. If you do not have a completely smooth surface, you may see very tiny air bubbles in your print called silvering – not something you want in your finished photographic display.

Acrylic

Next on your list is the acrylic itself. Not all acrylic is alike. Specifically, there is a choice between cell cast acrylic and extruded acrylic. Cell cast acrylic is harder, has a more uniform thickness, is more scratch-resistant and is typically clearer than extruded acrylic. Most people in the industry only use cell cast acrylic for face-mounting, regardless of the thickness. If you are shopping around for a face-mounted photograph, always ask the vendor what type of acrylic they are using. If they tell you that all acrylic is the same, chances are they are using sub-par material and you may well have issues in the future. There is also a vast range of prices, from cheap acrylic only good for running experiments, to museum-quality acrylic that sells for four-figure sums per sheet. A reliable business will talk you through the options.

Facemount

The third essential aspect to face-mounts is an optically clear mounting adhesive, a two-sided adhesive that is used to adhere the photograph to the acrylic. It’s imperative that this is of the highest quality to ensure a clear picture with no distortion. Drytac’s product, specifically designed for this application, is called Facemount® – a pressure-sensitive permanent mounting adhesive protected on each side by a clear polyester release liner. Drytac’s Facemount® has been valued and relied on in the fine art sector for more than 30 years. Facemount® is engineered for the face-mounting of virtually any image to clear substrates like PetG, Plexiglas, acrylic and polycarbonate, which means that it is a fantastic option for high-quality photographic and inkjet printed images. It is particularly good for lenticular imaging applications, backlit display transparencies and touchscreen displays too – it really is of the highest quality in the market.

Backing

You should also consider the backing to be used with your photograph – indeed, this could be the most important aspect if you are hanging your picture on a wall. The backing must support the weight of your acrylic without tearing away from the back of the photograph to which it is adhered, and also maintain its adhesion to the mounting hardware. For wall-hung pictures, Dibond backing or coloured 1/8″ cast acrylic sheet is typically used. Dibond is basically an aluminium sandwich: a composite that consists of a high-strength aluminium skin on both sides, sandwiching a super-strong polyethylene centre core. It provides the utmost protection to the back of your picture while providing an incredibly strong substrate from which your acrylic can safely hang. The same applies to cast acrylic backings. This step requires another double-sided adhesive to bond the back side of the image to the backer – Facemount®.

Hanging Systems

Which backing to use depends on the hanging system, and this is the final critical aspect when acrylic face-mounting a print. No matter how good your backing is, if your hanging system fails, then everything else ceases to matter. It should be large enough to support the weight of the material, for if the weight exceeds the dimension of the hanger it will pull away from the backer, causing a failure. A cleat style hanging system requires Drytac Facemount® to be used on the front and back of the photo, because Facemount® has a very high shear strength and will hold, whereas other mounting adhesives have a lower shear strength and the acrylic and image will eventually release from the backer over time. This could cause the image to slide down the backer, or simply separate altogether.

Alternatively, standoff style hanging systems are essentially metal bolts that hold an image to the wall with anchors installed into the wall surface. This style of hanging system will provide enough weight distribution and support lower shear strength options as the adhesive for the backer. This is because the standoff goes completely through the sandwich of the Facemount®, holding it together and supporting the entire weight of the piece on all four corners from front to back. With this system, there is no way for the image to slide down the backer because they are supported equally. There are other hanging systems that are patented; research all the types to find the best system to meet your needs.

Acrylic face-mounted prints can look great. Make sure you choose the right photo paper or print media, acrylic, optically clear mounting adhesive, backing and hanging system to make them look incredible.

Explore the full range of Drytac’s media and adhesives to be inspired – and prepared – for your next project. Learn more about Facemount® and the steps on our youtube page: https://youtu.be/xBVnpOHmUOU 

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Safety comes first with graphics

Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac

Safety should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds when creating a public space, with the choice of building materials, exit routes, sprinklers and alarms top priorities. But the safety of graphic materials should also be considered when planning campaigns in public buildings including hospitals, schools, transport hubs and retail environments.

At Drytac we have several certified product ranges. One of our most popular brands, SpotOn®, has achieved a Class B1 Fire Rating to the DIN 4102-1 standard. This widely recognized accreditation means this product range can be used in public areas that must adhere to strict fire regulations – opening up a variety of new applications and markets. Featuring Drytac’s unique dot-pattern removable adhesive, it allows for tool-free, bubble-free application to most flat surfaces and clean removal after use.

The SpotOn range is designed to be easy to use which allows non-professionals to install it – people who may be less aware of safety regulations – so it’s important that the product is as safe as possible. In addition, specialist floor media SpotOn Floor 200 has an R-10 anti-slip rating post print according to DIN 51130 and classed as ‘low slip potential’ according to EN 13036-4. This 200 micron (8 mil) embossed printable white matte monomeric PVC film is therefore ideal for a multitude of high-impact floor graphics applications.

For wall graphics, ReTac® Smooth 75 polymeric PVC film and ReTac Smooth 150 polymeric PVC film have also been developed with safety in mind. These products are designed for longer-term applications but are also easy to apply, reposition and remove. Each product has a Class 0 fire rating according to BS746 part 6 & 7 to provide certified graphics for airports, hotels, retail stores, hospitals and more.

It is important to understand that typical graphic media will do little to prevent a building fire from spreading, however certified materials will not contribute to it or spread it through flaming particles. It is essential to carry out research ahead of all display projects based on their intended location and use – with Drytac able to provide advice on its extensive range.

Learn more about the safety features of the Drytac range to ensure your business and its people are protected.

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Grab your customers’ attention with eye-catching floor graphics

Authored by Steve Yarbrough, Product Support Specialist, Drytac

Many of us use our phones while out shopping: researching products, comparing prices, downloading coupons, taking photos of items to think about later, looking at a shopping list or simply checking the time. So, with so many shoppers looking down at their phones, retailers need to find new ways to grab their attention.

Innovations in printing technology, inks and – of course – materials now enable display and advertising potential to reach floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Window displays encourage shoppers into a retail space, inside which POS and shelf-edge displays can boost sales of a specific product or range. But floor graphics can do all this and more: they can be used to guide customers into and around a space and create a fuller experience. This method can also be incredibly effective in city center environments, trade shows, museum exhibitions, theme parks – anywhere you want to grab and maintain the attention of your visitor. They’re also ideal for places like hospitals, transport hubs and educational facilities, where effective way-finding systems keeps foot traffic moving in the right direction.

The safety of floor graphics was, naturally, a concern in the past; installing a tripping hazard is never good business. But materials have been developed to ensure floor graphics are non-slip and securely fixed and, at Drytac, we make media that is easy to install and to remove too, even for the non-professional.

Indeed, we have a full range of display materials designed specifically for safe, user-friendly and effective graphics on a whole variety of common floor coverings. This includes award winning SpotOn Floor 200, a 200 micron (8 mil) embossed printable white matte PVC film designed for short-term, indoor floor graphics with no need for lamination, with a post-print anti-slip rating. It’s also achieved a Class B1 Fire Rating, meaning it can be used in public areas governed by strict fire regulations, and has Drytac’s innovative ‘dot pattern’ adhesive for clean removal – leaving no sticky residue.

Drytac’s FloorTac range is tough enough to withstand medium to heavy foot traffic in indoor environments, offering a great addition to short-term graphics campaigns. This specialty floor graphics media features a removable, pressure-sensitive grey acrylic adhesive making it easy to apply, maintain and remove. Recommended to be paired with Drytac’s Emerytex overlaminate to provide slip-rated floor graphics. FloorTac is available in North America and FloorTac Plus is available in Europe. In North America, Drytac users can also find the multi-purpose Polar Polymeric and Polar Polymeric Clear RC self-adhesive vinyls, great for floor graphics as well as POS displays, window graphics, vehicle wraps and general signage.

 All Drytac’s materials that are suitable for floor graphics are compatible with UV, solvent, eco-solvent and latex ink technologies, making them incredibly versatile products. With floor graphics it’s all about being eye-catching, so spend time experimenting with colors and designs to create something far more enticing than a smartphone.

Take a look around the Drytac range to discover the perfect floor display media for your campaign.

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Create ice-cool arena ads with adhesive media

Authored by Peter Bourgeois, Territory Sales Manager-Western Canada, Drytac

Authored by Peter Bourgeois, Territory Sales Manager-Western Canada, Drytac

Hockey season is upon us, meaning plenty of action on the rink to come. But there are also lots of opportunities for grabbing spectators’ attention via advertising, in particular rink boards.

There are a variety of different materials, technologies and techniques that can be used for rink board advertising, depending on how long the graphics need to stay in place. Some local rinks have the same advertising boards on display for extended periods, while the NHL is short term, even to the point of changing graphics during a game between periods.

The basics, however, are the same: the material must be easy to apply and should adhere securely to the surface while on display but be easily removed with no residue when the campaign is over. Usually, they are about 28″ to 30″ high, so often rolls with widths of 60″ or 62″ are required so they can be doubled up.

It is not just the NHL that is using rink board advertising, many community and local rinks are using rink board advertising to build revenue. Tournaments and charity games often have sponsors who need in game recognition. These tend to be longer-term projects lasting days, weeks or even entire seasons. This sort of application would often be a removable vinyl that is laminated for extended longevity and abrasion resistance. Drytac offers several vinyl and laminates that are an ideal and affordable solution.

Drytac has produced several products for rink board advertising applications. In North America, Drytac’s Polar Transit is a product that can do double duty. Originally designed for bus advertising, many NHL rink board advertising campaigns use this product. As the name suggests, Polar Transit has great adhesion on smooth, flat surfaces such the sides of vehicles, but is also ideal for sports arenas – thanks to its rugged qualities, it’s used for advertising and signage that can last for up to three years. This matte white polymeric self-adhesive PVC film aids vibrant color printing with UV, latex, solvent and eco-solvent technologies and its removable gray acrylic adhesive makes it easy to apply and to take down when the game or season is over.

In Europe, Drytac’s Polar Premium R 80 can be used for flat or slightly curved surfaces, making it ideal for sports arenas in addition to vehicle livery. This polymeric self-adhesive PVC film has a high opacity and consistent white point that provides an excellent printing surface with UV, latex, solvent and eco-solvent technologies. Its removable grey solvent adhesive makes it easy to apply and to take down when needed. It also has up to a seven-year durability when paired with a matched overlaminate.

Take a look around Drytac’s other Polar products designed for windows, floors, walls, POP displays and more, helping you create ice-cool graphics.

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Open a window of opportunity with high-impact graphics

Authored by Steve Yarbrough, Product Support Specialist at Drytac.

Richmond, VA, September 5, 2018: Window graphics can make a big impact for retailers, offices, cafes and plenty of other organizations. The right design, installed correctly using specialized materials, can make a bold and vibrant statement on both external windows and inside a building. Alternatively, window graphics can be used to provide privacy or to change the light within a space. It’s a thriving market for graphics companies and designers.

It’s essential to use the right media for each project. At Drytac, we’ve developed an incredible range of window graphics materials to help you choose the best product for the job, with a few things to consider.

First, it’s crucial to check with the client exactly what they want from their window graphic. Do they need a window graphic that is only visible from the outside, or inside the building as well? This will dictate both which material and type of printer to use. Has the customer requested an optically clear finish?

If so, you don’t want to use a contact clear material. Do the colors need to be totally accurate? Check color profiling and matching, asking the client to approve any colors before installation – perhaps printing a few color swatches on the material to examine on site.

Drytac window graphic materials are rated for either indoor or outdoor use to help you choose the right media – it’s important to ensure a good finish and the required lifespan. Similarly, the printer must be compatible with your chosen materials, as certain ink sets may require top coats or laminates to ensure longevity. And never use a permanent adhesive for a temporary graphic: this will cost you later in time and money for removal and clean up of adhesive residue!

We also advise against using a material that will trap heat in a window, as this can cause expansion and shatter the window. These include multi-layered block-out materials, but do your research and ask the manufacturer if you have any questions at all. They may even have a new product, perfect for your project, that you don’t even know about.

Finally, don’t choose sub-par materials and expect top-quality results. The difference will show in clarity, adhesion and overall performance.

Drytac has developed a fantastic range of materials specifically for different window graphics applications to help you achieve a finish to be proud of.

SpotOn is an easy to apply printable film with dot pattern adhesive. install graphics anywhere with easy, bubble-free application.

For an easy installation of short-term graphics, for example, SpotOn is a 4 mil (100 micron)-thick vinyl with a ‘dot pattern’ adhesive which makes it simple to fit, reposition, remove and even reuse. Available in clear matte, clear gloss, white matte and white gloss, and compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, latex and UV inkjet printers, SpotOn is an incredibly versatile media. WindowTac, too, is great for temporary graphics on glass, acrylic and other non-porous surfaces, especially for backlit displays. This 0.9 mil (23 micron), visually clear PET film can also be installed with minimal effort.

ViziPrint Impress Clear is specifically designed for trouble-free, dry installation of window graphics

Or, for longer term window graphics, take a look at ViziPrint Impress Clear, a 5 mil (125 micron) optically clear PET film with proprietary adhesion technology that can withstand both high and low temperatures and moisture. Available for UV, solvent, eco-solvent and latex inks, you can expect great graphics for years, and clean removal up to three years after installation. From the same range is ViziPrint Illuminate, a 4 mil (100 micron) high quality, translucent matte PET film that uses a mechanical bond to adhere to smooth, flat surfaces such as glass. Reverse printable and durable even without over-lamination, its bright white base colour creates brighter, more vivid window images.

Explore the full Drytac range to choose the perfect material for your window graphic project.

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