Cardiff University starts new academic year with Drytac social distancing signage

Cardiff University's in-house print department has printed more than 40,000 signs to prepare the campus for students and staff – the majority on Drytac SpotOn wall media.

Cardiff University’s in-house print department printed more than 40,000 signs to prepare the campus for students and staff – the majority on Drytac SpotOn wall media.

Cardiff University’s Print Services worked around the clock to prepare the campus for the new academic year, including printing thousands of social distancing graphics on Drytac professional self-adhesive media.

The university has benefited from an in-house print service for over 30 years, originally called Graphic Services and recently renamed Print Services. It fulfils all manner of printing needs, from business cards, flyers, booklets, stickers and posters – both academic and advertising – to pop-up banners, mounted poster boards, wall displays and floor graphics. It also provides laminating and thesis-binding services.

During the summer of 2020, Print Services was presented with a new challenge: to help prepare the entire Cardiff University campus for the new academic year in line with COVID-19 guidance on social distancing.

“From July onwards we were printing pretty much non-stop in order to help the Estates division get the 200-plus buildings on campus ready for re-occupation and re-opening in time for the autumn semester,” says Gareth Middleton, Senior Print Services Assistant, Bute Print Unit, Cardiff University.

“By our rough estimations, in that time we printed somewhere in the region of 2.5 to 3sq km of signage – more than 40,000 items. The majority of these were A4 wall signs which were printed on Drytac SpotOn and then guillotined or cut by hand from the roll.”

As well as the unprecedented amount of work that needed to be completed by the end of September, the print team had other hurdles to overcome.

Gareth explains: “Due to the campus being locked down and restrictions on building occupancy, only two of us were granted access to our unit in the Bute Building where the wide-format machines live. Added to this, that building was undergoing a massive refit and renovation project so rather than our usual peaceful (especially in the summer!) leafy campus setting in Cathays Park we had to work out of the middle of a building site!”

Cardiff University Print Services chose Drytac SpotOn White Matte, a 100μ (4 mil) vinyl film designed for short-term applications such as wall displays. Also available in White Gloss, Clear Gloss and Clear Matte finishes, SpotOn features Drytac’s innovative ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables easy bubble-free application without tools, and clean and simple removal.

“All the wall signage is being used internally and – hopefully! – for the short to medium term,” says Gareth. “Drytac SpotOn gives a great solid, vibrant finish using our Roland TrueVIS VG-540 and is quick and easy for the Estates team to handle and apply in large quantities.”

Gareth adds that the print team also uses the Clear Matte version of Drytac SpotOn.

“It’s great for all the same reasons as the SpotOn White, plus the added advantage of being able to mount it on the inside of windows or on glass screens without blocking out all the light.”

With social distancing expected to continue for the foreseeable future, Drytac has ensured its factories in the UK and North America have been working to meet unprecedented demand for graphics media for wall displays, floor graphics and other applications.

To meet these new social distancing requirements, it is important to use the right graphic media for each job. Understanding the location of the graphic and the surface it will be adhered to is key.  Download our Social Distancing Graphics Guide now!

We offer the correct ratings and insurance backed warranties to make your life easier. With hundreds of certifications on our print media and laminates we’d be happy to help you plan your next project.

Download the Drytac Floor Graphic Guides to help you select the proper floor material and navigate various environments.

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Globe Print prints over 15km of social distancing graphics on Drytac media

Marlow’s Globe Print has printed over 15km of graphics on a range of dedicated Drytac graphics products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including thousands of floor graphics.

Drytac has been rushed off its feet manufacturing floor graphics products and other media in response to unprecedented worldwide demand, with many customers using miles of Drytac film. UK customer Globe Print alone has printed over 15km (9.3 miles) of advisory graphics on Drytac products including thousands of floor graphics.

Established in January 2019 as a division of CSL, Globe Print‘s 10,000sq ft print room in Marlow, Buckinghamshire is buzzing with over ten wide format printers using various ink technologies, flatbed printers and a range of finishing equipment. True to its motto of ‘Everything Printed’, the business produces signage, graphics, window films, banners, posters, floor graphics and more, including personalised work and direct-to-rigid-substrate output.

“We offer a huge range, but the skill is in the application the products are used for,” says Nick Wintle, Account Director, Globe Print. “There isn’t a typical client as we’re really keen to work with local businesses. Some customers just order a pack of business cards, while some will want a full re-branding. But key names include Waitrose, NHS, Transport for London, Andretti Formula E Team, local authorities and a vast number of golf clubs.”

Over the last six months, however, much of this work has been floor graphics designed for social distancing, directional and awareness communications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, Globe Print has produced over 100,000 floor graphics for ‘basically just about every type of business’, says Nick. Along with major and independent retailers, utility companies and Transport for London, clients have included the NHS, schools and adventure playgrounds.

The print specialist has even supplied floor graphics for entire town centres and shopping streets, including for an advisory one-way pedestrian system in Globe Print’s home town of Marlow. This project comprised 250 temporary outdoor floor decals printed on Drytac Polar Grip graphics vinyl combined with Drytac Interlam Pro Emerytex laminate.

Drytac offers an extensive range of floor graphics media, enabling print businesses and end users to specify the safest and most suitable product for each application. In addition to the Polar Grip/Interlam Pro Emerytex solution, Globe Print uses FloorTac Plus matte white monomeric PVC film designed for indoor graphics in heavy footfall areas, and SpotOn Floor 200 monomeric PVC film, developed for short-term, indoor non-slip floor graphics without lamination.

“We also use Drytac Polar PET 170,” adds Nick. “This is a PVC-free polyester film which was perfect for an environment-focused retailer looking for a green solution.”

Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac, comments: “Globe Print is just one print service provider who has produced many miles of floor graphics using Drytac media in 2020, with demand expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Drytac’s manufacturing facilities in the UK and Canada have been working around the clock to produce our wide range of products designed specifically for floor graphics, including new media for outdoor applications and eco-friendlier PVC-free films. We have made sure that Drytac inventory levels continue to be maintained to address demand going forward.”

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HugePrints shines bright with Drytac Polar Chrome

Drytac Polar Chrome

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

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

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

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

Drytac Polar Chrome at Motorcycle Show

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

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

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

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

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

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Queensland libraries get storybook makeover from icatchers and Drytac

Exhibition display specialist icatchers has added fun and colour to children’s libraries in and around Brisbane using Drytac ViziPrint and ReTac self-adhesive media, supplied by Shann.

The children’s sections of two libraries in Queensland, Australia have received bright, bold makeovers from icatchers, using Drytac media products.

A specialist in signage and fit-outs for exhibitions and trade shows, showrooms and offices, shops and events, icatchers has been servicing customers from its Brisbane head office and production facility and Melbourne sales office for 16 years. It counts the governments of Queensland and Victoria, Queensland University of Technology, Aldi, Boeing, LG, BP, Xbox and Nintendo among its well-known clients.

Its customer base also includes Brisbane City Council’s libraries department, for whom icatchers updates children’s library areas every five years. The project comprises everything from design to manufacture to installation, including furniture, power and lighting, interactive games and computers, play equipment, flooring, wall graphics and signage.

“Usually these projects involve a six- to eight-week turnaround from concept to completion,” explains Kyle Lewis, Visual Communications Manager at icatchers. “There are strict health and safety guidelines as the spaces are used by children. We also have to use products that meet specific requirements to minimise damage and that can be replaced easily if damaged – it’s amazing how much damage these little humans make!”

Its most recent project at Holland Park Library involved wall graphics, which presented icatchers with additional challenges.

Kyle explains: “For the wall graphics we needed something that would be easy to use as we needed to wrap around columns and window openings, and found Drytac ReTac 150 Smooth was perfect. It’s a quality product with great printing results.”

Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 polymeric PVC film is a 6 mil (150μ) printable self-adhesive vinyl designed for wall graphics applications. Installation on a range of surfaces is easy, thanks to Drytac’s ReTac ultra-removable adhesive technology which maintains strength over the duration of the project but ensures the film can be removed cleanly at the end of its life.

This year icatchers completed a similar project at Beenleigh Library, 40km outside Brisbane, which included window graphics installed on the outside of curved glass. They were printed on an HP Latex 360.

 Drytac ViziPrint Impress Clear

“We used Drytac ViziPrint Impress Clear for the windows, mainly for its optically clear benefits as we needed something that would let a lot of light through,” says Kyle. “It was also used for its ease of installation and removal when required. The graphics floated on beautifully and the library was pleased with the vibrancy of the colours.”

Developed for glass and other smooth, flat surfaces, Drytac ViziPrint Impress Clear is durable and water-resistant for stunning window graphics and other decorative applications. This 5 mil (125μ) clear PET film is PVC-free and 100 per cent recyclable.

Drytac ViziPrint Impress Clear

The Drytac products were supplied by Shann DPM, appointed as the exclusive Australian distributor for Drytac’s extensive range of wide format print media, mounting and protective films earlier this year. Shann DPM is a division of the Shann Group, an established Australian company with over 60 years’ experience and a team of over 30 experienced sales representatives on the road.

Shann gave us a detailed and informative overview of the Drytac products, providing quick and precise answers to any questions we had,” comments Kyle Lewis. “The Drytac products fulfilled all our requirements for both jobs, with outstanding printing and installation results. We’ll definitely be using these products in the future.”

For further information on Drytac’s products and services, please visit

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Marlow High Street gets a safety makeover with Drytac graphics

Globe Park Print Store has completed a project to install temporary safety signage throughout Marlow High Street using Drytac’s combined Polar Grip floor graphics vinyl and Interlam Pro Emerytex laminate solution.

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.

Link to short video showcasing the graphics:

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Drytac SpotOn helps Pixel Imaging think ‘outside the box’

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.”

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Minuteman Press gives salon monthly makeover with Drytac Polar

Minuteman Press finds Drytac Polar Premium is perfect for easily applied window graphics in cold environments, relying on the vinyl for a monthly display project.

Material hair salon in Bath has revealed a new look every month, with window graphics printed by Minuteman Press using Drytac Polar Premium. Thanks to Polar’s ease of application, each new window display can be installed in under an hour.

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.”

Learn More About Polar Premium:

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FD Signs puts safety first for massive TfL social distancing project with Drytac

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.”

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Creative Silhouettes wraps ten stores in seven days with multi-surface Drytac Polar Grip

Creative print company Creative Silhouettes has completed an attention-grabbing project for Hobo, printing and installing graphics in ten new stores in just seven days. To ensure consistent results across a range of environments, Drytac Polar Grip was used across the whole campaign.

Established in Vaughan, ON seven years ago, Creative Silhouettes specialises in wall graphics and decals. Seventy per cent of its business is large self-adhesive vinyl for offices and retail stores, 80 per cent of which is also installed by the team. Apple, Ubisoft, TMX and Oxford Properties are among its big-name clients.

In April 2020, Creative Silhouettes completed a major project for Hobo Cannabis Company, which was opening ten new stores in the Greater Toronto Area as part of a 30-branch expansion across Canada. As each retail space was different, Creative Silhouettes needed a vinyl product that could meet every demand.

Giovani Pereira, Project Manager and Business Development at Creative Silhouettes, comments on the project: “Our deal with Hobo was to wrap ten entire stores regardless of the surface of the walls – and every one had different surfaces, such as brick, stucco, painted wood and rusted metal.

ND Graphics are our primary supplier of vinyl and equipment so we went to our contact Dwayne Burton for advice. He recommended Drytac Polar Grip and we undertook several print and install tests on all rough surfaces, including floor, and they all worked well.”

Creative Silhouettes printed the black-and-white wall graphics with photographic details on its HP Latex R1000.

“Using Drytac Polar Grip we took care of all Hobo’s stores across Toronto, printing and installing graphics in ten stores in seven days.”

Drytac Polar Grip is an 80 micron (3.2mm) white polymeric self-adhesive PVC vinyl designed for interior and exterior wall graphics, offering durability of up to five years. Its high-bond adhesive is compatible with a wide range of surfaces including metal, plastic, wood, glass and brick and has been rated for fire safety to meet the requirements of public spaces. It performs brilliantly with latex, UV, solvent and eco-solvent printing technologies and is available in White Matte and Gloss finishes.

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ArtSoft weathers temperature challenges to collect award with Drytac Polar Premium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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