Posts Tagged ‘wall graphics’

Almost weekly I have been asked to supply CLEAR Stickers or Decals. The first question I have is How will the stickers or decals be used? What is the color of the item they will be applied to? Generally the color to which they are mounted to has to be a light neutral color, preferably white.

Colors need to be backed up with white or the printed graphics and text colors will bleed out and take on the background colors. Basically with any sign, vehicle graphics or even a banner, has to isolate and/or support the colors intended. All efforts of color matching and color management will be a waste of time and effort on clear medias or substrates.

If you look closely at clear decals or stickers, there will be generally a halo of white around the images printed text. Even though it appears to be clear, additional costs of materials and equipment have been incurred, to apply a detailed layout of white ink first.

So remember, a clear background on a sticker, decal, vehicle graphic or other signage, does not necessarily relate to lower cost. a contour or detailed die cut on a white media may offer the best unit costing long-term.

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On a recent expedition by our installers, nerves and patience were tested. The plan was to install a rather large interior wall graphics, that of course had to be supplied by the franchisor. The franchisee was instructed, “Do NOT attempt this installation, hire professionals to install this wall graphics.” Would this be a Red Flag? We had to bid this installation sight unseen, raising yet another “red flag”. Not sure of what we were gettining into, the only option we had was to price this out based on actual hours.

Once approved by the client, we moved ahead with scheduling the installation. Our team arrived, set up and prepared to dig in. As soon as we opened the box we knew there would be challenges. The material and graphics were rolled backwards, with the image in and paper carrier outside. Caution: This causes the vinyl to “Tent” or buckle every couple of feet, resulting in the vinyl curling and refusing to lay flat. Suddenly it required four hands to install each panel rather than two hands.

Now we started to remove the paper backing, exposes the adhesive side of the wallpaper. Instant tearing and cracking with normal handling, REALLY? It was also apparent we were not dealing with a vinyl or even paper here, but a low cost Korean PVC substrate with a clear overspray. At this point frustration was setting in, and I’m sure this stuff was never going to survive the inside corner we have to navigate. We had planned and scheduled for one afternoon and unfortunately, we had to return the next day to finish the wall Mural installation.

So, was this lower cost graphics really result lower cost overall? A simple 4 hour installation, actually ending up taking 9 hours. The additional labor cost resulting from working with inferrior products, almost equaled that of a quality American made material, installed. Things are not always as they appear, so it is important to look at the whole cost picture and not just the surface.

One thing I forgot to mention was removal. When this stuff has to be removed, the costs will surely be more than the orginal installation. So was this really a good deal?