Posts Tagged ‘window graphics’

The Sign Industry has been looking at the ability to use white and metallic inks for many years. Not until recently, has the equipment technology and ink chemistry started to catch up. Offset printing has used white ink for many years, but has not been the focus for the Sign Industry.

The Digital Sign Industry has used white medias or substrates to overcome the inability to print with white ink. White ink allows printing on a colored substrate, which normally will bleed through images and change the final colors. Not a good idea! The cost of white ink can be three times that of the other CMYK colors.

Then there are the Metallic Inks, just starting to surface in the Sign Industry. Metallic ink requires specialized printing equipment and again the cost is very high. Add to this, metallic ink slows the printing process by 85%, reducing output and adding cost.

White and Metallic Inks are now available for the Digital Printing Industry. Are they viable options at this point considering the added cost verses the benefit? The interest is there for some very specific application projects, but the additional costs are difficult to justify for many applications. That will change in the next couple years as technology and demand help reduce costs. Until then, be patient and create with proven alternatives.

Did you know that we can print to specialized metallic vinyl substrates? Faster turn around and more cost effective.

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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?

There are people who believe exterior signs cease to exist once winter sets in and the nights are long and dark. If you can find someone crazy enough to work outside in freezing temperatures, what can you do when it’s so cold that vinyl won’t stick to itself. If you are one of the unfortunate persons, believing signs are not a poriority in the winter, do you also believe people don’t buy products and services from November through March? Other than Christmas if you are a retailer.

During the cold weather months, it is even more critical to capture the attention of those potential customers and clients, locked into their warm cars, buses and cummuter trains. Those lighted signs, LED Message Centers, Window Signage,needs to be fresh, bright and attention grabbing. This does not mean you have to offer sale prices so low they cannot resist. Focus on driving that impulse motive, to irrestable levels. Only then will they exit a safe and warm environment, to explore what you have to offer.

During the cold season, become more creative in your signage. Don’t withdrawal, step it up to bring traffic to your doorstep. There are many new materials available, allowing vinyl to be applied in temperatures as low as 25 degrees. Signfaces and Pylon Sign Inserts can be removed and brought inside for repairing and processing. Vehicles would be brought indoors, so nothing really changes there. Fleet Vehicles can be rotated in to minimize downtime.

In gthe winter months, get creative and aggressive in your advertising and marketing activities. Exterior Signs don’t care how cold it is outside, they work 24 hours, 7 days a week and keep working even if they get a cold. Contact the professional staff at Pillar Signs and Graphics, can help assess your current signage and help maximize your impact and minimize your investment.