Today, your customers are overwhelmed with advertising graphic clutter, yet the solution to better client engagement and increased sales is right under your feet! Floors (and steps too) are perfect graphic advertising spaces where everyone is looking, but few marketers are leveraging these valuable spaces with their advertising messages. Printable, adhesive-backed floor graphics present opportunities to reach your customers in a fun and effective way.
While not the newest idea in printed graphic advertising, the desire to include floor graphics as an effective tool to influence consumer buying decisions is on the rise. One of today’s hottest trends is themed floor graphic designs. Many retailers recognize the benefits of a themed advertising environment that includes floors. Another concept for floor graphics could apply to an event or entertainment venue. Imagine your client selling their specialty craft beer while your design team creates directional logos shaped as foot prints, leading the public right to the beer tap that’s pouring your product – think fun, effective graphics!
Choosing the right floor graphic material begins with 3 questions:
- Where will the floor graphic be placed?
- What will the foot traffic volume be?
- How long do you need the floor graphic to last?
Floor graphics intended for indoor display are often applied to smooth surfaces such as tile or smooth sealed concrete, which allows for the use of an economical, standard base vinyl. If your floor graphics are meant for outdoor display or on rough or textured concrete, then you should use a base vinyl with a thick, aggressive adhesive – such as the 3M IJ3662. No matter which vinyl you choose, always remember to search for the vinyl which balances strength and adhesive tack the best for your application and a perfect installation. Don’t forget to round or radius-cut any sharp corners to help reduce premature lifting of your graphics after installation.
Most floor graphics are created with a two-part construction – the base vinyl and a laminate. Indoors, you can use a 4 mil clear gloss flexible vinyl laminate, which will provide a vibrant appearance to printed floor graphics. For very high traffic areas or floor graphics that need to endure heavy maintenance, you should consider a 5 mil or 6 mil clear-embossed, rigid vinyl laminate. If your floor graphics are going outdoors you’ll need to use a thick (25 mil) highly textured laminate that can channel away water. 3M 3647 laminate paired with 3M IJ3662 base vinyl is the perfect combination for exterior applications. Indoors or out, slip-resistant floor graphic laminate is essential. The standard industry test; the American Standard for Testing Materials (ASTM) checks the laminates coefficient of friction, which measures the traction pedestrians could expect when walking on your floor graphics. Acquiring ASTM approval is critical for successful floor graphics.
That said, there is an exciting new product being added to the market that needs no over laminate and still utilizes ground surfaces for visible, impactful floor graphics. Foil-based media (FBM) is an aluminum substrate that has a unique, non-skid surface, making FBM a low-cost alternative worth considering.
A Final Thought; get adhesive vinyl and laminate recommendations from your print provider and test a sample on the actual floor surface. Pay special attention to the edges, making sure they aren’t curling and that the floor is clean, dry and free of cracks. While your competition is trying to grab attention at eye level, you can rule the floor and creatively promote your brand. Transform high-traffic floor areas into attention-grabbing advertising spaces, with exquisite floor graphics.
About the author: Peter Fradin is a 25 year industry veteran and a display solutions print specialist with BPGraphics. BPGraphics is a nationally recognized screen and digital graphics print provider offering large, wide and grand format printing solutions for nearly 55 years. From fabric to vinyl – to rigid substrates of all kinds – big or small, BPGraphics understanding and experience in the industry is unparalleled. More information on the company’s offerings and services can be accessed at bpgraphics.com or you can reach Peter at 602-272-7907.