Could your next marketing graphics campaign be as big as an entire wall, or even the side of a building? With digitally printed wall graphics, the answer is YES! Print buyers and brand marketers alike realize that the devil is often in the details when it comes to wall covering graphics – materials, installation, interior and exterior challenges, etc. In this first of a three-part series, we will focus on indoor wall covering graphic applications and materials.
The walls of interior environments offer brands a compelling way to differentiate. From restaurants to retail, hotels to event venues, digitally printed wall graphics are priced to fit today’s marketing budgets. Providing effective messages; wall décor from digitally printed wall graphics allows you to occupy the attention of your customers in an attractive and pleasing way. For example, if you’re in the quick-serve restaurant business, you can use the walls of your venues to tell the story of your products as graphic art. Within the fast-casual restaurant realm, you can raise the bar by designing wall graphic murals adorned with scrumptious images of your food while leaving blank areas for your creative team to drop in images relevant to the local market, thereby branding each individual store within its community. Digital graphic technology allows for easy customization, making each wall covering graphic unique, while still unifying your brand message throughout the company.
Hospitality venues, office buildings and healthcare facilities all have lobby areas, conference rooms and hallways. The décor of those interior walls should bring more than just aesthetic value, they should communicate a message. Looking for a hot trend? Consider a modern graphic theme. Bright, contemporary, exquisitely printed wall covering graphics provide an excellent graphic display canvas, increasingly being used by corporate interior designers.
If covering an entire wall is not an option – wall decals are an excellent alternative. A wall decal is a design that is printed directly to white, adhesive-backed vinyl and contour cut out. A wall graphic decal is fast to install and affordable to swap out, as marketing campaigns change.
There are three things to consider when choosing wall covering materials:
- Will they meet the performance requirements?
- Will they be easy to install and remove?
- Do they have the right aesthetic properties?
Wall coverings fall into two categories: self-adhesive vinyl (SAV), which has the adhesive applied to the back of the substrate and more traditional, “wallpaper” like substrates, which require a paste for adhesion. If a wall decal graphic is the medium of choice, then consider a repositionable/ removable self-adhesive vinyl, such as Catalina Graphics’ WG600. Easy to apply, easy to remove and not requiring a protective over laminate, this graphic category was first popularized by FatHead®.
Another concept for wall decal graphics or full wraps is a SAV that is coated with a polyester fabric face. Products such as Photo Tex®, provide the high-quality look of a fabric wall covering, with the ease of a self-adhesive vinyl application. The fabric face reduces glare, without the need of an over laminate and the base vinyl helps hide minor defects in the wall.
For applications where durability is a concern, look to a self-adhesive graphic with a protective over laminate. Food service areas or high-traffic walkways are examples of environments that benefit from such protection. Graphics that will be up for a year or less and applied to flat walls can use a cost-effective calendared vinyl, such as 3M 40C. If your wall is curved or not completely smooth, then BPGraphics often recommends 3M IJ180C, a long-term cast vinyl that won’t shrink or crack over time.
Traditional graphic wallpaper substrates have greatly advanced since their inception. One of the most exciting is the availability of PVC-Free, pre-pasted wallpaper. These wallpapers only need to be wetted prior to application, contain no harmful PVCs and will last for years in traditional wallpaper environments. Perfect for smooth walls, these substrates are GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified, whilst meeting FSC © requirements for environmental stewardship.
If you’re looking for a textured or fabric look in a traditionally applied wallpaper substrate, there are a number of tough and durable offerings from companies such as DreamScape and Korographics. These products offer a variety of finishes, are installed like traditional wallpaper and do not require protective laminates. High-traffic commercial environments often benefit from this type of product.
Next week lookout for Part 2: Creating an outsized impression like you’ve never imagined with outdoor wall coverings and building wraps.
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. You can reach Peter at 602-272-7907.