Business owners and managers understand what storefront window graphics are and how effective they are in promoting foot traffic. What they don’t know is how the vinyl is printed.
Second surface is the practice of printing on the face (adhesive side) of the vinyl. This process enables the vinyl to be installed inside the building, away from the outdoor elements. Second surface graphics are protected from weather and exploring hands thus typically have a longer life expectancy than first surface.
Second surface graphics are printed in a “mirror image” to be a right reading image for viewers. A print ready image for second surface will be inverted in order to print as a first surface piece.
It’s more than just vinyl!
Second surface is used on many acrylic signage, it provides a richer, elegant appearance of the sign, especially a standoff lobby sign. Printing directly to the substrate, albeit acrylic, vinyl or glass, is done with any image, regardless of orientation.
Call Heritage Today!:
As you consider your next adhesive vinyl graphic window or sign project, work with the professionals at Heritage who have the experience to make your next campaign a spectacular success. They can be reached at 704-655-1465.
1) Window graphics are made from adhesive vinyl. Custom printing your image, or any we can help you design, is not a problem. Our full-color printing systems can print white ink for fashionable interior privacy frosting. The important factor is the vinyl, large vinyl art pieces applied to glass (interior or exterior) are a one-time application, they can’t be reapplied after removal. Small works of vinyl art can be reused, AKA: window clings, because they are small and are printed on “low-tack” adhesive vinyl. Large vinyl graphics will stretch and possible tear on removal, rendering them useless.
2) The terminology used to describe the placement of the vinyl to the glass is first surface and second surface. First surface is most common, the art is printed to the face of the vinyl (adhesive on the back) and is applied directly to the exterior side of the glass. Second surface is reverse printing on the adhesive side, with the application of the vinyl being on the inside of the glass. Why does this matter? Second surface is more protected from the sun, the elements and traffic and typically has a longer life. Interior glass (like cubicles and conference rooms) first surface is used primarily due to both sides of the glass being equally exposed, in most cases.
3) Window graphics are not priced by the square foot. 12’ x 12’ = 144’ x $ is not a viable formula to ensure you receive what you envision with your windows. Variables include: graphic design, vinyl specifications and installation as well as total length. Many customers have art available, but it may not be “print-ready”, meaning the imagery dimensions do not match the glass dimensions, wherein distortion occurs. Vinyl has many specifications, such as “tackiness”, thickness and functionality. We have full-time installers on staff and a network of professional installers available at our beckoning. If we make a mistake with your install, it will be replaced at no additional cost to you. If your personal installer makes an error and another panel must be printed, we will have to charge for the panel.
Once you have decided on the theme or art for your wall, the artwork files must be visited for quality. Due to the large surface your office wall mural or wrap will cover, the file must be a high-resolution file, or the print will distort. Vector images are best IF the fonts are supplied, we love to get images at 200 DPI (dots per inch) with a minimum of 150 DPI.
WALLS OR WINDOWS
Where your art is displayed is an important factor. Walls typically need to be prepped, sheetrock holes may need to be patched, old paint may need to be sanded smooth. For best application, the surface should be smooth. Windows can easily be cleaned with an OTC glass cleaner and be ready for application. Old vinyl or residue must be removed for maximum success.
There are a variety of vinyls we use, exterior vinyls will be laminated for extended life on a building wrap, interior window vinyls can be removed and re-positioned, and perforated vinyls provide a “one-way” view to block the sun while continuing to promote your business. We help you make the right choice, it starts with a conversation.
THE PRINT & BLEED
Our prepress department will format your print files, or help you create formatted print files, and confirm through our proofing process that what we take to print, is what you want to see on your window or wall. Transparent communication eliminates confusion and instills the culture of professionalism throughout the process. The print will have a 1” bleed (overlap) so the image flows across the panels.
Our average install ranges from 2 – 3 hours on-site, variables include the size of the install and status of the surface. We ask that any furniture that needs moved be done prior to our install teams’ arrival. Our process never uses glue or paint, so there is no fumes or mess. Once installed, we will perform a walk-through and clean up any debris from the install and take pictures of the project. We install at your convenience, working after hours and weekends to have minimal interruption in your busy day.