Wall graphics and wallcoverings enable the complete transformation of any setting, whether it is in a retail store, a hospital, or even a child’s room. These high-impact graphics provide marketers with highest branding tool, and offer a huge profit center for print providers.
As discussed in part one of this series, installation requirements for wallcoverings are varied. While some solutions are specifically targeted towards consumers, commercial grade solutions are best done by a skilled installer. Additionally, there are a variety of wallcovering media styles available, which either require a wallpaper paste-type approach; adhesive backed solutions, which are further categorized by repositionability; or a magnetic system.
Wall Graphics Made Easy
Art Warehouse is an art fulfillment specialist based in Chattanooga, TN. Mark Lakey, president/owner, believes the business’ success can be credited to the true partnerships it forms with its clients. The company provides wallcoverings as an extension of its fine art printing business. The service was primarily forged based on customer demand.
Like many print service providers (PSPs), Art Warehouse utilizes the satisfaction of its clients for return business and referrals. Because of this, the quality of their output, service, and overall perception is stringently maintained. Their customers rely on them to determine, based on a series of factors, which solutions are most appropriate and cost effective for the job at hand.
Specifically for wallcoverings, Art Warehouse relies on Photo Tex Group, Inc. material, which is supplied by LexJet Corporation. Photo Tex is a polyester fabric, compatible with many inkjet printers on the market today. According to Lakey, installation is easy. “You peel off the backer and apply the material to the wall. It’s also repositionable, so you have as many attempts as you need to level or square the material to the wall,” he explains. Since the substrate is fabric based, it does not take to creasing, which is a huge advantage over alternative wall substrates.
Lakey has so much trust in installation ease of the substrate that it doesn’t matter to him either way if the staff or the client installs a job. “If customers want to install the printed media, it’s fine with me. If they are uncomfortable with the installation process, I will offer the services—and will probably do it faster. But, sometimes it’s more cost effective for them to have their maintenance staff handle it,” he says. Since reputation is extremely critical for Art Warehouse, its trust in Photo Tex is a true testament to the substrate’s capability.
Lakey also notes the importance of removability. “For commercial applications, I can’t tell you how huge it is,” he says, noting that whenever clients realize they can put up a wall graphic and take it down without destroying their sheet rock, they are sold. Nobody likes to repair walls, and Photo Tex doesn’t damage them.
One recent wall mural printed and installed by Art Warehouse serves Rock City Garden, an Americana landmark. Located on top of Lookout Mountain, GA approximately six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City offers impressive rock formations, gardens, and a view that is said to span seven states.
When the landmark’s retail store was renovated it added a new counter and shelving. The location also wanted to encompass the natural attraction’s beauty through signage. Art Warehouse was called upon to prepare, print, deliver, and install Lookout Mountain’s view through a printed representation with Photo Tex substrates.
The entire job was produced in two days, including installation. The graphic is set to stay up indefinitely. Since it sits behind the counter, not vulnerable to the general public, it was not laminated. Rock City was pleased with the outcome. Now, they are able to change out the graphics whenever necessary.
Verizon Wireless operates one of the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data networks. The company provides the U.S. with a mobile-to-mobile calling family of more than 80 million subscribers, and it works hard to offer quality products and services. Part of this service includes the constant release of state-of-the art technology. To promote its latest and greatest, in-store signage is key.
According to Joe Fiamingo, associate director, print services, Verizon Wireless, the company first partnered with Visual Magnetics LP for digitally printed wallcoverings at the launch of the Droid several years ago. The Visual Magnetics Graphics System is installed in approximately 2,200 Verizon locations.
With the help of Visual Magnetics, Verizon is able to offer a retail environment that provides eye-catching wall designs to enhance the retail store experience. The mobile network provider wanted to promote new product launches in its retail stores in a way that demanded attention and represented maximum quality but was also easy to install and remove when campaign cycles changed.
“We chose to establish a relationship with Visual Magnetics because the system was fairly simple to install initially, and it is virtually effortless for our employees to refresh the graphics in shores as often as needed—without requiring any special training or equipment,” shares Fiamingo.
Verizon currently utilizes the Visual Magnetics Graphics System and the new VM-Canvas22 digitally printable 100 percent cotton wallcovering, as it provides the capabilities and rich texture they were looking for. “VM-Canvas22 was perfect for creating something different and visually impactful without requiring a hard- or resin-based wallcovering,” he adds.
Digitally printed wall graphics provide print providers and their clients with a creative method to promote products or beautify bland spaces. Media and supporting solutions are continuously emerging, providing new opportunities on both the consumer and high-end segment of the market.
Print providers, such as Art Warehouse, respond to customer demand, ensuring they are properly equipped to take orders for and properly execute wallcoverings. Big brands, such as Verizon, utilize the impact and convenience of an easily changeable graphic.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Installation Considerations.