Most applications in wide format printing have similarities. Often, they are found within the print process—as ink lay down and color quality are important elements in any project. When it comes to installation, this step in the process is unique.
Vehicle wraps provide their own set of challenges. For one, wrapping around contours and curves is difficult for a beginner. Getting the media around nooks and crannies is essential to a final product that brings the design justice.
Window graphics present other issues. A decision of whether the application will be placed inside or outside is a major consideration. Another is cleaning the window for maximum adhesion. Weather also comes into play here, if the graphic is being adhered outside, it needs to be the correct temperature with no precipitation. If inside, try and avoid an overly sunny day, as that could make installation difficult.
In every scenario issues of time, space, and client satisfaction are factors. This special feature takes an up close look at a floor graphic installation.
With floor graphics, there are multiple issues including the time one has to place the graphic down. If it’s a busy area, it cannot be done in the middle of the day. Then there is the challenge of the floor—will the graphic adhere? Also, if the project butts up against the edge of a wall, it must be ensured that the graphic is cut at precisely the correct length and width for no messy overlap.
Maryland Signs and Graphics (MS&G), based in Towson, MD, started in 1996 out of its owners’ home with three large format plotters to offer print and design services. In July 2010 the company moved into its current location, which is about 4,000 square feet in space. Five employees, including David Kurniawan, co-owner, MS&G, and his wife, Frida, run the shop providing work to commercial customers, public interest, and trade groups.
The print service provider (PSP) has offered floor graphics as part of its portfolio since it began and displays samples of its work in the shop’s show room—both inside and outside. Popular verticals MS&G creates floor graphics for include—but are not limited to—schools, hospitals, trade show exhibitors, gyms and health clubs, convention centers, and airports. While Kurniawan says that today about 20 percent of its offerings are considered floor graphics he expects it to grow.
“I see an increasing trend as people start to realize that this application is not just for indoors or dry places only. Also, now that we are capable of printing directly to rigid board with a recent flatbed printer acquisition, graphics can be applied directly to flooring tiles or sheets,” he shares.
MS&G uses its Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet L25500 with latex inks for floor graphics. The PSP purchased the device because it is a firm believer in staying “green” as much as possible. In addition, the printer allows it to laminate a substrate right away without outgassing, providing for quick job completion.