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Stick with Magnetics


A Non-Permanent Solution


By Amber E. Watson


Part 1 of 2


Magnetic material offers print service providers (PSPs) and customers an alternative to permanancy. For applications that require easy removal and simple changeout, magnets are a good solution complemented by digital wide format print. Many applications are achievable from stacks of magnetic business cards to complex vehicle signage and wall graphics.


A Non-Permanent Solution

In business since 2002, FastSigns of Arvada, CO, offers customers complete marketing services and graphic solutions, including magnetic solutions and magnetic output. Garret and Kim Gifford, a husband and wife team, run the 1,700 square foot franchise location with the help of five other employees.


According to Garret Gifford, president, FastSigns, the largest client group using magnetic material is contractors, such as painters, plumbers, and electricians of both small and large businesses. Eye-catching vehicle graphics for these business owners are common applications.


Magnetic material is a preferred method for vehicle graphics and decals because of the ability to easily remove and change out when needed. “These magnetics may appear on personal vehicles for business use, or in cases where HOA restrictions prohibit parking commercial vehicles in neighborhoods, or on leased vehicles that do not allow painting or vinyl lettering. All of these situations make magnetic signs the best, and sometimes the only, solution,” says Gifford.


Depending on the location of the graphics and environmental conditions, many magnets hold up for a year or more. An extra coat of laminate helps add longevity. Mike Gertz, marketing manager, Master Magnetics, Inc., advises PSPs to talk to customers about proper maintenance. “Remind people to clean the surface properly, especially on a car, and to remove the magnet occasionally to get rid of dirt or debris.”


In addition to vehicle graphics, magnets with a dry erase laminate are ideal for construction projects, building inspector notes, warehouse shelving, and inventory labeling.


Direct to Magnet Printing

Many projects printed on large magnetic rolls are cut down into smaller pieces in the end, such as bumper stickers, sports calendars, or business cards. The efficiency and ability to print large quantities using a wide format printer appeals to many PSPs.


FastSigns uses PrintMagnetVinyl from Master Magnetics for different applications. “The ability to print direct-to-magnet makes it a more cost-efficient process, rather than printing and laminating,” shares Gifford. The 42-inch width of the media is the widest available, and contributes to production cost savings. “It is even cost effective when printing magnetic business cards, calendars, or menus,” adds Gifford. He finds the quality of printing to be excellent when a project requires high-resolution, four-color printing.


Master Magnetics PrintMagnetVinyl is for indoor and outdoor use with solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex ink systems and is available in widths from 12 to 42 inches. The strength of the material varies based on its thickness, which ranges from 12- to 60-mil. “A 30-mil or higher is required for vehicle signs to be properly secured, while a 12- or 15-mil is suitable for indoor use or promotional pieces,” explains Gertz. For aqueous inks PrintMagnet is available with a paper topcoat.


FastSigns relies on a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet L25500 with latex ink. “Latex is ideal for indoor and outdoor use. There are environmental and indoor air quality benefits as well,” says Gifford.


An Efficient Combination

Magnetic material has come a long way, yet some PSPs are reluctant to take advantage of the opportunities. “Many PSPs feel the traditional two-step process of printing on a substrate and laminating to the magnet, or printing on unmagnetized material and then magnetizing it, is too time-consuming and not an efficient process,” Gertz says. “Printing direct to magnet avoids these extra steps, saving time and money.”


With the right combination of equipment and magnetic sheeting, PSPs like FastSigns pursue a large volume of everyday projects, such as vehicle graphics, business cards, calendars, sports schedules, bumper stickers, and menus, for a range of customers in all types of industries.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.


Mar2013, Digital Output DOMG1304

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