The sheer magnitude of building wraps attracts attention from up close and far away. Large structures present a unique environment to leave a lasting impression. The opportunity is growing thanks to media that conforms and adheres to a variety of surfaces.
Every building is different. Determining the correct media depends on surface texture, overall size, environment, as well as city/state codes and building regulations. A vast selection of substrates are available. Combining the correct media with the desired location yields a high-quality finished product.
Building wraps are becoming larger and more vibrant in overall appearance. Primarily, this is in response to new media constructions that extend product usability. These advancements allow market players to leverage unlimited canvases, from newer locations to traditional building wrap environments.
Building wraps are gaining traction at renovation and/or construction sites. In the past, coming soon signs were used as barriers, but more recently developers are creating bigger buzz with full wraps. These mesh façades graphically foreshadow what is to come and satisfy the curiosity of passersby.
“Developers are starting to print graphics—typically with mesh vinyl—that illustrate what the actual building is going to look like when it is complete,” explains Josh Propp, business development manager, Value Vinyls.
Judy Bellah, PR manager, Clear Focus Imaging, Inc., highlights a growing trend in the rental of advertising space on commercial buildings by property owners to generate income. “In addition to promotional prowess, building wraps offer potential energy savings—provided the graphics are printed in bright colors that reflect light,” she adds.
Different types of buyers are considering building wraps, which also explains the use of the application in other environments. For example, Jodi Sawyer, market development specialist, FLEXcon, sees an increasing use of building wraps in smaller markets for regional brands and event marketing.
Building wraps are now part of a larger package. Graphics that flow to the inside, perforated and non-perforated second-surface applications, environmentally friendly options, and point of purchase created from better perforation patterns are all part of what Stan Holt, business development manager, Americas, Continental Grafix USA, Inc., believes adds to the overall interest in building wraps.
“Advertisers and designers are making use of new technology to carry a message through the entire space,” agrees Jason Yard, marketing manager, MACtac Distributor Products.
Traditional locations continue to find success with building wraps. “Museums and historic sites use them often,” says Larry Salomon, VP wide format North America, Agfa Graphics. “In addition, many public venues, such as stadiums, create an atmosphere or provide a message through building wraps.” Large-scale graphics are a popular means of promoting major sporting events, concerts, products, and services.
Before the correct media is chosen, many factors are considered. Whichever substrate is used, it must adhere well and stay up for the contracted amount of time. To ensure this, the intended location scouted, various tests undertaken, and proper regulation channels researched.
Test media first. Sawyer reminds print service providers (PSPs) that installation and de-installation time and cost is critical for a successful high-profile building wrap application. “Minimize the risk by selecting a self-adhesive product that provides the best performance—installs easily and removes without breaking, tearing, or leaving adhesive residue.”
It is also necessary to take temperature into consideration for optimal adhesive contact. Bellah explains that if it is too cold the media’s adhesive may not stick properly, while excessive heat can cause the film to stretch during installation.
In terms of what material is best for abiding codes and laws, PSPs are advised to check with local building inspectors for zoning information, limitations, and requirements. Engineers are also aware of the ins and outs of zoning codes and regulations. PSPs are wise to research pertinent information before agreeing to a job.
“Many municipalities require that window graphics be installed on the inside of a window, however, this can be limiting especially if the windows are tinted. Most clear and translucent window films are reverse printed to accommodate an outward-facing graphic,” shares Yard.
Holt also brings up a concern about local and state size regulations. “Many cities and towns have codes that now require a permit to put graphics of a certain size on the outside of a business. Sometimes, taking graphics inside helps avoid this hassle,” he recommends.