Adhesive-based vinyl is so versatile that it consistently remains a go-to substrate for a variety of applications. Do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations such as wall decals are experiencing a surge in popularity. The stickability, removability, and repositionability characteristics of the vinyl’s adhesive allow for anyone to easily decorate their space.
Thanks to this ease of use, environments other than residential homes are a fit for wall decals. Temporary spaces where inhabitants don’t want to damage walls and incur a fee, including college dorms, apartments, and short-term leases in commercial spaces, are examples of ideal locations.
Another consideration is school buildings, from primary level to higher education. Units that are covered in a monthly session, quarterly classes, semesters, or decorations changed for each season mean that short-term wall decals are an ideal teaching tool. An educator can easily update décor on the fly.
With the recent spike in popularly, we look at online businesses capitalizing on vinyl wall décor in this two-part series.
Jordan Guide, founder, WALLTAT, began the DIY wall decal business in 2008, based in a 2,500 square foot print space in Chicago, IL. WALLTAT designs and manufactures removable wall and glass decals for interior designers, consumers, architects, and other design trade professionals. With a variety of categories and color choices, designers—both professional and DIY—find wall decals to match their vision.
Guide’s own interior design experience influenced the beginning of WALLTAT.com. “As an interior designer I was always looking for innovative design solutions for customers. Hand-painted murals were extremely time consuming and expensive. I wanted to give everyone a quick and easy DIY solution to create impactful designs for their interior surfaces. I have been using wall decals since 2005,” continues Guide.
Customers of WALLTAT.com are worldwide. Guide remarks that the popularity of DIY design television shows have inspired many to utilize the company’s product. “The idea of a removable, affordable artful solution for the DIYer resonates with almost everyone.”
To create its popular wall tattoos the company uses 3M Commercial Graphics, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, and ORAFOL Americas vinyl products because of the variety of colors and removability properties. The vinyl offers a matte finish to provide a painted look. Ioline Corporation’s SmarTrac I/S wide format plotters are used to cut the decals due to their speed and level of precision.
Ordering and Installation
Emulating the spirit in which the company was created, the design, ordering, and installation process is fun and user friendly.
Customers have a choice of over 600 decal designs in 15 categories such as nature, kids, music, and seasonal. Decals are offered in one of five available sizes and customers have over 30 color choices available to them as well as orientation choices—as-is or reversed—to gauge the best fit for their space. Designs are manufactured and shipped within one to five business days of the order.
Accompanying every WALLTAT order is a six-step installation brochure and a plastic application squeegee to smooth air bubbles once the decal is applied. An instructional video is also available on the company’s site to aid in a successful installation.
A Chicago, IL-based design studio recently ordered two six packs of the company’s Starburst decals in silver and gold metallic vinyl to liven up a 15 foot by eight-foot wide wall in the studio. The decals were placed randomly across the surface to create a dynamic and interesting focal point.
Applications and the Environment
The environment and advancements in technology are impacting the future direction of WALLTAT.com.
“Advancements in environmentally friendly—low or no volatile organic compound—vinyl and the removable adhesive qualities make wall decals a great alternative for interior wall art applications. Technology, and more specifically mobile photo technology, also has a positive impact,” shares Guide.
WALLTAT offers a free Apple iOS application, iDecal, which enables consumers to visualize products prior to purchase. iDecal allows Apple iPhone users to create wall decals from photos and share their design with friends on social media.
Commercial and Residential
WALLTAT’s Guide took a background in interior design and translated it into a successful business. The company leverages the power of the Web, DIY fascination, and media advancements to offer wall decals. The result is a customized feel in any environment, from living spaces to the office, residential and commercial, temporary and permanent. The second part of this series features Dali Decals and the vinyl wall art it offers.