By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
The first article in our two-part series on print service providers (PSPs) offering digitally printed wallcoverings focused on Art Warehouse in Chattanooga, TN. Ten percent of its business is based on wallcoverings and its owner believes that number will grow, especially in the commercial space, due to demand for frequent change outs.
Today’s wallcovering media options enable cost-effective updates to signage thanks to adhesion characteristics that allow for repositionability and ease of removal. In addition, durability is at the forefront of every wallcovering media manufacturer’s mind as these types of graphics are often found in high-traffic areas where human touch is common.
A Growing Percent
Spotlight Graphics, Inc., of Southwick, MA, opened in July 2013. Diane DeMarco, owner, Spotlight Graphics, celebrates close to 20 years of working in large format printing. The company is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise as designated by the Commonwealth of MA Supplier Diversity Office.
A staff of three helps offer a full array of printing services from trade show display products to vehicle lettering with the ability to print on foamcore, Gatorboard, Sintra, styrene, corrugated plastic, aluminum, paper, dry erase vinyl, and static cling.
Operating out of a 2,000 square foot facility, its customers are located throughout New England and have reached as far as FL and parts of the West Coast. Areas served include local malls, hospitals, schools, insurance companies, advertising agencies, distribution centers, area businesses, and non-profit entities.
Custom printed wallcoverings are a small percentage of the business, but DeMarco sees this growing as buyers become more educated about the material. Spotlight Graphics works directly with businesses instead of consumers requesting wallcoverings “because their messages/sales campaigns change more frequently and they are more open to using this type of product,” she admits.
For its wallcovering requests, the PSP relies on DreamScape material “because it holds up so well and it’s a pleasure to work with,” explains DeMarco. Many of its jobs are done for businesses looking to use wall graphics for trade show displays. For these, it exclusively works with DreamScape’s Ravello Wall Wrap. Since it is a commercial strength product and features a durable self-adhesive backing, DeMarco says it is ideal for this type of application.
DreamScape Ravello Wall Wrap is a thick 15-mil vinyl, weighing 15 ounces with a textured surface. It features superior durability and will not stretch during installation. Ravello has an improved aggressive adhesive that is flame resistant, repositionable, reusable, and is recommended for short-term projects.
Typical wallcovering jobs are run on the company’s Hewlett-Packard (HP) Scitex FB500 Industrial Printer using UV inks. “Ravello Wall Wrap holds the color extremely well and looks great,” adds DeMarco.
When it comes to installation, DeMarco and her team apply the final print for customers. They are confident the graphic will stay place when made from DreamScape material. “We don’t want the seams pulling away or any dog earing to happen. Even though the adhesive backing is quite aggressive, during installation you’re still able to lift the material and reposition if necessary,” explains DeMarco.
The PSP recently did work for a returning customer, A.W. Hastings & Co., who was searching for a material that would look great, adhere well, was cost effective, and be durable enough to transport to numerous trade shows. DeMarco reached out to DreamScape to learn about options that would achieve her customer’s goals. After receiving samples and testing the material, it was agreed that Ravello Wall Wrap was the best choice for the job.
Graphics were printed on the company’s HP Scitex FB500 with UV ink. The final product was exactly what A.W. Hastings requested and they were thrilled with the result. From job submittal to install, the entire process occurred in two weeks.
DeMarco is impressed with the direction digitally printed wallcoverings has taken in recent years, enabling Spotlight Graphics to offer customers like A.W. Hastings reliable products that look good and help them standout. “Digitally printed wallcoverings have improved over the years. They’re more durable, longer lasting, and the installation process is much easier,” she concludes.
Durability plays a large role in digitally printed wallcoverings, even if the application in question will only be in place a short time. This is primarily a concern because the type of environment a wallcovering is placed in presents heightened opportunity for human touch.
Ease of install and removal is also essential, as many times the end user is the one putting a wallcovering up and taking it down. When it comes to removal, the graphic should leave no adhesive residue or ruin the existing wall. Especially because in many scenarios, once one wallcovering is taken down, another is put right back up.
PSPs like Spotlight Graphics and Art Warehouse look for these features and more when it comes to determining the best media for wallcoverings used in retail and commercial spaces to home décor.
Mar2016, Digital Output DOWA1603