By Olivia Cahoon
While wall graphics, banners, and stands effectively attract attention to businesses, floor graphics provide a creative take on a new surface and the opportunity for print service providers (PSPs) to add new space to their marketing toolkit.
Floor graphics are used to promote events, decorate, provide information, and direct traffic. They are used both indoors and out for varying lengths of time. Floor graphic media often features an adhesive that makes for an easy installation and removal. Additionally, media and overlaminates often provide a surface that offers anti slip and in some cases, scratch and scuff resistance.
Maryland Signs and Graphics
Headquartered in Towson, MD, Maryland Signs and Graphics is a growing print shop that specializes in large format graphics. Established in 2010 with three employees, the shop started out offering a range of basic services like banners, point of purchase, lawn signs, and vehicle graphics. At the onset, its goal was to provide affordable commercial solutions without the usual overhead of a large manufacturing staff or installation fleet.
Today the PSP still operates with the same goal, but has grown to offer more applications, including wall and floor graphics that will adhere to nearly any surface. The company also creates architectural signs like monuments, wayfinding, lobby logos, ADA signs, installation, and channel letters with an expanded staff of five employees.
Today, the shop operates out of the same 2,000 square foot facility that it opened with. Although their work area hasn’t grown, they now dedicate the entire space to production without a showroom or store front. The shop also utilizes offsite locations for vehicle wraps and manufacturing. It frequently serves surrounding areas including DE, Southern PA, and Northern VA.
The PSP serves a number of clients like Alliance, Carbiz, the Children’s Guild, Little Caesar’s, and MoneyGram for channel letters, window graphics, illuminated signage, monument signage, and vehicle and floor wraps.
Floor graphics are a popular application for Maryland Signs and Graphics. They create the applications for a number of clients and have utilized a range of media for this work, depending on the application at hand “We have used the gamut of 3M, Avery, AlumiGraphics, Asphalt Art, Arlon, and ORAFOL,” says David Kurniawan, co-founder, Maryland Signs and Graphics.
They like the AlumiGraphics Grip for floor graphics product because it doesn’t require a lamination for anti-slip reduction. “A temporary application, easy application, and even easier removal makes this media—although a little bit on the pricey side at around five dollars per square foot—an easy media of choice,” says Kurniawan.
The AlumiGraphics Grip has an aluminum foil base that holds and conforms to surface textures. Its high durability makes it ideal for floor graphics and can withstand pedestrian traffic and rolling vehicles. The media has a high friction surface that makes it safe for wet and dry conditions that meet the anti-slip stability of Occupational Health and Safety Standards. It also has a reflective surface that helps it stand out at night.
The company also relies on Arlon DPF 8000. The Arlon DPF 8000 is a 3.5 mil calendered white opaque vinyl with high tack adhesive. It can be used for hard to sticky surfaces like cement and brick with vivid images, bringing graphics to nearly any floor surface. The media can also be cut easily using scissors, die-cutters, or plotter cutters.
To print its floor graphics, Maryland Signs and Graphics typically looks to its HP Latex DesignJet 360 Printer. Featuring six ink cartridges and a resolution of up to 1,200×1,200 dpi, the printer handles media up to 64 inches. Prints are completely cured and dried inside the printer, allowing for immediate finishing.
The DesignJet 360 is the shop’s third latex printer. “We have been a firm believer in latex print technology from HP with its versatility of indoor and outdoor applications, so maybe we are a little bit bias but it has worked for us so why switch?” says Kurniawan.
Baltimore Public Library
In July of 2016, the Baltimore County Public Library contacted Maryland Signs for temporary floor graphics. The application was to be placed on sidewalks and needed to be easy to remove, attractive, and slip resistant. The graphic included several large colored footsteps and texts to create a path.
To meet these requirements, the company selected AlumiGraphics Grip media, due to its ability to install and remove easily, and the fact that no lamination was required for anti-slip properties, according to Kurniawan.
The shop’s HP Latex DesignJet 360 printer was used to produce the graphics.
The total combined square footage of the job was nearly 650 square feet and took three days to finish. Kurniawan shares that overall it was an easy installation. “The client was impressed and came back for similar jobs using this media,” shares Kurniawan.
University of Maryland
Maryland Signs and Graphics completed a similar job for the University of Maryland in Baltimore. The University requested temporary signage created to announce the 2016 graduating class. The floor graphics would be applied as stair risers and featured two images of graduates accompanied by text.
For this job, the PSPs used the 3M Scotchcal Graphic Film With Comply Adhesive Series IJ35C gloss. The 3M IJ35C is vinyl for solvent, UV, and latex inks. It features pressure-sensitive adhesive with Comply Adhesive for fast, easy bubble-free installations. Kurniawan says the media lasts one and a half months and peels off clean. It has a film width of five inches and a thickness of 3.2 mil.
The graphics were printed on the HP Latex DesignJet 360. It took five days to complete and totaled 960 square feet. Kurniawan describes the finishing process and install as easy, effortless, and with a good grip. “Our client was impressed. We have done this for them for three academic years in a row,” says Kurniawan.
Floor graphics are hard to miss, they demand attention and are ideal for a variety of promotional and event graphics. PSPs that offer the application are able to provide an easy choice for a variety of businesses and organizations looking to promote a graphic. DO
Dec2016, Digital Output