By Olivia Cahoon
Digitally printed floor graphics are unique applications that require additional protection to exhibit anti-slip properties. Floor graphic applications are installed indoors and outdoors and generally require a base media combined with a laminated film. This application is used for marketing and branding efforts to communicate with consumers and promote special offers.
Above: Performance POP, based in Dallas, TX, created 1,500 12×18-inch pieces of digitally printed material using Catalina Walk-On Graphics for Deep Eddy Vodka.
Innovative Print and Display
Established in 1981, Performance POP started as a commercial printer in Dallas, TX, offering sheet-fed offset work with ten people in a 10,000 square foot facility. It now has over 190 employees and operates from a 125,000 square foot facility.
Its services include digital, screen, offset, and point of purchase (POP) displays. Performance POP offers metallic three-dimension (3D), lenticular, water-activated ink, temperature sensitive ink, scented ink, liquid coating, and red reveal for retail print services.
It started to offer floor graphics over ten years ago as a solution to limited advertising space in retail locations. “Originally, we used a FLEXcon system for material and printed either offset or with screen processes,” says Greg White, VP, sales, Performance POP. Today, HP Scitex 11000 industrial presses from HP, Inc. handle the printing, as well as HP Latex 3000 presses, run with a Caldera RIP.
Floor graphics customers are predominantly liquor and beer businesses who often promote seasonal specialized offers and products. Five percent of Performance POP’s total work is floor graphics.
Catalina Graphic Films’ Walk-On Graphics is the preferred media for digital print. It is composed of an overlaminating film, which is slip resistant and used to protect graphics, and a vinyl base film for printing. “This system gives us the flexibility to print on white or clear base substrates and use either a 0.006-mil embossed top laminate or a 0.004-mil smooth top laminate depending on the application,” says White.
For most applications, Performance POP uses an Esko Kongsberg XP Auto with i-cut production console for finishing. If print quantities are high, the company finds it more economical to purchase a die and die cut using its large format clamshell die cutters.
Despite experience with floor graphics, challenges still occur. According to White, producing floor graphics with sharp die lines can lead to problems with application and longevity. Performance POP suggests clients avoid sharp edges and consider using rounded edges or clear substrates.
It’s also important to consider durability and safety features. Overlaminates are used for anti-slip properties to avoid harm and promote friction. Some laminates have a raised texture to provide protection and handle heavy traffic loads.
In 2017, repeat customer Deep Eddy Vodka approached Performance POP for floor graphics to enhance the shopper marketing initiative for the 2017 football season. The message promoted a limited-time offer, with the graphics placed in off-premise retail sites to advertise Deep Eddy Lemon, Original, and Ruby Red flavored vodkas.
Catalina Walk-On Graphics with a smooth top laminate were used and printed on the HP Scitex 11000, ideal because of the quantity required—1,500 pieces—and its compatibility with Walk-On Graphics. The graphics were cut with round corners on a Kongsberg XP Auto.
From job submittal to installation, the Deep Eddy Vodka floor graphics project took two weeks to complete. Performance POP printed 1,500, 12×18-inch pieces for the entire project. Field representatives installed them in off-premise retail stores.
According to White, the client was happy with the execution and installation of the floor graphics job. “This was successful for the brand and no doubt will be used again in the future,” he offers.
Floor graphics are designed to communicate marketing messages in high-traffic areas. Substrates are selected for durability to withstand human interaction and environmental elements. When executed properly, this application provides a steady business from retailers that require new graphics for each promotional opportunity.
Dec2017, Digital Output