Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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25 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Businesses can install them to advertise a sale and remove them without fear of damaging walls when the sale is over. Or if you're using them to decorate a home; clients can decide if they'd like a different design from time to time without damaging walls as well. Getting into this market requires an investment in some new equipment, some education in wall prep, material choices and application techniques as well as asking the right questions. Getting Started Joe Walton, senior application engineer for 3M Commercial Solutions Division, St. Paul, Minnesota, says that producing wall graphics and other wraps could require purchasing some new equipment such as a printer, laminator and finishing tools. "There are many options on the market, so it's important to figure out which option makes the most sense for your shop based on the kinds of projects you will be working on," Walton says. "For those who want to learn more about the industry and what's available, trade shows are a great resource. These expos are intended for graphics manufacturers, installers and sign makers—both small and large. Walking the floor at trade shows is a great way to learn about the capabilities of new print- ers, profiles, laminators, finishing, tools, etc., for any budget." What skills do you need to master? Walton says that technical colleges offer great desktop pub- lishing and digital design classes. "Right now, there is great demand in the industry for talented designers and installers. Anyone starting in this field should consider taking digital design courses, as well as installation classes. 3M offers instal- lation training – both in class and hands on. We provide a three- day advanced training course where someone with no previous experience can come to one of our five authorized facilities across the U.S. for expert hands-on instruction. To be successful in this industry, it's all about knowledge." Ryan Allen, regional technical specialist at Avery Dennison, Mentor, Ohio, explains that alignment is everything when you're installing film on walls. "The first panel needs to be perfect and straight for all other panels to align to it. Included in the planning process are proficient math skills, calculating square footage correctly will ensure full coverage of the graphic or design. Your panels have to line up with a good seam usually (Left) Joe Walton of 3M says choosing the correct film depends on how long the customer wants the film to stay on. (Image courtesy of 3M) For those who want to learn more about the industry and what's available, trade shows are a great resource.

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