Sign & Digital Graphics

April '20

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S D G M A G . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 2 0 • 1 9 tioned on the graphics to act as a hinge. If we're using a top hinge, we lift the graphic after the hinge is in place and gently pull the backing paper away from the graphics. After a few inches of the backing paper is pulled back, we can start applying the graphics with a squeegee using a left to right method, overlapping our strokes. A side hinge method works similar to the top hinge as you fold back the graphic, grasp the backing paper, peel back a section and then squeegee the graphics in place. If we're using a center hinge the graphic will have the tape in the top two corners from when we initially posi- tioned the graphic. We then apply a line of tape down the center of the graphic vertically. If it's a small graphic, apply the tape top to bottom with overlap that acts as the hinge. If it's a large graphic, you can use a section of tape at the top and a section at the bottom that still acts as a hinge, without wasting a bunch of tape on the center of the graphic. On smaller graphics that use the top hinge, you won't need alignment marks. On side hinged and center hinged graph- ics it's recommended to add alignment marks with either small pieces of tape or a wax pencil. Before the positioned graphic is moved, add either the tape or pencil mark along the edge of the application tape in a few areas to be sure you're staying straight with your graphic as you're applying. If your material requires a wet appli- cation you'll use the alignment and hinge tips above. Follow this by saturating both the window and graphic before squee- geeing. PANELS If you're applying large sections of graphics to a window in multiple pan- els, you'll want to overlap the graphics to avoid any separation and light leak- ing through. You should always apply the bottom graphic first, then the top graphic, overlapping the bottom sec- tion. This keeps any dirt or water from collecting along the edge of the seam. While this instruction sheet we put together is geared toward vehicles, the same hinge and install methods work for windows. For perforated window film, the graphics should be butted up, aligning the holes and image, but not overlapped. 3M Edge Seal Tape 8914 can also be applied over the seam. It is an optically clear film, so it will not impact clear vis- ibility through the perforated graphics. TOOLS When packing a window graphics kit, I usually run a list through my head to be sure I have everything I'll need— clean it, tape it, measure it, cut it, apply it. This helps me remember to grab window cleaner and Isopropyl alcohol (pre-mixed with water), lint-free towels, masking tape, a tape measure, scissors or Snitty knife, and hard edged and felt edged squeegees. This gives me the basics. You'll also need finishing tools like an air-release tool, a snap blade knife, and water or application fluid if you're doing a wet application. Be sure you also have a wax pencil for marking edges, and edge seal tape for perforated films. SDG

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