July '22

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2 8 G R A P H I C S P R O J U L Y 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M O ver the years, we've developed our go-to arsenal of vinyl films and laminates for the different types of signs and vehicle projects we do. We stock an intermediate vinyl, a cast wrap vinyl, a perforated view-thru film, transit media for our fleet bus account, and specialty films like a printable silver metallic and printable reflective films for both flat surfaces and wraps. We pair all the vinyl films with a coordinating protec- tive overlaminate. Keeping these set films on hand creates consistency in our jobs. e white point on the media is the same, and we're more likely to match the colors on reorders. It's also easier to have a limited number of films because it eliminates confusion during printing and helps avoid mistakes. With the material shortages we've been experiencing over the last year while incredibly busy, we've had to be a bit more flex- ible in our film choices. So how do you do this while still meet- ing the specific needs of an application? BROWNING We switched to 3 M 8548 overlaminate years ago because it's a non-PVC laminate that doesn't brown as quickly as 8518 gloss laminate. In our area of California, browning on horizontal surfaces is a real problem, and we couldn't compromise on our materials. When the inventory of 8548 was exhausted from our usual sup- pliers, we had to find an alternative laminate. After much research and crucial help from our sales reps, we found two additional sources for cast non- PVC overlaminate. Both are from reputable manufacturers, so we felt confident that we still provided our customers with a quality product. e first laminate we brought in was Avery Dennison's DOL 6460, followed by Arlon's 3310 laminate, giving us three sources for non-PVC laminates for our wraps. FEATURES Carrying our consistency over as much as possible, even though we're bringing in more manufacturers and media options, is an important consideration. We look for material characteristics that will ensure that we never compromise on the quality of both the materials used and the work- manship of the installation. With the wrap laminate, we specifically looked for non- PVC options. We look at the air-release, flexibility, and adhesive features for our cast wrap media to choose a film that will meet our needs. Media manufacturers provide plenty of product bulletins that can help you narrow down your options. Consider the charac- teristics of the film, its recommended uses, and the warranty included for the film. Sometimes small changes like choos- ing a luster film instead of a gloss finish will allow you to bring in an otherwise Switching It Up EXPLORING FILM OPTIONS TO MEET YOUR NEEDS B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G Overstocking materials when they come available has been crucial to staying on top of our inventory. (All images courtesy Charity Jackson)

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