April '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P R I L 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 6 7 of cast films. With the typical amount of square footage being installed, the cost savings of calendered meant an increase in profit and much less sticker shock to the customer. Another factor is location. Because these installs are located inside, why spend the extra money for a premium film with bet- ter exterior longevity when these graphics would never see exterior conditions? Most interior surfaces are f lat, and there's no need to stretch, so interior wall graphics check all the boxes of calendered, so that's what we would use. On some occasions, we would notice lifting, or the edges of the graphics would release a bit from the wall over time. Most of the time, we blame the paint, adhesive, prep of the wall, and installation. But it's important not to overlook our film selection. As many of these can cause problems, I wanted to dig deeper and find each pos- sible cause of a failed graphic so that we could narrow down our film selection for wall graphics. We ran tests on our own walls inside our shop using calendered film, cast gloss finishes, matte finishes, latex ink, and solvent prints. We tested everything. What we found is that even though walls look smooth, there is always a bit of texture. at texture can differ depending on the way it was painted. Sprayed walls seem to be smoother and have a tighter texture than the ones that were rolled. e walls that were rolled, depending on the type of roller, would leave differ- ent types of texture. Installation of both cast and calendered films went down the same. We found that while printing on our latex printers, the lineup between panels on calendered films was more dif- ficult than it was on cast. We found that lineup between the panels when printed with our solvent printers had less of an issue with registration on calendered and cast films. We suspect that's due to the increased heat used to cure latex ink in the printing process.

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