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 9 complex contours or deep recesses should also be produced on cast films. Spot graphics on vehicles tend to lend themselves to calendered films, especially when they are going to be on for a short period of time. Typically, we say less than two years at our shop. As long as the place- ment for the graphics will only be on the vertical surfaces or the sides of the vehi- cle, the graphics will not see as much UV exposure and will tend to last that two- year period. e reason why we increase the time that we allow calendered films to be on vehicles over wall graphics is due to the surface. e surface energy on vehi- cles is higher than on a painted wall, and the adhesive will hold better for a longer period than it will on wall graphics. is does not mean that we never use calendered films. In fact, we use them quite frequently. So how do we make the decision? Cost – is is where most people start. I know I used to. Over the years, I have had to train myself to stop looking at the dollar amount of a roll and focus more on the end goal, and this is how I start the process of picking a film. Time – is has to be the most import- ant factor in our film choice. Whether it is a wall graphic or vehicle graphic, if the project is going to be up for more than a year or two, we are going to use a cast film. Size – e larger the project, the more we are going to lean toward cast films. e reason behind this is I want the added security that we will run into fewer prob- lems over time. With the cost of labor these days, it's important to us that we never have to go back and fix an issue, especially when dealing with fleet graphics where vehicles may be located all around the U.S. We never want to have to locate a vehicle to replace a simple door logo in a year or two because the film is fading. Location – Where is my graphic going to be located? Is this an interior or exte- rior graphic? Are you in an area with lots of sun exposure and higher temps in the summer, like Arizona? ese are all fac- tors in which choosing the correct film can make or break a project. Typically for us, all exterior graphics are going to be cast because of the longevity we have seen with these films over the years. Whether it's a sign face we're mounting graphics to, a vehicle, or a storefront. Cast films will last longer outside than calendered films, especially in areas of extreme temperatures and UV exposure. Warranty – Depending on the cus- tomer and the project, I may offer a war- ranty; this makes the decision for me as typically, calendered or intermediate films carry little to no warranty. In contrast, cast films carry multiple-year warranties from the manufacturers. Planning a project from the expected outcome backward to the initial film selection is key to the success and over- all customer satisfaction on a given proj- ect. Understanding how the film is pro- duced and designed to be applied helps us start our projects down the right path. Focusing on the project at hand vs. the cost of our film can help eliminate the costly reprints and extra installation labor that we may face from choosing the incor- rect film for our application. GP

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