Window Graphics

White Inks Are Prominate In Todays Window Graphic Applications.

Window Graphics and White Ink makes all the difference, where window graphics were limited to outside wraps, or special adhesivies for inside mounting, white ink makes all the difference. No transparent substrates may be printed with a selective white background to achieve the desired window graphic effect.

Wide format graphics have evolved to become one with their environment. Building wraps, vehicle wraps, floor graphics, and wallcoverings are examples of signage meant to impress. However, as new mediums are popularized, specialty media is required for optimal results. By Cassandra Carnes.

To address the need for more coverage on unique applications, many media manufacturers have set out to provide solutions specifically designed for windows. The use of specialty films help to enhance the look of a full building or vehicle wrap by allowing coverage that takes into account safety and conventionality considerations—such as the ability to see in or out of a window.

Window graphics are typically printed on either perforated or clear films. Both are suitable options, and the choice between the two is dependent on a number of factors including the intended environment and length of use.

Latest Window Graphic Trends

Vehicle wraps commonly utilize window films, but new opportunities for these specialty substrates are emerging. Window films enable a more complete wrap. Also, in some cases, city ordinances prohibit or limit signage on the outside of buildings. Graphics installed on the exterior or interior of windows are a viable alternative. Functionality is also provided, as window graphics have the capability to either restrict or allow see through—enabling privacy or visibility at a client’s request.

The potential of window graphics in the point of purchase and retail store environment is worth exploring. The uncertain economy continues to pressure the retail market, and the desire to promote sales or specials to consumers is clear. “Retail window advertising is the vehicle for short-term or specialized promotions,” admits Matt Myers, business development manager – media, Neschen Americas.

Jaime Giannantonio, marketing manager, Ultraflex Systems, Inc., points to the trend of reverse window films, where the adhesive or static is applied to the face or print side of the film so that the graphics can have the same effect—advertisement on the outside and functionality on the inside. The film is applied to the inside of the window to avoid weather and elements so graphics and films are preserved for a longer period of time.

The availability of white ink brings significant opportunity to window graphic applications. “White on clear film looks terrific when applied to glass,” notes Jim Halloran, VP, Lintec of America, Inc. “If printed with a screen pattern, it provides the appearance of etched glass at a fraction of the cost,” he adds.

Adding white to a printed image on clear film enables the effect of visual dimension. Also, white flood coats offer opacity. “The availability of white ink gives clear window films revitalization; now design elements are unlimited,” suggests Robert Rundle, viscom marketing manager, Ritrama Inc.

Window Graphice Today

Whether on a boat, bus, or building, the ability to incorporate windows into a high-impact graphic is desirable for both safety and visual appeal. Depending on the factors detailed in this article, PSPs have options. In order to provide the appropriate suggestions, is important to consider the big picture, as well as the environment, desired see through, and print method of a window graphic.

The performance of clear, self-adhesive window film materials varies based on the quality of the face film and the adhesive used. 

Ink Compatibility

Media and ink capability is extremely substantial when deciding on a window film.

Traditionally, perforated window films were not printed with UV inks. When the ink cured, it led to clogging in the perforated holes of the media, and once the backer was peeled off to expose the adhesive, ink remained in the holes.

Ultraflex’s Giannantonio says UltraVision 6040 Window Perf UV is developed to prevent this, allowing PSPs to print onto perforated window film using UV inks.

In addition to specialty media options designed to address perforation clogging, PSPs also have the option to print with UV-curable inks by using a perforated vinyl and perforated liner so the ink does not clog the holes. LexJet’s Metnick states that most non-perforated vinyl is compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV-curable inks. LexJet offers perforated and non-perforated window films for aqueous inkjet printers as well.

Much of this material is quoted from Latest Window Graphic Trends in Digital Output Magazine.