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At the ‘Floor-Front’

(May 2014) posted on Tue May 13, 2014

Floor graphics are continuing to evolve.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Paul R. Greenland

“Outdoor marketing has become more prominent in our market, especially on sidewalks or concrete,” says LexJet’s Mask. “One product we have seen great success with is Continental Grafix’s panoRama Walk & Wall product, as sidewalks are an approved surface, along with carpet and other interior floor surfaces. This product is a one-step solution, with no need for lamination.”

There is now a wide array of digitally printable products that, in addition to being completely customizable, are also durable enough to hold up to the elements, says Ultraflex’s Loede. “This opens the door for print service providers to enter markets with applications that were traditionally untapped, such as stadium and event flooring and parking-deck graphics.”

“I would say that outdoor marketing is ever, ever growing,” says Mactac’s Yard, who notes that the company has experienced increased sales for its own outdoor product, Mactac StreetRap. The 3.4-mil matte film is engineered with an aggressive solvent acrylic adhesive that provides adhesion to unsealed pedestrian concrete or asphalt surfaces, and to select smooth or slightly rough wall surfaces.

One emerging option for floor graphics: submergible graphics – comprising materials that can be printed and then submerged in pools, ponds, fountains, fish tanks, and other water features and aquascapes. The recently introduced AquaFlex product from Ultraflex is one example. Made from recyclable pool liners, it’s compatible with solvent, latex, and UV inks (UV liquid lamination recommended) and once printed, can be positioned easily either by hand or with a pool brush; the product is engineered to lay flat and stay in position without the use of tape or adhesive.

“It’s something that holds people’s attention,” says Bunio with xpedx. “Traditionally, if you wanted a printed pool liner with your college logo, you had to have the pool liner printed. Or, you had to put in a pressure-sensitive waterproof vinyl, and you had to drain the pool and dry it to make sure the seal is perfect. With this, it’s a no-brainer. It’s denser than water, it floats to the bottom.”

A messaging wonderland
With all of the modern materials that are available, floor graphics can now be installed in an array of environments and conditions, and for short- and long-term durations. A print service provider no longer has to limit itself – or its clients – when it comes to marketing from below. The right combination of materials, tools, workmanship, and imagination can turn any floor into a messaging wonderland.