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Float On

(August 2014) posted on Wed Jul 23, 2014

A standard framed print receives a ‘floating’ refresh.

click an image below to view slideshow

Step 2 Up Close and Personal
Our design team sent the file to our print department where it was processed using our Onyx Thrive RIP, and then it was sent to our HP Designjet L65500 latex printer. Though many of the things we produce are grand format and meant to be viewed from a distance, the L65500 gives us a high-resolution print that looks great up close, and its latex inks have the added advantage of not needing to out-gas before we can work with the print.

Step 3 The Protection It Needs
Besides being able to wrap the edges, another advantage of using a decal instead of direct printing onto the board is the added protection and choice of finish the laminating process gives us. In most cases, we choose a matte or luster finish for the prints so they don’t reflect hot-spots of lighting in the room when installed; for this print we chose a luster finish. The laminate also allows them to be easily wiped clean if needed, and we can even install another image over the existing print if the client wants to later.

Step 4 It’s in the Details
After laminating, the decal was trimmed out and a piece of Gatorfoam was cut to size using our panel saw. Before the decal could be installed, the board was taken to an area set aside for dust-free work and cleaned with a tack-cloth. It’s important to have a completely smooth surface to install on because any little speck of dust will show up as a bump in the decal; when the image is hung, these can be very obvious if the light hits them just right.

Step 5 Finding Your Center
The decal was centered on the board and taped down the center to hold it in place. For larger prints, we use a “hinge” method to install the decal, removing the liner and installing half the decal at a time to allow the tape to hold it in place. After the first side was installed, it held the image in place while the tape was removed and the second side was adhered to the board. Since the image will be viewed up close, we used felt squeegees from Arlon that don’t leave the tiny hairline scratches you can sometimes get with harder-edged plastic squeegees used on larger projects.