Ensuring Success in Graphic Installation
For many wide-format printing projects, graphic installation is an essential, final step between concept and completion — and for good reason. Successful work isn’t just what comes out of the wide-format inkjet device. It also includes wrapping the 2D print onto a car, van, or other vehicle. It may include assembling and installing numerous panels to complete a visually compelling wall graphic or window display.
“If it’s a wide-format graphics project printed on pressure-sensitive media,” says Ray Weiss, VP of eLearning and certifications at PRINTING United Alliance, “it’s likely that installation of that graphic will be required, and that takes expertise.” His point is well taken, because while many of us possess the skill to install a basic decal, neatly installing one that’s 4x6', onto a textured, cylindrical concrete pillar, perfectly level and without bubbles or creases, is another task altogether. Professional skills are needed.
While some in the wide-format segment hold installation skills as a part of their core competencies, others do not, and seek professional graphics installers to finish the job. According to Weiss, the low cost of entry into graphics installation means a significant number of installers may not possess the skills needed to ensure successful completion of the job. “That’s where the value of certification through the Professional Decal Application Alliance (PDAA) comes in,” he says. “Profitability is essential in the wide-format segment,” he says, “and trusting that an inexperienced, unproven installer can do a complicated job correctly becomes a pretty big gamble.”
Weiss says PDAA features certified graphics installation companies that have demonstrated their skills in one or more of three focus areas: