Floor Graphics: More Than Marketing
In a recent “shop talk” held by Roland DGA via Facebook Live, Roland’s Project Manager – Textiles and Consumables, Lily Hunter, provided an informative and thought-provoking overview of considerations for floor graphics.
Stating the increased need for these types of graphic products amid the COVID-19 crisis, hunter highlighted how they are increasingly – and by necessity – being used to guide customers through the changing requirements of retail shopping. Once elements designed solely to build brand awareness and market products, floor graphics have gained sudden importance.
Any company looking to seize opportunity in this area, Hunter advised, must pay attention to several essential considerations. Gain a full understanding of what will be expected of the floor graphic being specified. This is best achieved through direct communication with the customer:
- How long is it expected to last? Short term versus long term placement can bring different requirements, particularly among media and laminate choices.
- Where will it be applied? Outdoor placements require additional considerations, especially if the graphics will be exposed to moisture, including rain and snow.
- What will it be applied to? There are many floor surfaces: tile, terrazzo, smooth or rough concrete, asphalt. All can be applied to with the correct materials and adhesives.
- What amount of foot traffic? How much scratch resistance is required? Are you also protecting the print for carts and forklifts?
- How will it be cleaned? Will the floor be regularly buffed? Mopped with cleaning chemicals? Swabbed with disinfectants? Certain solutions can degrade both materials and adhesives.
- What is the shape? Floor graphics cut with jagged corners or points are much more likely to fail that those designed with rounded corners, as are those that are installed over floor seams or cracks. Help your customer specify graphics that will hold up.
One specific requirement for all floor graphics is UL410, Underwriters Laboratories friction test for slip resistance. Overlaminates designed specifically for use with floor graphics have been developed with anti-slip in mind, with a particular focus on UL410 compliance. Work directly with your materials supplier to locate the right materials for floor graphic production. It’s a safety issue, but it can also be a liability issue. Further, your supplier can help pair you with adhesives and levels of durability that meet the needs defined by the questions above.
Industry education is essential for anyone operating in the printing industry. Roland DGA’s series of shop talks provided free, pertinent information. Learn more at www.rolanddga.com.