Wall Applications

Understanding Wall Types: A Key to Successful Vinyl Applications

When it comes to vinyl applications, one size does not fit all. The type of wall on which you apply vinyl significantly impacts the adhesion, appearance, and longevity of the final product. With a variety of wall types out there, it’s essential to understand their unique characteristics and how they affect vinyl applications. 

1. Painted Drywall 

Painted drywall is perhaps the most common interior wall type. It provides a relatively smooth and non-porous surface, making it a good candidate for vinyl applications. However, the type of paint used on the drywall can affect adhesion. It’s also essential to ensure the paint is fully cured before applying vinyl, as outgassing from uncured paint can lead to bubbling or peeling. If you need a graphic film with repositionable adhesive, DPF 4600GLX is a great product to consider. IF repositionability is not a priority and you need a bit more tack, go with DPF 8200X.

2. Brick and Concrete 

Brick and concrete walls offer a unique aesthetic, but their rough and porous surface can pose challenges for vinyl application. These wall types require high-tack adhesives, a heat gun, and a roller applicator to ensure the vinyl conforms to the texture and achieves proper adhesion. It’s also critical to clean these surfaces thoroughly to remove any dust or debris that could interfere with adhesion. 

DPF 8000 and DPF 8200 are viable options to adhere to textured walls. However, for maximum texture conformability, a cast film like DPF 6700, will be necessary. We recommend you pair any of those graphic films with Series 3310 PVC-Free for maximum protection and texture conformability.

3. Plastered Walls 

Plastered walls can be smooth or textured, which affects the choice of vinyl and application method. Smooth plastered walls behave similarly to painted drywall, while textured plaster may require a more aggressive adhesive like DPF 8200. Additionally, moisture content in the plaster can affect vinyl adhesion, so it’s important to ensure the wall is dry before application. 

4. Wood Paneling 

Wood paneling can offer a rustic aesthetic, but the grooves and grains can make vinyl application challenging. Vinyl with a high degree of flexibility, such as DPF 6700, and even an aggressive adhesive, like DPF 8000, can help ensure a successful application on wood paneling. As with other types of walls, the paneling should be clean and dry before application. Any clear coating on the wood must be taken into account. 

5. Wallpaper

Applying vinyl to wallpapered walls can be tricky. The success of the application depends largely on the quality and condition of the wallpaper, the texture, and whether the wallpaper is coated or uncoated. Testing adhesion on a small, unnoticeable area is recommended before proceeding with a full application. Consider using a graphic film with a removable adhesive like DPF 4400 or DPF 4200 to ensure easy removal without damaging the existing wallpaper.

Conclusion 

Understanding the type of wall you’re working with is crucial for a successful vinyl application. Whether it’s painted drywall, brick, concrete, plaster, wood paneling, or wallpaper, each wall type presents unique challenges and considerations. 

In addition to the texture and type of wall, the paint is a significant variable for the success of your project. We’ve tested several paints and primers for walls which you can see here:  

By understanding these factors, you can choose the right vinyl product and application method to achieve the best results. Always remember to clean the surface, ensure it’s dry, and test the adhesion before full application.

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Marketing

Arlon Graphics Launches Exciting Social Media Campaign: Arlon’s Celebrity Advantage

Arlon Graphics, a leading global manufacturer of high-quality graphic materials, is thrilled to announce the launch of its new social media campaign, inviting existing customers to share, and new customers to discover why Arlon is their partner of choice for a chance to win a celebrity shout-out for their business. The campaign aims to engage customers and showcase the products and services that Arlon Graphics offers to businesses in the graphics industry.

Arlon Graphics believes in the power of great partnerships. With unparalleled customer service, a vast library of educational resources, and easy-to-use product solutions, the company has established itself as the gold standard in the industry. The new social media campaign, “Arlon’s Celebrity Advantage,” encourages customers to share their thoughts on why Arlon Graphics is their preferred partner.

Participants can enter the campaign by posting a video on their social media platforms, Facebook or Instagram, explaining why Arlon Graphics is their partner of choice. Whether it’s their top-notch products, exceptional customer support, educational or technical resources, or their unbeatable value, Arlon wants to know why its customers choose them. Participants must use the hashtag #MyPartnerOfChoice to ensure visibility and tag @ArlonGraphics_NA in their posts. The competition will run from August 1st, 2023 to August 31st, 2023.

But that’s not all! Arlon Graphics has lined up incredible prizes for all participants. The best video submission will win a personalized video from a celebrity of their choice, who will promote the winner’s business. Additionally, Arlon will hold weekly giveaways on their social media channels, where participants who create and post a video will win exclusive Arlon merchandise, including t-shirts, water bottles, and their signature, orange, tool belt.

There is also something for those who are new to Arlon products. Participants can request an Arlon Introductory Sample Pack of Arlon products at info.arlon.com/ArlonAdvantage, featuring samples of the company’s best-selling products. By signing up to receive the introductory sample pack, participants will automatically be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of three free rolls of print media of their choice.

Join Arlon Graphics in the “Arlon Celebrity Advantage” campaign and let them know why Arlon is your preferred partner. Visit info.arlon.com/ArlonAdvantage to learn more.

About Arlon Graphics: Arlon Graphics, LLC is a graphic materials manufacturing company in the business of creating innovative products for visual expression. Founded in 1958, Arlon Graphics manufactures and markets high-quality pressure-sensitive materials for the fleet, architectural, digital imaging, and signage markets. Through more than 180 distribution partners across the globe, a growing number of strategically-positioned sales offices and warehouses, and customer-centric operation, Arlon is recognized as a global leader in graphic materials. Join the Arlon Graphics conversation and follow us at @arlongraphics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more information, visit arlon.com.

For further information on all Arlon products, visit arlon.com:

U.S.A. Office: 200 Boysenberry Lane, Placentia, CA 92870

Tel: (800) 232-7161, (714) 985-6300; Fax: (714) 985-6305

EMEA Office: Dr. Lelykade 22B, 2583CM Den Haag, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0) 70-354-4311; Fax: +31 (0) 70-355-7721

China Office: No. 1989 Xinchang Road, Weifang, Shandong, 262400, China

Tel: +86 0536 6226568

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Corporate

Arlon Graphics, a global leader in the Graphic Materials Industry, Announces New Executive Roles

Placentia, CA – July 12, 2023

Arlon Graphics, a leading global manufacturer of graphic materials, announces the promotion of three key executives to new positions within the company’s leadership. These newly created roles reflect the company’s approach to promotions from within, its unwavering dedication to continued rapid growth, expanded market presence worldwide, and its valued customer relationships.

The following individuals have been appointed to these new executive positions effective immediately, reporting to Andrew McNeill (President and CEO):

1. Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) – Chad Russell: Known as an industry expert with an impressive track record for delivering results, Chad has been instrumental in the company’s sustained growth. As CCO, Chad will spearhead the strategic direction of the company’s commercial operations, overseeing sales, marketing, product, sustainability, new market opportunities, and ensuring Best Products and Best Service remain at the forefront of the company’s mission.

2. Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO) & SVP Transformation – Morgan Ebin: Having consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of manufacturing processes, Morgan has played a crucial role in optimizing the company’s production capabilities while achieving outstanding quality standards. As CMO, Morgan will be responsible for leading the global manufacturing operations, streamlining processes, implementing innovative technologies and transformative processes, as well as driving operational efficiency across the organization. Morgan also oversees the Finance, Information Technology and Security functions, ensuring strategic transformation in alignment with our company goals and core values.

3. Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Lynne Kemp: With a proven track record of business operational excellence and strategic vision, Lynne has been a driving force behind the company’s expansion and scalability. As COO, Lynne will oversee the evolution of global infrastructure, people and legal functions including risk and compliance globally, Arlon China oversight, strategic planning, corporate communications and organizational processes. Lynne’s leadership as COO will ensure seamless coordination between various departments, enabling the company to efficiently meet customer demands and capitalize on emerging market trends.

Commenting on these promotions, Arlon Graphics’ President and CEO, Andrew McNeill, stated,“These appointments reflect our commitment to empower our top talent to lead the business to deliver the highest level of performance for our shareholders, employees, industry partners and our customers. I have every confidence that Chad, Morgan and Lynne will excel in their new roles and drive our company’s continued contribution to the global graphic materials industry.”

About Arlon Graphics:
Arlon Graphics, LLC is a graphic materials manufacturing company in the business of creating innovative products for visual expression. Founded in 1958, Arlon Graphics manufactures and markets high-quality pressure-sensitive materials for the fleet, architectural, digital imaging, and signage markets. Through more than 180 distribution partners across the globe, a growing number of strategically-positioned sales offices and warehouses, and customer-centric operation, Arlon is recognized as a global leader in graphic materials. Join the Arlon Graphics conversation and follow us at @arlongraphics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more information, visit arlon.com.

For further information on all Arlon products, visit arlon.com:

U.S.A. Office: 200 Boysenberry Lane, Placentia, CA 92870
Tel: (800) 232-7161, (714) 985-6300; Fax: (714) 985-6305

EMEA Office: Dr. Lelykade 22B, 2583CM Den Haag, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 70-354-4311; Fax: +31 (0) 70-355-7721

China Office: No. 1989 Xinchang Road, Weifang, Shandong, 262400, China
Tel: +86 0536 6226568

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Uncategorized

Sign and graphic shops can earn up to $600 when buying a selection of the best Arlon films

Placentia, CA – January 15, 2023

The last three years were very unusual for the vinyl industry. While COVID-19 increased the demand for sign and graphics shops, the same shops dealt with vinyl film and labor shortages, bringing business owners and installers many challenges related to inventory management, pricing services, and meeting demand.

No different from any other manufacturer, Arlon was also facing labor and raw materials shortages in addition to dealing with long lead times and new local governmental protocols. During this challenging period, Arlon stood out as the company closest to its customers and partners. With several virtual sessions teaching from installation pro tips to business management, a customer service team always available, and a leadership team focused on producing more quality materials, Arlon has strengthened its position as a top global leader in graphic films and number one in customer service.

To celebrate its customers and partners and being back to “normal days”, Arlon is proud to announce its first promotion in three years. Companies that purchase selected Arlon products from February 6 to March 18, 2023, can redeem up to $600 on cashback paid with PayPal or eGift card.

Arlon will pay $60 per its best cast products, SLX and SLX+, $30 for the selected intermediate and specialty films, and $15 for the favorite promotional grade film DPF 510. The promotion also includes a variety of cast and calendered overlaminates to cover any installation needs.

“We want customers to experience the best selection of products to help any shop make more profit, have less inventory, and deal with fewer mistakes. We are confident that, if not an Arlon fan yet, any installer will become one by trying out these products”, says Chad Russell, Arlon President for the Americas and the person who conceptualized this rebate.

Participating is as simple as using Arlon products – customers only need to visit info.arlon.com/ArlonSolutionsRebate and submit their information with proof of purchase.

Salespeople from participating Arlon distributors can also get rewards for selling the same products. When claiming their rebates, customers can refer their favorite salesperson for a chance to win cash from Arlon. The more customers claim prizes, the bigger the chances of winning and the payout for the salesperson.

To view more information about the Arlon Solutions Rebate or redeem the cashback, visit info.arlon.com/ArlonSolutionsRebate. For more information on Arlon’s complete product line, visit arlon.com. 

About Arlon Graphics:
Arlon Graphics, LLC is a vinyl manufacturing company in the business of creating innovative material for visual expression. Founded in 1958, Arlon Graphics manufactures and markets high-quality pressure-sensitive materials for the fleet, architectural, digital imaging, and signage markets. Through more than 180 distribution partners across the globe, a growing number of strategically-positioned sales offices and warehouses, and customer-centric operations, Arlon is recognized as a global leader in graphic films. Join the Arlon Graphics conversation and follow us at @arlongraphics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For more information, visit arlon.com.

For further information on all Arlon products, visit arlon.com:


USA Office:
200 Boysenberry Lane, Placentia, CA 92870
Tel: (800) 232-7161, (714) 985-6300; Fax: (714) 985-6305

EMEA Office: Dr. Lelykade 22B, 2583CM Den Haag, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 70-354-4311; Fax: +31 (0) 70-355-7721

China Office: No. 1989 Xinchang Road, Weifang, Shandong, 262400, China
Tel: +86 0536 6226568

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Vehicle Applications

What is Arlon Graphics FLITE Technology?

What is Arlon Graphics Flite Technology

Arlon Graphics, most recent innovation FLITE Technology represents great improvements to the hands-on workflow of installers and printers alike. With new technologies hitting the vinyl market at a rapid pace, how can you ensure you’re picking the right product for your business? how exactly can FLITE Technology® help your business? In this post, Ritchie Daize Sr. Arlon’s Technical Solutions Manager will answer all of those questions and more!

Twenty-odd years ago, air-egress technology arrived, and the vinyl graphic industry made a giant leap forward. For example, application speed and cost improved significantly. Similarly, less skilled applicators could complete larger jobs while maintaining high levels of quality. In April 2017 Arlon Graphics introduced SLX® Cast Wrap featuring FLITE Technology and everything changed.

  • Arlon Graphics Reflective Vinyl IllumiNITE Wrap on a Porsche
  • Arlon Graphics SLX Cast Wrap Vinyl on a Mini
  • Arlon Graphics vinyl wrap SLX+ on a Porsche
  • Arlon Fusion vinyl wrap wrapped on a van

Why FLITE Technology?

FLITE Technology improves the productivity of applicators beyond the benefits of air-egress. This innovation allows vinyl applicators to complete full wraps in the most challenging application environments single-handedly.

Easy Liner Release

The first feature applicators will notice is how easy the liner is to peel away from the media. Competing products require a minimum of two installers to remove the release liner, making registration between panels difficult. The effortless liner release of FLITE Technology eliminates distortion. For instance, the liner stops uncontrolled pre-stretching during the first step of the install process.

Unmatched Repositionability

The second standout feature of FLITE Technology is the repositionability. In other words these films float over the vehicle’s surface until firm pressure is applied. Entire panels can be single-handedly realigned, even after the liner has been removed. What if the installer makes a mistake? If a wrinkle or crease is created during the application process, the applicator can snap that section up and reapply without over-stretching the graphic.

Arlon graphics trainer Alex installing Arlon SLX Cast Wrap with FLITE Technology vinyl on the hood of a vehicle

Bubble-Free Installs

The low initial contact of FLITE Technology makes a bubble-free application easy. If an installer finds a bubble in their finished work, removing it is as easy as applying gentle pressure. The pressure will quickly move the air pocket out the edge of the graphic.

Eliminating Glue Lines

FLITE Technology is a topography-based adhesive system. Topography-based systems rely on the shape of the adhesive to lower the percentage of contact it makes with the substrate. This technology is an incredible 25%. As a result, the low contact percentage stops ‘glue lines’ from forming.

Redefining Ultimate Bond

The next standout feature of FLITE Technology is how the adhesive wets and bonds with the substrate when post heated. Inhibitor-based adhesive systems require a primer or adhesive promoter to create a high enough bond. In contrast, FLITE Technology reaches 90% of its ultimate bond when properly post heated. This bond provides enough strength to hold the graphic in place in deep channels and recessed areas.

FLITE Technology streamlines the application process creating new levels of productivity in sign and fleet shops of all sizes. Arlon Graphics now has a full line of vehicle wrap products that feature FLITE Technology, SLX® Cast Wrap, SLX®+, IllumiNITE Wrap®, and Fusion Wrap.

Visit us at Arlon.com and follow us on social media @arlongraphics_na for the latest info on all things Arlon!

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Digital Printing Vehicle Applications

Choosing the Right Film for Vehicle Graphics

Choosing the right film for a vehicle wrap that caters to the project you are working on can be difficult.  But taking the time to select the right film can lead to more efficient installations saving you time and money. To make your decision process easy, we’ve outlined the top eight questions to ask when choosing the right film for your vehicle graphic.

1. What Can be Wrapped?

People assume that everything on a vehicle can be wrapped. However, wrap films are primarily designed to adhere and remove well only on factory-painted panels of the car. Aftermarket paint, preexisting damage, and any signs of touch-up are suspect on the guaranteed performance of any wrap film. 

Rubber glazing around windows and silicone caulking, whether painted or unpainted, are also no-go zones. The adhesive will stick during installation, but it is guaranteed to fall off sooner or later. Caulking and rubber are unstable; they expand and contract with very little temperature change. The supple and porous surface does not provide a uniform platform for the adhesive to settle. It is common to see rubber trims oxidize, giving off a soot-like substance that will weaken the adhesive over time.

Hard-to-stick surfaces such as unpainted textured plastic found on bumpers, side trim, door handles, and mirrors require specialty films like DPF 8000™ or DPF 8200. While clients might insist on over these surfaces wrapping over them, keep in mind that these areas take quite a beating and that any wrap over them will be damaged.

2. What is your Budget?

Several factors drive the cost of applying graphics on your vehicle:

  • Type of wrap film
  • Design work
  • Production time, ink, and overlaminate
  • Square footage of vinyl
  • Complexity
  • Labor

3. What types of vehicle wrap films are available?

Most wrap films are made of PVC. Non-PVC or PVC-free films are available, but vinyl is the majority of the market. Then under vinyl films, you can choose between cast or calendered.  If you are interested in learning more about Cast vs. Calendered, read more here

4. How much coverage do you need: cut decal, partial, or full wrap?

The first option is to cut decal. This type of vehicle graphic typically uses cut vinyl such as Series 2100 or Series 5000. Cut vinyl is not printed but come in rolls of solid colors and can be combined to create a multi-color graphic. Compared to printed vehicle graphics that uses ink on white vinyl, the pigments are embedded in cut vinyl that they will retain their vibrancy for up to 10 years!

The next option is print-cut graphics or a partial wrap. This graphic leaves the vehicle’s original paint partially visible. A print-cut graphic is like a cut decal, except you need a roll of white printable vinyl and an overlaminate to protect the print. This setup will allow for gradients and custom colors without the need to register multiple single-color vinyl layers. A partial wrap, on the other hand, involves less cutting, masking, and transferring graphics. A large sheet of vinyl is printed, laminated, and applied to the vehicle.

Box truck and Pruis Wrapped In Arlon Fusion Wrap Vehicle Wrap Vinyl Film

Then comes the full wrap. Some would only call it a full wrap if everything painted on the exterior has vinyl while some will leave the roof, bumper, door handles, and other small parts uncovered and still call it a full wrap. Regardless of the matter, a full wrap covers at least 90% of the “wrappable” area in a vehicle.

5. Do you Need an Overlaminate?

For printed graphics, yes. In this Tech on the Road video, we briefly touch on why you should consider using an overlaminate for your graphics.

6. Do you need it to be permanent or temporary?

In the graphics industry, there are three terms used when describing the longevity of graphics:

  • A promotional or short term which is up to 3 years
  • Medium-term which is 3-5 years; and
  • Long-term or permanent which is 7-10 years

Each vehicle graphic has a specified period in which it can be removed with little to no adhesive residue and without damaging the original paint. Always verify the removal warranty of your wrap with both the shop and manufacturer. Also, it’s important to know that any use of a primer or adhesion promoter will void the removal warranty of a wrap. 

7. What does Arlon recommend for partial or full wraps?

A budget-friendly option is DPF 4600GLX, with Series 3420 overlaminate. This film is rated for five years but only on mild curves and relatively flat surfaces. However, if it has to cover an area with some complexity, a more flexible laminate may be necessary like Series 3170, and that also raises it to 7 years. You can also upgrade the base film to Fusion Wrap speed up the installation.

If a vehicle has some deep grooves and sweeping curves, SLX® Cast Wrap will conform the best and without the need for relief cuts or seams. It will be paired with cast overlaminates such as Series 3210 or Series 3220. But for roofs or hoods, anything horizontal, where the vinyl will weather the fastest, use an overlaminate with an extended horizontal warranty like Series 3310.

8. Are you looking for 24/7 Advertising?

Consider using a reflective wrap film like IllumiNITE Wrap® or DPF 2400XLP paired with Series 3210 for a head-turning wrap that won’t miss an impression to a potential client.

Vehcile Wrapped In Arlon IllumiNITE Wrap Vinyl Film

Taking the time to learn the right product for your next job is always a good idea, and asking these nine questions when choosing the right vehicle wrap film will be sure to set you up for success. Learn more about Arlon by following our social media channels @arlongraphics.

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Digital Printing Signage

Covid-19: Free Downloadable Signs Part 2

Signage is playing a monumental role in bringing awareness to ever-changing health and safety guidelines around the globe. As businesses transition into new phases, it’s often the little things like updating signage that can make a big difference. Our team developed a COVID-19 Downloadable Signs Part 2, to help ease your transition into the next phase.

All signs are available in English and Spanish. To download the files, click the link below for each image group. Click here for Part 1 of COVID-19: Free Downloadable Signs.


Curbside Pickup

Click Here for English Downloadable Sign
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Sign


Floor Signage

Click Here for English Downloadable Signs
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Signs


Face Mask Informational Signage

Click Here for English Downloadable Signs
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Signs


No Contact Service Signage

Click Here for English Downloadable Signs
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Signs


Safety Notice Signage

Click Here for English Downloadable Signs
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Signs


Numbered Parking Signage

Orange free downloadable parking spot sign for Covid-19 Signage

Click Here for English Downloadable Signs
Click Here for Spanish Downloadable Signs


As you look for the sign that suits your business needs, remember to rely on the best print films around.

For Floor Applications, the following Arlon products are UL 510 certified for slip-resistance: Series 3220, Series 3420, DPF 510 Removable, DPF 4600GLX/MLX, and DPF 8200X High Tack.

For POP signs or A-Frame Signs: DPF 510 Product Line, DPF 4600GLX/MLX, DPF 8000™ Ultra Tack, DPF 8200 High Tack, and DPF 8200X High Tack.

Learn more about our products on our website. If you have any questions or comments, make sure you leave them down below.

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Signage

Arlon Floor Graphics – FAQ

There are so many overlaminate options for floor graphics specifically, why would you add another product to your inventory to service one application? Select Arlon overlaminates are now approved under regional regulations as slip-resistant for interior floor graphic applications. But, what does holding certification for floor graphics mean? And compatible media can you use with these overlaminates. Read below as we answer those questions and more in our Floor Overlaminates FAQ.

What Arlon products are certified as slip-resistant for interior floor graphic applications?

  • In North America, Series 3220 Gloss and Series 3420 Gloss & Matte are UL 410 approved for interior floor graphic applications.
  • In EMEA, Series 3220 Gloss, Series 3420 Gloss & Matte, and Series 3510 Matte overlaminate are approved under the EN 14041 regulation.
  • Latin America follows the guidelines set by UL 410 and EN 14041 and offers all of the products covered by both regulatory bodies for its region.
  • In Australia, Series 3420 Matte and Series 3510 Matte overlaminate are approved under the AS 142934&&.

What are the surfaces that Arlon recommends for interior floor graphics?

Arlon recommends its existing overlaminates for interior, short-term floor graphic applications with a compatible Arlon base film. The overlaminates previously mentioned can also be used for many other applications as well.

The recommended interior surfaces are smooth floors and low-profile carpet, including:

  • Waxed vinyl flooring
  • Sealed concrete
  • Marble
  • Ceramic tile
  • Sealed wood
  • Terrazzo
  • Low pile commercial-grade carpet

Low pile commercial-grade carpet is a carpet having shorter fibers with tighter fabric loops.

What technique do you recommend for installation on smooth floors and/or carpets?

For all interior floor surfaces, we recommend testing the compatibility of the media to ensure media will stay down, remove well, and not damage the surface. We recommend avoiding placing graphics in areas that are inclined to get wet.

For more installation best practices, please refer to Arlon’s Floor Installation Guide. For any additional questions, please contact Arlon’s Technical Services department at TS_Dept@arlon.com and (800) 232-7161.

What Arlon digital media do you recommend for floor graphic applications?

The recommended base film for smooth floors and low-profile carpet is DPF 8200 High Tack. The ultimate high tack calendered film for demanding surfaces.

For smooth floors only, DPF 4600GLX/MLX, DPF 510 GT/MT/GTR/MTR, and DPF 8000 High Tack are recommended.

Example of floor graphics being used for social distancing purposes.

Can the overlaminate be used with other Arlon products that aren’t listed as compatible? Can I use this overlaminate with other brands of media?

Arlon has done extensive testing on a variety of media to determine the best base film for the intended application. Currently, we do not recommend mixing and matching with other non-compatible base films or other competitor products.

What are the recommended printing platforms?

If the recommended base film and overlaminate are being used for floor graphic applications, then Solvent, Eco-Solvent, and Latex are compatible print platforms. UV inks are not recommended if the product combinations are being used for floor graphics due to the textured nature of the ink.  

What is the durability of the overlaminates?

The expected durability of the overlaminate is not associated with the durability of the overlaminate, as stated in Arlon’s Print Media Total System Warranty. These products are recommended for short term usage. To determine the best product for the application, Arlon always recommends testing on the actual surface before using the above products as product performance can vary greatly depending on the surface type, level of foot traffic, elemental exposure, the carpet type, and floor condition. Because of the variability of floor condition, no specific durability is given for floor graphics.

Floor graphics on hard wood flooring

Are there recommended tools for applying floor graphics?

Yes, our technical experts have outlined their recommended tools for successfully applying floor graphics.

  • Squeegee with Felt Tip: For applying media without damaging the graphic.
  • Felt Block Squeegee: For applying graphics on the carpet.
  • Masking Tape: Positioning the graphic.
  • 9mm Snap-off blades – Used to trim excess material.
  • Yellotools BodyGuard Knife – To cut the release liner.
  • Measuring Tape – Positioning and alignment.
  • Rigid Scraper: To scrape off floor contaminants.

What is the recommendation for prepping your surface for floor graphic installation?

Similarly to any other graphic application, diligent prepping and cleaning of the floor before installing floor graphics is critical to the success of the install. The video below outlines the steps to prep your surface for floor graphic installation.

For additional preparation, recommendations see our Interior Floor Graphic Installation Guide.

What is the recommended maintenance for a floor graphic?

To keep the vinyl looking it’s best, use a mix of mild soapy water to remove dirt from the vinyl, and adequately dry the graphic after cleaning.

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Signage Wall Applications

Tips for Installing High Tack Wall Films

Wall graphics provide a great opportunity to increase your sign shop’s revenue; they’re mostly straightforward, the surfaces are relatively flat, and they are faster to apply compared to a vehicle wrap. But what about high tack wall films? Unlike other wall films, the tack of these films can create a unique set of challenges. The good news is, we are here to help with our application tips for installing high tack wall films. 

Application Tips

Use an Overlaminate

When it comes to walls, the thickness of a high tack film is your friend. Although tackiness is primarily a feature of the adhesive, increasing the film’s thickness will stiffen it. A stiffer film will help reduce pre-tack and prevent pre-stretching.

Thoroughly Clean the Surface

Although some contaminants on the surface may ease the installation process by reducing the tack of the product, you also run the risk of the film failing prematurely.

  1. Clean the surface by first brushing it dry to knock off loose dirt. Follow it up with a wash either with a sponge and soapy water for painted smooth walls or power washing for exterior textured walls. NOTE: Soap works best as a degreaser because isopropyl alcohol does not wash off oils or grease.
  2. Rinse and let the surface completely dry.
  3. For painted smooth walls, wipe the surface with a 50% water/alcohol solution with multiple and heavy passes on the top, bottom, and side edges.

Aim For The Right Surface Temperature

The ideal surface temperature is between 65°F – 90°F (18°C – 32°C). It’s essential to stay the optimal application temperature range for the best performance, but we understand that’s not always a possibility. When applying in colder climates, the risk of the film tearing or shattering is very high. One of the best ways to avoid these issues is to take your time ensuring the proper alignment; this way, you won’t have to reposition the film risking a tear or shatter.  When applying in hotter climates, timing is key. Avoid the hottest hours of the day and apply when the sun is down or in the shade.

Dry-fitting and Registration Marks

Dry-fitting refers to taping up the panels onto the wall without removing the liner. This step allows you to preview the location of each panel and adjust if necessary. Once all the adjustments are made, create registration marks with a water-soluble pencil or tape.

Identify Your Key Panel

In some cases, the first panel does not have any of the design elements to be a proper reference for the remaining panels, like a text that needs to be level with the floor. Consult the mockup to identify your key panel and apply that first. For a more in-depth look into identifying panels, read our  Basic Guide to Registering Vinyl Graphics.

Consistent Technique

Having a consistent technique will help you avoid mistakes when applying a high tack film. There are several ways to start your panel–hinge, half-moon, full liner rip, etc.–but whichever method you use, make sure to use the same method and at the same distance from the top edge one for the remaining panels.

Support the Film’s Weight

Most installers just leave the bottom half of the film hanging as they apply the top half. The problem with this approach is the film’s weight will slowly stretch it without you noticing until it’s too late. Here’s a simple setup with a tube cut in half and zip-tied onto the scissor lift:

Site survey and the Wall/Building Questionnaire

The wall itself can also hinder the application because it has special paint that makes it not receptive to adhesive. So when surveying the site, make sure you use our wall/building questionnaire to aid you in determining the correct product(s) for your project.

Using the right application tips and proper setup will help alleviate any challenges you might have when applying a high tack film. If you’re looking for the right film for your next wall wrap, we’ve got you covered from hard-to-stick surfaces like brick, stucco or concrete to flat wall applications.

Get money back on wall wraps! From now until July 31st, we’re running our Essential Rebate promotion to learn more about what product qualify in your region click the links below.

Get money back on high tack wall films! From now until July 31st, we’re running our Essential Rebate promotion

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Digital Printing Signage

Printed Decals 101

Producing printed decals is how many sign shops get started in the graphics industry. Nonetheless, if you’re just getting started or need a refresher, we worked with our Technical Expert, Louie Calma,  to outline the basics of printed decals; from what blade to use to when you should vector vs rendor your project.

Design

First, start with the design of the printed decal. If your decals have letters, consult a letter visibility chart for maximum impact. A rule of thumb is 10 feet viewing distance per inch height of the letter. For example, a 3-inch tall letter will be visible at 30 feet. Also note that if you are using the points (pt) system, 1-inch is equal to 72pt. However, if the sign or the viewer is moving, I would recommend 5 feet per inch with sans serif fonts.

Which blade to use?

Make sure to consult your plotter’s manual for your a suitable blade for your project. In most cases, thicker overlaminates such as ProTec Series 3960 or reflective films require a specific blade.  Once you have identified the correct blade for your project, make sure that both the blade and cutting strip are in good condition. Then, adjust the blade depth according to the thickness of your material. If you are cutting intricate shapes such as thin lines or pointed edges, check whether your cutter has a tangential or overcut function.

Check out this HUB post for tips and tricks on cutting and weeding small letters and decals.

Vector or raster?

Louie is a  big proponent of favoring vectors over raster images, especially when it comes to cut decals. Of course, it is possible to create printed decals with a raster image by tracing its edges and setting that up as a separate cut layer. However, it’s important to make sure you simplify or smooth the cut path, so you don’t end up with zigzag cuts. It will also be faster because a smooth path is shorter than zigzag.

If you’re running different software brands for RIP and design, always look up the procedure on how to correctly set up a cut path layer. Here’s an article from Roland DGA, The Perfect Setup: File Preparation For Print/Cut Production.

Can I cut through the liner?

Most printed decals are produced by cutting through the liner instead of just the print film, where the liner remains intact. This process involves more than increasing the blade depth and cut force. Doing these two things will cut through the liner, but the decals will also fall out immediately. If this happens, it means that as you’re cutting, some or most of the pinch rollers will have no film to pinch that you will lose registration or worse.

If you must cut through the liner while keeping them intact till the end of the job, there is a cutting process called PerfCut or perforated cut. Rather than cutting a continuous path, the blade will “skip” and leave tiny tabs so that the decals will hold onto the sheet until you pop them out. Each brand will differ on how to set up this process, but here are some online resources:

Which products should I use?

Arlon has a wide selection of products for your decal needs. For decals that are 4 inches tall or less, a film without air egress will suffice. Consider using air-egress films for larger or beginner-friendly decals.

DPF 510 is a typical product used for giveaway printed decals. DPF 4500 is your next choice for medium-term stickers like labels on standard surfaces. You can also consider using DPF 8200 High Tack for surfaces that need a high tack adhesive. Don’t forget to use an overlaminate to prolong the life of outdoor decals. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the print-lam-cut feature of your equipment.

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