By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
Innovative advertising is in demand as businesses look for new and exciting ways to promote products and services. Building wraps are one of the largest forms of advertising. They draw immediate attention—especially in urban settings, create lasting impressions, and are a one time expense for the customer.
Reaching New Heights
Located in Henderson, NV, Screaming Images is a graphic design and installation firm established in 2002. In the beginning it offered design, print, and installation with just one employee in a home office. Gradually, the shop added to its capabilities and services and grew to 13 members working out of an 18,000 square foot facility. The company has completed jobs nationwide and in Canada but maintains a focus on nearby Las Vegas, NV.
James Swanson, owner, Screaming Images, says that ten percent of his shop’s work is building wraps. One of the most important aspects of this application is the graphic’s ability to adhere in a range of temperatures while resisting fading and yellowing. As outdoor applications, building wraps are exposed to the elements. The pressure-sensitive vinyl used is a strong material that ensures enhanced adhesion capabilities.
Screaming Images uses 3M Commercial Graphics and FLEXcon pressure-sensitive products. The 3M pressure-sensitive solvent acrylic is used for buildings, walls, windows, and glass. It lasts up to three years inside and six months outside. When heated and applied, the application conforms to textured surfaces.
FLEXcon’s WINDOWdeco line is a removable pressure-sensitive vinyl for window use only. It has an expected exterior life of two years and can withstand temperatures from negative 20 to 176 degrees. It is low tack and backed with a stable polycoated layflat release liner. Screaming Images has used FLEXcon products for ten years.
The print service provider (PSP) has three digital printers—an EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro, HP, Inc. Latex 3100, and HP Scitex LX850.
Swanson says that the main benefit of building wraps is the large exposure the graphics provide. “In Las Vegas, they are easily seen from the airplanes coming into town,” he adds. Building wraps are applied to buildings of all sizes in nearly any environment. For busy intersections and at great heights, they provide advertising that cannot be ignored.
Swanson adds that weather is sometimes a challenge for PSPs handling building wraps. Without the proper media, they won’t adhere properly and will peel off or discolor due to weathering. This also means that installation requires good weather, which can be difficult during periods of rain and snow.
In November 2016, Screaming Images was approached by repeat customer of five years, MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, NV, to complete a building wrap for their hotel. The client’s main concern was the turnaround time.
MGM Resorts asked for a 60 panel, 9,500 square foot advertisement to be hung on the side of their hotel below the MGM logo. MGM Resort is a glass building with 5,044 rooms, 30 floors, and is 293 feet high. Timing was crucial because the advertised boxing event took place shortly after the building wrap was installed.
To create the graphic, the PSP used FLEXcon window media. The SEETHRU-SIGN product line is a series of perforated window films for window graphics on vehicles, busses, trains, and buildings. The film provides optical clarity for seeing through the window from the inside out while giving graphic visibility from the outside looking in. It features up to one year removability from glass with little or no adhesive residue.
The PSP used the EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro to print the wrap. Swanson says the printer was chosen over other models because of its speed, quality, and accuracy. “It’s the best five-meter printer on the market,” adds Swanson.
With no installation problems, Swanson describes the finishing process as a “piece of cake.” The only challenges the print shop came across was the turnaround time. The client faced a tight window and wanted the building wrap finished as soon as possible. The job took three days from job submittal to installation. Swanson was optimistic about the jobs timing and says, “we had the firepower to handle it.” He adds that this job was particularly important because it was for the biggest boxing fight of the year.
It’s a Wrap
Building wraps are an attractive and innovative means of advertising. They draw attention to events and products while displayed in high-traffic areas. One of the most important concerns is whether the media can withstand the environment’s temperatures. Pressure-sensitive media is commonly used for these jobs because of durability. PSPs like Screaming Images receive notoriety and additional business for building wrap work.
In the second part of this series on building wraps we look at a Woodford, VT-based print provider that took on a project “out of this world.”
Jan2017, Digital Output DOBW1701