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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Materials to Wrap By

Friday, May 23, 2014

car wrapThe vehicle wrap industry is evolving by implementing new technologies that allow quicker, more efficient wrapping of vehicles and also provide long-lasting benefits. The basic materials allow much flexibility in coverage and design, as well as life span and cost. Car wraps are most commonly printed on vinyl film and laminated for higher protection. Try researching all of the options and your head will be spinning. It’s best to review your needs with a signage or print professional and explore the recommended options. Often, sign professionals have a material preference for a reason – they have had success with it.

Vinyl film offers a solution for virtually every surface – from smooth to textured. It mimics paint all the way down to the gloss level. It also provides the flexibility of solid or variegated colors or designs. Color change wraps are becoming more popular in both the personal vehicle market and the commercial fleet market. The film is available in any color imaginable, and it can be matched to the car’s original color or matched to a company’s corporate colors. Several film manufacturers also offer chrome finishes that are designed for mirrors and accents.

Cast vinyl is recommended for durability and ease-of-use, lasting up to five years and maintaining the brightness and depth of colors when printed. Though it can be costly, cast vinyl is flexible for vehicle application, stretching to the shape of the vehicle, and it can look similar to a glossy paint when completed. A less expensive vinyl is calendared, and it is a good solution for short-term, flat wraps that are serving as signage or protection. Calendared vinyl is less expensive and more difficult to use for vehicle wraps because of its lack of stretch and conformity to vehicles.

In addition, specialty wrap materials are available for unique or high-end needs. They include carbon fiber, brushed metal, and gloss and matte finish materials that are highly flexible and durable. For any wrap, insist on brand-name materials – these are durable and flexible and usually guaranteed for satisfaction.

From Signage to Shipment – Every Step Counts

Friday, May 09, 2014

poster tubeYou hired a professional sign manufacturer for a reason: to produce a professional sign. You’ve completed the graphic design, the message is clear and concise and the manufacturing flawless. Now it’s time to ship that sign to its destination. Don’t let the shipping fall short or damage your signage. Take the time to ask how it will be shipped – whether it’s to you, to a customer or directly to a job site –you should be the decision maker on the method and the cost.

Don’t cut corners on shipping. It’s the last thing to happen in the process, but it can’t be an afterthought. That afterthought is what will cost you hundreds of dollars more if the sign gets damaged in transit because of poor packaging. In addition, you’ll have the time factor of waiting for another sign to be produced.

Your sign manufacturer should choose the most cost-effective and efficient method of shipping. If that means he’ll deliver it himself, then that’s what he should recommend. This is very doable if the delivery address is local. It also establishes the sign manufacturer as a trusted partner who will go the extra mile. If the sign needs shipped out of town, have a plan in place with your sign company. If the sign is vinyl or cloth and can be safely rolled, it can be shipped in a sturdy cardboard or plastic tube. Fragile items like lights need to have a soft cover around them for protection. Wood crates or plywood sheets lined with a soft material like felt are good bets for signs that can’t be folded or rolled. The wood protects the sign from outside damage and the felt keeps it from rubbing on the inside wood.

Consider how often your signage will be shipped – you might want to invest in special packaging. If it’s for a trade show or a traveling exhibit, it will be shipped often and will need a sturdy case. Wood or heavy-duty plastic make excellent sign cases that not only protect the sign but also make it easy to pack and unpack.

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