When Legacy Nissan in London, Ky., built its new showroom a few years back one of the primary design features was glass. Visibility is crucial for car dealers; they want people to see what they’re selling inside.
The only problem with that visibility is, well, visibility. The upstairs conference room above the showroom offers no privacy. The owner of the dealership looked into glass walls with dimmers so they could “tint” the windows for privacy on the fly, but that proved to be too cost-prohibitive.
The solution was perforated window vinyl, which allows you to see out of the windows, but not in. Plus, it offers additional branding, also crucial to car dealers who want to cement their identity, showcase a particular car, or both, at the point of sale.
Legacy Nissan’s Missy Reid turned to LexJet, and the dealership’s personal customer specialist Brian Wilson, for help with the project. Reid says she ordered the wrong type and wrong size of perforated window vinyl the first time around: it was designed for solvent printers (she has an aqueous Epson Stylus Pro 9900) and it was too wide. Wilson promptly set her up with 36″-wide (to fit her printer) LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30).
“He knows I’m very green working with this material, so he took care of me and steered me in the right direction because that can be an expensive mistake to make. Brian took the guesswork out of it for me,” says Reid. “We’re thrilled with the print quality and it’s holding up nicely. When the customer walks into the showroom, it’s front and center with the car and the logo. This printer is brand new and this was the first time I worked with the perforated vinyl. We’ve been exploring other ways we can use it and we’re finding a lot of different applications.”
The graphics were printed and applied in three different sections: the door, the logo and the image of the Nissan 370Z. The graphics were applied vertically on the door in one panel (34″ x 84 1/4″) after the hardware had been taken off, and the other windows were applied horizontally in two 36″ x 155″ panels and one 16″ x 155″ panel.
“We basically chalked it up and wallpapered it on. We have a team of people who work with window tint and decals anyway, so they’re experienced with that. They didn’t have any trouble at all; everything is aligned and it’s pretty perfect,” says Reid. “We approved the new logo in March, and the conference room canvas is helping us show it off. This is helpful because it provides an inexpensive way to achieve some high-impact wow factor, even though we’re slowly phasing it in everywhere else. It’s much more fiscally and environmentally responsible to launch a visual identity with a display like this than to throw away several thousand license plates and dealer decals.”
Reid adds that she’s been using the printer for event signage, showroom windows and window stickers at the top of the windshields for what are called “eyebrows.”
“The Altima won an award from Edmunds for Best Retained Value and we put that on every Altima. Because you can see out through it, you don’t even notice it when you’re driving it, so it doesn’t hinder the test driver’s visibility,” says Reid.
Reid adds that they plan a much larger window wrap for Legacy Nissan’s used car building. “We’ll wrap that top to bottom as well because it has a lot of windows,” she says.