It started with a question: “Do you want to try this stuff?” The stuff in question was LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30), and the “stuff” worked like a charm.
“We started printing window graphics about a year ago, and the first store we installed still looks fantastic. The graphics haven’t started peeling or fading. They’re only supposed to go up for about six months, but we’re way past six months,” says Margot Layland, art director for Best Brands Inc. in Nashville. “When you drive by these stores, that’s the first thing you see. We found that the brighter the colors and simpler the design the better off it is; you only have two seconds for someone to see them. Now everybody and their brother wants them.”
Best Brands Inc. specializes in wine and spirits distribution, and the window graphics Layland creates are providing a lot of additional brand exposure and recognition.
“When they put posters on the inside of the windows, which is how they’ve always done it, they tend to bend and crack in the sun, not to mention the glare on the images. What our customers like is that not only does it provide shade in the windows, but you really get to see the product branding,” explains Layland.
The vinyl allows images to be viewed from the outside, while those inside can see out through the graphics. The graphics are typically printed in panels on the company’s Canon iPF8000 and installed by Best Brands’ display specialist, who attached the vinyl with painter’s tape, levels it, matches up the seams, peels off the backing and smooths it down.
“They’re relatively expensive and they take some time to install, so the people who are paying for these are the suppliers, like Jim Beam. We call the supplier and let them know the cost for each window. If the supplier wanted to do, say, 75 of them, they couldn’t possibly know all the exact window sizes, so each one has to be custom made,” explains Layland. “Some of the windows are as large as 8′ x 8′, so that’s why we try to make it as easy on our display specialist as possible by printing them out in panels.”
For best results, Layland suggests printing at a higher resolution to maximize the impact at the point of sale, and to let the graphics dry for at least 24 hours before trimming and installing them. “Because the vinyl is perforated, it can get kind of inky when you handle it, so I let them dry for a day or two before I cut them out,” she says.
LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl is one of several inkjet printable materials Layland has tried based on recommendations from her LexJet customer specialist, Chris Piersoll. “Chris is delightful. He’s great about showing us products we can utilize with our printer and he’s been right on the money with everything. And, whenever I need something or have a question, he’s always there to help. If I leave a message, he always calls back quickly, 20 minutes max,” adds Layland.