By Tim Greene
Have you ever noticed the special insignias on the court during the NCAA basketball tournament or the NBA finals? I have always liked the idea of using floor graphics as both a wayfinding tool and a promotional tool. For a reasonable price (less than $10 per square foot) retailers, museums, theatres, hospitals, airports and malls can better optimize their space using custom, digitally printed floor graphics.
In recent InfoTrends studies, we found that professional wide format digital print buyers expect to increase their spending on floor graphics. David Grant, vice president of marketing for Oracal, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of vinyl films used for indoor and outdoor digital printing applications, reported that his company has seen steady growth in the volume of floor graphics products.
Floor graphics are typically made of vinyl films with removable adhesives, which makes them easy to install and remove. Most floor graphics are produced with an overlaminate featuring a non-slip coating to make them safe in environments where people may have wet feet. Oracal’s products are a matched component system of its ORAJET 1663 4.25 mil calendared film, which is thick enough to be durable and easy to install, but thin enough not to have exposed edges. The film has a three-year warranty when it is used with Oracal’s ORAGUARD 250AS or 255AS (AS stands for anti-skid) overlaminate film. The 255AS film is designed for high-traffic load areas or areas where heavy loads such as forklifts and pallet jacks are used. The non-slip coating is critical, as Grant explains, “because our customers (users) typically ask for liability warranty related to the non-skid surface.”
For industrial uses, the floor graphics are often used to delineate safety zones. The use of graphics on polished concrete and other non-porous surfaces produces time and cost savings vs. painting the floor.
On the retail side, Grant says advertisers are looking for ways to creatively use more spaces beyond floor graphics, so he finds that companies are placing floor graphics prints on table tops and countertops in addition to floors. The addition of the graphic film, plus the overlaminate film adds durability to the surface it is applied to.
The use of floor graphics is looking up in both commercial and industrial settings as there are significant cost savings and new promotional opportunities to be achieved.