WAYFINDING, BRANDING OR DECORATION? HOW TO USE VINYL GRAPHICS IN YOUR NEXT PROJECT.

The creative opportunities for architects and designers considering vinyl graphics is just too irresistible. Whether motivated by wayfinding, establishing a new brand identity or creating a visual impact it is a time to inject personality and detail into what may for some time have been a stark, albeit beautiful, architectural space.

Functionality always comes first however. Architects and designers of schools, hospitals, offices or hospitality are all looking to ensure their users can navigate their spaces efficiently.

Using clear signage and visual references users can easily move through the building and vinyl graphics are often specified as a cost-effective solution.

Graphics can be used to identify spaces such as toilets or storage but also to reassure users they are in the right place with large scale graphics in hallways or at an entrance.

For corporate organisations looking to bring employees and visitors into a new brand identity it can also be a very quick and dramatic solution even if only planned for a temporary period. Brand owners can overnight transform an environment to create a positive space which embraces change within an organisation. For pure decoration, a space can be brought alive with vinyl graphics. An injection of excitement, texture and pattern with a less formal personality than other wall coverings. With a myriad of colours and finishes available it is possible to commission some exciting artwork which can then be produced as a vinyl graphic.

So what do you need to know to make your graphic project a success?

Of course, each project is different, and the way to success is to choose the right solutions for your interior. Different kinds of paint, material and structure demands that you choose the right material, to ensure you achieve the best result, and the cheapest solution can turn out to be the most expensive in the long term. Find yourself a supplier who is educated to help you find the right solution for your design and your building. Here are some basic guidelines to help you before you start your project.

1. The Material

Before doing anything make a test of the surface you are applying to, this will define which specific vinyls are most suitable for your project. The choice of graphic material available is enormous and with differing characteristics and possibilities you will need a good supplier to help you select the right product for the job. Normally there will be no problems with smooth surfaces, glass and metallic but always best to test.

2. The Design

Next step of the project is deciding how the design should look and what function it needs to fulfil. Whether you have an existing image in mind or need some inspiration, our designers will create something to suit your needs. Modulex recommend that no part of the decoration is smaller than 5 x 5 mm if you are planning to use stencil cut vinyl graphics. If the design demands details, then they should be printed by ink- jet digital in a complete sheet which provides limitless opportunities and is also recommended for hectic environments where there may be concerns around user damage.
 

3. The production

Once the design is deciding you can start looking at the production methods. There are two main methods available.

1) Stencil cut vinyl graphics are suitable when size is moderate and a flat colour is required. As a guide all elements should be over 5mm x 5mm. Modulex hold over 600 colours in stock which can be selected. A vinyl cutter places a “kiss cut” from the selected image and the negative space around and inside the image or letters is removed, known as “weeding”. After applying application tape the graphic is then ready to be adhered to the chosen substrate. 

2) Ink-jet digital printed graphics replicate a chosen image onto a flat sheet. There are 3 main types of ink: UV-ink, ECO-Solvent ink and Latex ink, the main difference is the way the ink is hardening and that it has different advantages depending on the job, the chosen material and the desired visual expression, for example, UV-ink is creating a translucent colour or solid colours if printed with a white mask whilst ECO solvent print will always create transparent colours. Both production methods can create amazing results but it is something which should be discussed, and samples perused, with a good supplier to ensure the desired finish is achieved

4. The installation

This is sometimes the hardest part of a project and something which should always be left to trained craftsmen. Good installers are used to handling all types of installation ( and also the removal of it!).

To discuss your ideas in further details contact your Modulex representative or email info@modulex.com.

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