Context is Everything Continues with Window, Wall and Floor Graphic Substrates

JULY 24, 2017| SpeedPro of Denver


Substrates Series

Enjoy Part 2 of our substrates series and as always, feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Window Graphics 

You see this substrate used in every size imaginable. It might be a basic circle a few inches in diameter or a large sheet covering an entire floor-to-ceiling glass window. You see it everywhere on retail windows and at entertainment venues promoting seasonal and even daily specials, the latest acts or movies, announcing new sales, closeouts, and as logos on any glass surface.

Glass Adhere™ is a choice option for window graphics. This newer product uses a technology more advanced than the familiar static clings. Glass Adhere has micro-suction cups on one side and can be used over and over since it is removable and reusable. It is also water resistant, fade resistant, cleanable (even with glass cleaners), and 99% bubble free. This evolution in window graphics also allows for full bleed printing--no need to design in that white border to save trimming costs. It is available in 1st (outside looking in) and 2nd (inside looking out) surface options. While it is a peel-and-place product, professional installation is typically suggested. Other window graphic materials include static clings in both clear and solid backed options, and static clings with perforated window film.

Wall Graphics

You’ve see wall murals used extensively for decorative purposes (Thanks for your patronage) or to inform or distract (does the view from your dreaded dentist chair offer calming graphics on the ceiling?) but they also work to create advertising space that can engage and entertain (it’s impossible to ignore those ads on the sides of brick buildings isn’t it?).

When considering a wall mural, the texture of the surface is the most important component to evaluate. Is it a smooth office hallway wall, a mall barrier or the outside of a brick building? Depending on the placement, you may have options for the finish to consider too:  do you want a low-glare matte, a high luster for maximum shine, or a fabric canvas-type rugged finish to add texture to a flat surface? Think of wall graphics as custom wallpaper. Your artwork can be printed on this substrate that goes edge-to-edge and floor-to-ceiling. Here are some of the material options:

Vinyl Film is the choice workhorse of many a print shop and can be produced as either a cast or calendered film. The basic ingredients are the same, but the manufacturing process and type of plasticizers used result in significant differences. Cast films are considered the industry premium whereas calendered film may be chosen for cost rather than durability. If you want your long-term signage to stand up to the elements, choose cast films. For the monthly special, calendared film will do the job.

Photo Tex™ is an indoor adhesive-backed fabric that sticks to any non-porous flat surface creating seamless images. Available in rolls up to 54” wide x 100’, it is reusable and repositionable. Photo Tex works indoors or out, it will not shrink, wrinkle or rip in any temperature or climate change. It easily wraps around corners and poles. You see it often in restaurants, retail settings and offices.

RoughRAP™ is a durable vinyl ideal for covering textured walls like brick, concrete, wood, wood paneling, and cinderblock. Textured walls, while more challenging to install graphics onto, often come across looking painted but are installed without the hassle of trying to evenly saturate a brick or cinderblock surface. And, the graphics are easier to remove than paint! RoughRAP can provide full coverage or be contour cut into any custom shape you want. It can also be used to add a special event announcement or logo to an existing mural.

Floor Graphics

Materials for floor graphics have evolved along with advances in print technology. Installation and removal times have sped up and demand has grown for this inexpensive but interesting branding option. “Floor” in this context includes concrete, asphalt, commercial grade carpets, laminated vinyl, wood, brick, and even some tile. Surfaces that can grip and maintain graphics are nearly endless.

Floor graphics are also popular as welcome mats (that no one will trip on) greeting customers with a logo and cheery message, at convention centers and event venues to provide directions and steer the flow of traffic, with retailers and restaurants to showcase seasonal specials, and they can entertain elevator riders by adding an interesting distraction or key messaging during the wait. Affordable for weddings and other special events, floor graphics are also popular with car dealerships. Shopping mall managers can use floor graphics to encourage and entertain their customers who are walking up a flight a stairs by telling a short story to keep them going! Every surface is an opportunity. 

Drytac Interlam™ is a high tac vinyl laminate and ideal for short-term outdoor applications. If you participate in any of the countless foot races around the country, you’ve seen graphics that went down that morning and were pulled up that night. The material used to print on was likely provided by Drytac. They offer a complete line of pressure-sensitive over-laminating films coated with an aqueous (water-based) adhesive–ideal for short-term outdoor applications.

LexJet® offers a line of adhesive vinyl products designed for wide format printers to produce over-sized floor graphics that go down cleanly (with the right tools and training, of course) and come up without leaving a trace.

G-Floor Graphics from Better Life Technology LLC offers custom-printable vinyl sheet materials including long-term flooring (visualize a high school gym or a dance studio floor that can take a pounding without showing wear—it may be a G-Floor Ultraflex graphic) and repositionable floors that can be custom-cut for your logo or promotional messages (imagine a trade show booth floor in place for the short-term but it’s reusable!).

Our next blog will cover the many options to consider when ordering BANNERS!

Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with questions about these or other substrates you are considering at, 303.426.4199 or

We always welcome your suggestions for topics and specific materials to cover in future blogs as well.


Glass Adhere is a trademark of Pro-Graphics Network, LLC

Photo Tex is a trademark of the Photo Tex Group, Inc.

RoughRAP is a trademark of Mactac

Interlam is a trademark of Drytac

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Greg Ellison