If you’ve spent a substantial amount to produce your business’ graphics and signs, you’d want to maximize and protect them for as long as possible. An overlaminate will help you achieve just that.
At SpeedPro, you can choose from a wide array of these protective films, which come in different finishes, thicknesses and surface applications. Plus, you have a team of professionals to help you make an informed decision and provide expert installation.
What Is The Purpose Of Overlaminate?
Though you may not notice it, overlaminates are all around you.
An overlaminate protective film protects those wayfinding signs installed in train stations and airports. It guarantees the durability of the wall murals in your favorite museum. It also covers most of the vehicle graphics you see on the road and protects the floor decals on basketball courts.
These high-performance coatings protect surfaces against general wear and tear, UV radiation and other environmental elements. Apart from that, they add beauty, texture and depth to the laminated surface — making your graphics more impactful.
How To Select The Right Overlaminate For Your Project
There are different kinds of protection films that serve various purposes. Your local SpeedPro studio will help you determine which laminate best suits your substrate.
To start, here are some considerations:
Type of application
Your choice of overlaminates is mainly dependent on what the application will be. What kind of graphics are you protecting?
If it’s fleet or storefront graphics, you need something that can withstand outdoor conditions, like a matte graphic protection film. If you’re covering floor graphics, you need a durable luster overlaminate with superior slip resistance.
Think about the substrates involved in your lamination project. Will it be smooth or rough? Will it be flat or have simple curves? Which material was used for the graphics’ surface?
As a general rule of thumb, you should choose the material of your laminate should be similar to the substrate. If you’re protecting a calendered vinyl, choose a calendered overlaminate. If it’s cast, use a cast overlaminate.
However, you can also mix and match, given that the overlaminate you’ll choose should be of higher quality. Otherwise, it will only shrink or lose its adhesion over time. For example, a cast or polymeric overlaminate is ideal if you’re working on monomeric vinyl.
Will the graphics be installed indoors or outdoors? Will it be in direct sunlight for part of the day? If so, choose an overlaminate film that offers UV protection. Will the signs be exposed to water or cleaning solutions? Then, choose an overlaminate film that can withstand moisture and abrasion.
Additionally, think about the environment’s lighting conditions. For better text readability on graphics, ensure the overlaminate has a matte finish to reduce glare.
Types Of Graphics That Benefit From Overlaminate Film
Here are their most common applications for overlaminating films.
A vehicle wrap can be scratched and torn from road debris if not protected. Apart from the fact that it’s mostly outdoors where elements like dirt, sand and chemicals are present, it can also be exposed to drastic changes in temperature and humidity.
An optically clear overlaminate is your top choice if you want to showcase your vehicle wrap while protecting it.
Window graphics are subject to UV rays, which can cause fading and cracking and reduce their lifespan. Additionally, dirt can collect on the surface and edges, which can result in the lifting or curling of the graphics.
Typically, a glossy overlaminate film is applied to tackle these concerns.
Calendered vinyl overlaminates can prevent dirt and other elements from ruining the graphics for flat wall graphics. These also offer protection from the light coming from overhead lighting.
Consider protective films with anti-graffiti formulations if the graphics are placed outdoors.
Laminating films for floor applications are usually thicker and have a rougher texture to provide added slip and skid resistance. Besides foot traffic, vinyl and polycarbonate overlaminates also protect floor decals from possible spills.
Store, point-of-purchase and trade show signage
High-touch signs and graphics benefit from an overlaminate to protect them and extend their lifespan. It also makes it easier and safer to clean the signs without damaging the underlying graphics.
Protective coatings can also minimize glare from overhead lights in bright convention centers and retail stores, making your graphics easier to see.
How Will The Overlaminate Finish Affect Your Graphics?
You have a variety of options when it comes to the finish of your overlaminates. Your choice affects both the aesthetics and functionality of your graphics.
Matte finish overlaminate reduces the graphic’s inherent shine or glare from the reflection of surrounding light sources. It will enhance the visibility and readability of your graphics.
High gloss overlaminate reflects the light and gives the underlying graphics a shiny appearance. It’s the preferred film for vehicle wraps, and it also works well in low light areas.
Luster overlaminate offers a bit of shine and is UL approved for slip resistance when used over floor graphics.
Is Overlaminate Film Removable?
While some overlaminate films are removable, others offer permanent adhesion.
Thicker and more stable films are easier to remove and replace without leaving marks behind or damaging your graphics. Thin, pressure-sensitive laminate with strong adhesive is more difficult to remove.
To know which is ideal for your specific needs, teaming up with the lamination experts at SpeedPro is a must.
Why Work With A Professional To Protect Your Graphics With An Overlaminate
As your large-format printing expert, SpeedPro also offers lamination solutions to extend the lifespan and boost the aesthetic value of your signs, decals and wraps.
By working with a professional, you can select the best overlaminate protective film for the job. Protect your graphics with overlaminate products from SpeedPro.
Find your local studio for a free consultation to learn more about our overlaminate solutions.