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Simplifying the Vinyl-Selection Process

(April 2011) posted on Tue Apr 26, 2011

If you’re having trouble picking from the myriad vinyl films on the market, read on to find out how to get rid of the guesswork.

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By Dean Strohmenger, Lisa Humrich

Choosing the right media is crucial to the success of your project. Have you ever been so eager to start a project that you jumped in head first without making sure you selected the right substrate for the application? Asking yourself a few basic questions will make that next job a little easier: How long will the project be displayed? Is this an indoor or outdoor project? Should I use digital or plotter film?

Decision matrix
After answering the questions above, use the matrix shown in Figure 1 to guide your next vinyl decision. There isn’t one magical product that will satisfy all needs for all applications, and with so many vinyl choices available, that can sometimes be a daunting task. Why these questions are important is simple. Every question eliminates a sub-section of potential vinyl choices and leads you to the final vinyl decision. Also, answers to these questions give a better understanding of job expectations and requirements.
Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule. Just as there isn’t one vinyl film that fits all applications, this matrix will not fit every potential application need. If you are trying to learn more about making decisions in the vinyl world, this matrix is a good way to begin.

Short vs. long term
Want to save money? If so, then you have to determine how long the project will be displayed. This one question can potentially save you and your customer a lot of dough. Here’s how.

Let’s assume you asked your customer about the longevity expected for the project and you got this reply: “I want a wall mural on my restaurant wall but want to be able to remove it in a year or two because we hope to remodel the place.” Looking at the decision matrix , you see this is considered a short-term project because they expect to have the graphic in place less than five years.


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