How to Select the Right Pressure Sensitive Material for My Application

4 Minute Read
Posted by Dave Ofstein on 10/21/20 7:00 AM

Want to create a graphic to promote your business? Or maybe you want to provide customers with proper social distancing protocols? Great! Designers and graphics shops will have several questions to ask that are key in selecting the right pressure sensitive material for your application. Pressure sensitive products have evolved over the years, driven mainly by durability requirements and adhesion to the final mounting surface. The longer you want your graphics to last will come with a price, so tailoring your selection to the application will provide you with the most economical solution while meeting your needs.

Where is the graphic being placed? How long? 

The two basic questions are where will the graphics be displayed and how long will you want it to last. An outdoor application with a five year requirement needs a Premium Vinyl to withstand the effects of UV; additionally, an overlaminate may be recommended to further protect the graphics depending on how and where it is mounted.

On the other side of the spectrum, say you have an indoor point-of-purchase display that will last six months and you want the graphics removable. Here, the Classic Vinyl line is more than suitable for this application along with the appropriate removable adhesive, which brings us to the next key question.

What is the mounting surface?

Knowing the type of mounting surface is critical to ensure the right adhesive is selected. Not all removable adhesives are the same; this is also true for permanent adhesives. The typical removable adhesive used on glass, for example, will not work as well on walls or floors. Some permanents will act more like a removable on certain substrates. Choosing a product with the right adhesive will ensure you get the best results, whether you are applying the graphic to a floor, wall, window or door.

How textured the surface is will also impact which product is best. For example, if your mounting surface is a smooth wall, our standard Wall Graphics® product is perfect. If the wall is stucco, we recommend our high tack removable grade. For short term applications, our adhesive free ClingZ® product may also be suitable.

The other factors around mounting surfaces are ensuring that they are in good condition, not recently painted and properly cleaned prior to installation. Use the available technical bulletins that will detail how to prep your particular surface to ensure trouble-free results. As there are so many surface types and textures, testing is always recommended.

Graphic Design

Will the graphics be printed or will it be for cut vinyl lettering or design? If printed, by what method? It's important to note that not all films are compatible with all ink systems; however, with an appropriate topcoat all films can be printed via your preferred method. 

If you want your graphics to be two sided, where you are conveying the same or different messages on opposite sides of the graphic, this is very do-able and optimizes advertising space. Several options exist in the construction of the final graphic, from the use of mounting films to combination of our Sign-Ad® Clear and Opaque products.

Pulling It All Together

Below is a simple set of questions to help in the proper selection of your pressure sensitive material. In the end, you need not worry about the specific grade to select, by providing us with the answers below, we can match your needs to the right product.

Factors Impacting Pressure-Sensitive Material Selection

  • Where? Indoor or outdoor application.
  • How Long? Six months, one year, three years, five years or longer?
  • Application Surface? Wall, floor, glass?
  • Surface Texture? Smooth, stucco, brick, sealed/unsealed?
  • Graphics? One-side or double sided?
  • Print Method? Wide format (latex, eco-solvent, UV), offset, HP Indigo, digital dry toner/laser, flexo or screen?