How To Choose The Right Material For Your Window Graphics

In yesterday’s post, Engage The Power of Window Graphics at Retail, we looked at why it would be a good idea to invest in your branding with window graphics.  Now, lets look at what your options once you decide to make the plunge into the world of window vinyls.

Window films, which date back to the 60’s, are clear or tinted adhesive backed  vinyl products that allow viewing through the film with a minimum amount of distortion.

Sign & Digital Graphics Magazine put out a great article, Window Film Options (which I also researched to write this post) for further reading if you are looking into an installation of window graphics.

There are 2 things to consider when choosing a window film for your graphics: whether you are mounting on the inside and outside of glass & how much light you want to let in.

In the marketplace there opaque, translucent or transparent, and come with permanent or removable adhesive. Let’s review some of the basics.

Window Films Options

There are a few different types of window films — we are going to look at the 3 most prevalent: opaque vinyl, perforated vinyl & transparent vinyl.  Each material has it’s own specific use based on the graphic & application

Perforated Vinyl

Also know as window perf.  This film features tiny holes evenly spaced in the vinyl face to allow light in without seriously obscuring vision from those inside the window.

The outside surface of the film is printed with a graphic, the inside (adhesive side) of the decal is black. These are mounted to the outside of the glass.

perforated window vinyl

Perforated Window Vinyl

Opaque Vinyl

This type of film lets no light in at all and has a black or gray adhesive layer.   Which means that prints on opaque vinyl have to be installed on the side of the glass that they will be viewed from.

opaque window vinyl

Opaque Window Vinyl

Transparent Film

Transparent or clear film is different than white film because you can mount the graphic on the inside of the window.  The graphic is printed ‘face down’ or ‘mirror format’ and backed with white ink or a backing sheet.  This way the adhesive can be placed on the face of the decal and applied to the inside & viewed right wise from the outside.

Transparent Window Film

Transparent Window Film

Application – Inside or Outside?

For application on the inside of the window, you need to use a transparent or clear material.  The graphic would be printed face down or mirror format & back with white ink or backing sheet.

For opaque vinyls, if you want to read this type of film from both sides, you’d need to install the graphics on both sides of the glass.

The advancement of digital printing has added a whole new dimension to the world of window film. Since many different materials & applications have hit the marketplace, it is imperative to talk with your print provider to review the best option for your specific application.

To contact Josh & learn more about window vinyls or to request a quote, click here.