Window Perf: To Lam or not to Lam
Perforated window film also known as “window perf” is a great way to advertise your company. Why not use the “empty space” on your windows to advertise sales, promotions, products and or your company branding. Window perf can be applied to the inside and or outside of your window. You can use it on store fronts, office complexes, schools, medical plazas and many more window fronts in all types of industries. Not only will it change the look of the windows, but it does the advertising for you. These durable products can last for years to come.
Lamination of substrates provides added protection and life to prints. All of our signage naturally comes laminated in either gloss or matte unless specified. However, perforated window material is a specifically interesting case with a few variables that makes itself a unique substrate.
The objectives of window perf are:
- Partially block view from the outside in
- Display a sign / advertisement legibly
- Allow for the inside to still see out
- Last as long as possible (as with majority of materials)
Laminate or Not Laminate?
To achieve all of these factors, deciding whether to laminate or not to laminate comes into question regarding the customers wants and needs and what the project calls for. If window perf is laminated in gloss, the artwork on the perf will “pop” well, but it is near impossible to allow for visibility in or out with gloss laminated window perf. Generally not the best idea unless specifications call for these needs.
If window perf remains unlaminated, the type of printer is vital information to have when assessing the life of the graphic. At Eye 4 Group, we have both Mimaki inkjet printers and HP Latex ink printers. If the window perf was printed with inkjet, it would struggle to keep its colors from fading in the sun, and the graphic could begin to scratch off of the substrate. If we were to not laminate window perf, we would print using our HP Latex ink printer. The latex ink cures and sets itself onto materials leaving a slight natural gloss that protects the ink from scratching off slight resistance to the sun.
If you would like to laminate the window perf to give it added life and duration, the only laminate that can maintain visibility while adding strength is “optically clear”. The only downside to laminating window perf with optically clear is it may leave a haze look on a graphic, or become more difficult to see through when it is raining, but not by much. When window perf is combined with a vehicle wrap, laminating the perf also helps to have a more even sheen across the vehicle for aesthetic purposes.
A summary for perforated window graphics:
- For the strongest window perf: Print using a latex printer and laminate with “optically clear”.
- For the most visibility out of your window perf: Print using a latex printer and do not laminate.
- Always use your best judgment!
If you have any questions on window perf, please feel free to contact us.