Sometimes a blank white wall just doesn’t cut it. This is especially the case for the folks at Chickie’s and Pete’s. This Philadelphia based restaurant chain enlisted the IDWraps.com team to print and install the wall graphic shown below at their restaurant located within Dorney Park. This is one of two locations that Chickie’s and Pete’s have recently opened up in the Allentown area. This seafood magnate is best known for their crab fries. If you haven’t tried them, they are off the charts with flavor. This item is so popular, that they have an exclusive service window set up at the PPL center arena where the line is very deep with event fans that are craving the super popular spud based product.
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The wall graphic has become a highly popular item at IDWraps. Our vendors have been steadily developing new products for various applications in any architectural environment. One key development is the removable aspect of the adhesive systems (or you may refer to it as “glue.”) Historically most adhesive backed graphic films have had a very aggressive or super sticky glue which adheres the film to wall surfaces. These products have been all fine and dandy when it comes to installation and long term durability. But….what if we want to update or remove these films? What if they start showing wear and tear? Most graphics shops have taken a hit an run attitude when it comes to these questions (hoping the customer never asks.) The reality is that the traditional films would DESTROY the drywall surfaces upon removal. That’s right; upon removal, no matter how carefully, the outer paper layer of gypsum board would de=laminate and completely peel away from the wall. This surface is now no longer smooth and cant be painted or reliably finished to a aesthetically pleasing look in any way. The typical resolution in this situation is to strip the wall down to the studs and install new drywall panels to the wall. One could only imagine the exorbitant cost incurred in these situations. Small to medium sized walls could cost thousands to repair.
Over time, the digital material manufacturers and scrupulous graphic shops have shown concern for their client’s walls. With this comes new films with less aggressive adhesives. These new wall graphic products allow for clean removal from wall surfaces without damaging the paint or drywall panels. A number of films have a glue that are in a category of “changeable adhesive.” This would indicate that they may be removed from one surface and then placed on another. We’ve found some films that may be moved many times, as long as they’re being applied to very clean surfaces. The key here is that the graphic doesn’t collect dirt or other contaminants that build up on the adhesive as the graphic is applied to various surfaces. Think of it like fly paper, or a lint roller. Any dirt that builds up on the glue will decrease it’s strength.
Other modern wall graphic films have a relatively medium strength adhesive which allow for a bond to the surface that is strong enough for excellent durability, while allowing for removability without ruining the wall surfaces. Different walls have do exhibit various adhesion levels with installed films. This is why it is important to have a certified graphics professional perform an adhesion test. The IDWraps.com national network of 3M certified installers is available to do onsite surveys and adhesion tests. This test allows us to measure and quantify how well a film will “stick” to a surface. This helps with selecting the proper film that will adhere “just right.” This procedure involves various film samples and a pull scale. Adhesion is measured in grams of force when pulling off 1 inch wide film, starting with the lowest tack films and then moving up to more aggressive adhesive based films.
One other advantage to having an onsite survey for your wall graphic is precise measuring and templating for design. This allows for the design and production teams to be super accurate when designing around obstacles and for an excellent overall fit of the wall graphic. Some common obstacles may include: electrical receptacles, light switches, emergency lights, windows, doors, and thermostats. Any and all of the above may prove disruptive to a design. It surely is disappointing when a beautiful wall mural is installed and an important design element is cut off by a light switch. Doing a design on top of a photo and guestimating at dimensions just isn’t enough when a significant investment is in play. Precision is the only way to go. We do subcontracted installs for many printers where no survey as performed. In these situations where they “wing it,” there is nearly always some type of issue that the client is not happy with. It surely is worth it to exercise caution and take advantage of a precise survey.
So whether you have a showroom, office area, or residential space, IDwraps has the solution. Our high resolution prints are produced on HP latex wide format printers which have no solvent fumes coming off the prints. The majority of our industry uses solvent printers which often leave an odor behind after the installation. Reason is- that these prints are still drying, sometimes for as much as 30 days after the print date. This may often attribute to a smell similar to that at an auto body shop. Surely this is no environment for any business or home. The latex inks we use are water based and are fully cured as they exit the printing equipment. This also makes them more scratch resistant. There is a level of comfort when your wall graphic is scratch resistant from day one of the installation. Alternate solvent inks may be soft and smearable for days after printing. The bad news for these other printers is that if there is even just a small scratch, it is most common to require the replace an entire section of the graphic or “tile panel.”