Alternatively, floor graphics can be incredibly effective in transforming the purpose of a space, for instance turning a shopping mall into a recreation destination. Recently, an area of the Core Shopping Centre in Calgary, Alta., was turned into a tennis court using floor graphics that were designed, printed, and installed by Print Three (also in Calgary) as part of a 10-day promotional campaign for the Calgary National Bank Challenger. This attracted families to the space to play a few sets and, as a result, more people wanted to visit and stay longer.
Easy as one-two-three
In many of these applications, speed is of the essence in regards to installation and removal. Some environments may be open 24 hours a day, or have heavy foot traffic during core hours; therefore, it is essential to choose media for floor displays that is easy to install and remove in the most time- and cost-effective manner possible.
Many businesses may be tempted to choose a multi-purpose display material for floor graphics but, while some advertising media is designed to be used on a variety of surfaces, it is a wise move to invest in a material specifically designed to affix to common flooring surfaces. These will feature a specially developed adhesive that will enable the printed display to be installed and possibly even repositioned quickly and easily, but can also be removed cleanly without leaving adhesive behind.
Some floor graphic products have been designed to enable even non-professionals to install them. These media may feature air-egress style adhesives, which let the trapped air escape through small channels, eliminating the need for special tools during installation.
“Floor graphic products have different degrees of longevity, dependent on whether the application is for indoor or outdoor use, its intended floor surface, and the traffic it is likely to encounter.”
In addition to choosing specialist films for floor graphics projects, it is important to know there are a variety of products to choose from within this market. Different products have various degrees of longevity, dependent on whether the application is for indoor or outdoor use, its intended floor surface, and the traffic it is likely to encounter. For instance, the tennis court project described above demonstrated how choosing a professional floor graphics media that is compatible with the floor type can pay off enormously. Despite being designed as a playing surface and expected to suffer numerous rips and scuffs, no part of the display had to be repaired or replaced over the 10 days—yet it was removed cleanly in approximately 20 minutes at the end of the campaign. In short, no one wants to use a material that requires extra labour or supplies on installation or removal; therefore, choosing the right product from the outset will pay off in the long-run.
Play it safe
Floor graphics have a unique—and essential—dimension to consider compared to other types of fixed displays: safety for those who walk across them. In any environment floor decals should not present even a minimal slip and/or trip hazard. Therefore, only floor graphics media that are officially certified with an anti-slip rating for safety should be considered. Some will require an anti-slip laminate while others are direct-to-print, with an anti-slip surface manufactured within the material; however, either way, this rating should be clearly advertised. In regards to preventing a tripping risk, floor displays must be securely affixed to the surface to stop the edges from coming loose. Again, this comes down to the adhesive used.
A floor decal’s durability and, therefore, safety is also dependent on its compatibility with the surface to which it is applied. As mentioned, buying a product specifically designed for floors is an investment in terms of the ease of installation, removal, and longevity, but the actual type of floor surface must be considered, too. Many floor films are designed for use with all common types of hard flooring such as ceramic tiles, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring, and sealed wood and concrete. A second specialized floor media for use with carpets may be needed, however. In every case, the floor films should adhere properly to the surface and, when finished, be able to be removed without leaving a trace.