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  • Cut vinyl for office wall wayfinding

    Posted by Richard Wills on October 11, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Have a meeting Thursday morning to discuss wayfinding in a five floor modern office building, with their designer (I work with the client and the designer fairly regularly on art installations, both are sensible and open to sugestions). Walls are a mix of painted and semi polished concrete, and proposal is for cut vinyl. Building has been up a few years, and I don’t believe walls have been repainted since. My normal goto materials are Metamark M4/M7, and from first conversations, I’m guessing this will be a 2-5 year install. I’ve only got a little baby 24″ Graphtec, but above the ground floor, the ceilings are only 10-12′. I don’t imagine any components will be taller than 550mm.

    Any suggestions for better materials (I’ve got no complaints about working with M4/M7), or gotcha’s I should be thinking of? I’m assuming install outside of office hours, so temperature may be starting to dip, but not too extreme.

    My side will be the normally sighted work, specialist braille etc will be separately dealt with. These are offices for staff, so not too concerned about having letters picked off.

    Thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated.

    Richard Wills replied 1 year, 8 months ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • RobertLambie

    October 11, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Richard

    I do not use Metamark, so I had to do a quick check on what each vinyl is.

    M4 states it is a monomeric vinyl. so I would strike that off the options list because it will shrink, dog-ear, curl back or lift.
    M7 appears to be a polymeric, so this might be suitable as shrinkage should be minimal.

    You have a mix of surfaces, so for me, and if I was buying in the colours for the job specifically, I would like to go with a cast. Maybe Oracal 751 or 951, or any other cast. there will be very minimal if any shrinkage.

    These walls are interior and will be relatively warm and dry. So logic tells you the vinyl should adhere to it fine.
    The downside is, concrete walls, painted or wallpaper etc all have micro textures to them so the adhesion is never 100%. painted walls, like emulsion etc, can have a chalky dry finish on them, so again, this limits the adhesion further. so with adhesion not being perfect, possible surface grime issues etc the last thing you want is a cheap monomeric or a budget polymeric vinyl shrinking, even just a little because it will make small letters/text curl back off over time.

    Of course, I am talking worst-case scenario. But it’s better you know so you can make your own decision. as I said, if this is 5 floors of graphics, it’s better to be safe and maybe opt for a cast vinyl with very little if any shrinkage and permanent adhesive. so has a good bond too.

    if you were printing the vinyl, you also have the option of maybe going for a High-Tack/bond permanent adhesive cast or polymeric, which are purposely made for the likes of stone surface walls.
    you might need to commit to 25 or 50m rolls of that though.

    I am just giving options to consider, it’s hard to advise properly without seeing a surface first-hand in the flesh, so to speak.

  • Allister wells

    October 12, 2022 at 8:32 am

    we use m7 all the time its a good vinyl and should be ok but like rob said forget m4!

  • Richard Wills

    October 12, 2022 at 10:45 am

    Thanks Robert, I’ll have a look at 751 and 951. Normally I prefer matte for wall lettering, but will look see what the meeting brings up.

    Allister, thank you.

    I use the M4 for gallery walls, as shows tend to be 4-8 weeks, and there’s a reasonable range of matt colours. I’ll stay away from it for longer term use.

  • Richard Wills

    October 13, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Had the meeting this morning, and the walls we’ll mostly be dealing with are cast concrete – smoothish, but with little voids apprx 1-2mm, and odd raised grains here and there. Doesn’t seem to be a problem with things sticking to it (selotaped A4 posters here and there).

    I’d like to go down the cast route but am having trouble finding anything other than black and white in a matt finish (except wrap vinyl that won’t fit in a 24″ plotter, and costs rather a lot). The decor is mostly muted greys / pastels, and part of the job would be text/colour coding different zones of the floors – three of the floors are effectively hot desk. I get the feeling that some areas will shift purpose over the years, so a vinyl that has a fairly clean removal would be an advantage.

    Hopefully a very rough draft of design will be with me next week, at which point I’ll order in a test roll, and see how I feel about the time scale (quote) for production and install.

    Pictures attached – I’ve spoken with the designer, and we’re going to avoid graphics over the casting holes (apprx 35mm diameter, maybe 8mm deep)!

  • Jean Oakley

    October 17, 2022 at 8:29 am

    Hi I find floor shark ideal for wall decals it won’t shrink doesn’t need laminating and is quite ridgid which helps with fitting.

  • Jean Oakley

    October 17, 2022 at 8:30 am

    ignore me sorry just re read post this material is used for printing not coloured for use in a plotter.

  • Hugh Potter

    October 17, 2022 at 8:46 am

    If you use metamark and are happy with it, give them a call and see if they do the M7 (?) high tack in whatever colour you need. I hate fitting vinyl to paint these days and generally only use a high tack film now. It will likely mean the wall needs to be rubbed down and repainted upon removal but, that’s a problem for 5yrs time, not 6 weeks time when the modern ‘washable’ paint is repelling the film!

  • Richard Wills

    October 17, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Thanks Hugh,

    Once the designs are set, I’ll better idea of the colours, and will see if Metamark can do them.

    I’m happy to go with other brands – M7 was recommended to me when we first started to cut, as it weeds pretty well for small lettering (not an issue for this job).

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