Covering buildings with digital prints is one of the most widespread methods of promoting advertising messages and company presence. It was and is a particularly effective way of promotion through outdoor communication and cannot possibly go unnoticed. In fact, quite often a print-covered building becomes a reference or meeting point, especially when it is on a central street or in a smaller city. The cost of such a project is very low compared to the advantages it offers to the company that is being promoted, especially in today’s circumstances, where our cities are not overloaded with an abundance of messages. Covering a building is a job that needs proper handling so that the final result will be artistic and secure. In many cases a static study needs to be performed so that the safest support method can be used. There are two main methods for covering the face of a building: A) Decoration of buildings with hung vinyls. B) Decoration with adhesive films on glass.
A. Digital printing on vinyl
Digital printing on vinyl basically involves two materials: plain vinyl and mesh. The choice depends on the case and is directly related to the suspension point as well as to the area covered. In sites with high wind pressure and large surfaces, mesh is used. Mesh is also used when we want to let light pass through, since this kind of vinyl cuts out around 40% of the incoming light only. In stable, “blind” sites on buildings, where there is a constructed metal frame, we prefer plain vinyl. In practice, there is no limit on the square metres that can be covered with digital prints, provided that all the necessary measurements and studies have been performed. Vinyls are up to 5 metres wide (small side of the material) and are heat-welded together to make up the desired dimensions. At Diastasis SA we also undertake all the special tasks that vinyls require, such as pockets, hooks and eyelets, sleeves, and reinforcements with rope or straps.
B) Digital printing on adhesive films
Digital printing on adhesive films has many different applications. We can use adhesive coloured films in different designs and colours, or plain and/or printed sandblast film. Usually, we cover the plate glass walls of buildings totally or up to a certain point with easily-removable adhesive sections. Adhesive mesh functions exactly like hung mesh, i.e. here we also have 30-40% of incoming light being blocked, although no metal structures are needed to hold it up. In practice, there is no limit to the square metres that can be covered by digital prints. At Diastasis SA, before every application, we follow a procedure for the measurement of the glass, piece by piece, to ensure complete accuracy in the final printing. All films are laminated with UV-resistant plastic, which significantly prolongs their lifespan.
The lifespan of digital prints depends on the site where they are placed, but also on the weather conditions and the level of environmental pollution. For interior spaces the lifespan reaches 5 years, while for exterior spaces it is up to 3 years without lamination. The extended sunshine in Greece, for example, along with the atmospheric pollution, significantly reduces the lifespan of graphics under outside conditions, especially in cases where they have not been plastic laminated, as with banner material. Even though this is true, Diastasis SA has made outdoor banners since 1996 that haven’t faded out until today, as one would have expected.