Magnetic receptive materials are taking a revolutionary approach to convenience and individuality in marketing. Many companies are opting to use printable magnetic receptive media to place their business advertisements on metallic surfaces to take their branding and promotions to another level. This technique is cost effective, saves space and offers advertising options in unconventional places. New types of magnetic sheeting can be used to promote businesses through the use of large, magnetic advertisements on vehicles, wide banners, POP displays, and display boards.
“Vehicles are mobile billboards that last for years and are not fixed in one spot. Market research companies have found that vehicle wraps are the most cost effective way to advertise by generating 30,000-70,000 sightings a day,” said Scott Lewczak owner of ArtWorks, a Nokesville, VA graphics provider.
“Magnetic signs on cars, trucks, and vans have the advantage that they can be displayed and removed as required. During the day as a business vehicle, at night you can remove them to use as a private vehicle. Images and messages can be changed easily and as frequently as they need too be,” he said.
Lewczak’s shop mainly focuses on vehicle wraps but sees a fair number of magnetic signage jobs, too. He said he first prints on the graphics on vinyl on their Mimaki 160s and then applies the magnet backing with soapy water with a rubber squeegee. “Small businesses such as landscapers that live in areas were they aren’t allowed to have signs on their truck are some of our prime candidates for magnetic signage. They are easy to take off and re-install. I also supply customers with metal sheet so they can store the sign where it lays flat when they take it off. Its more of a niche market for me; but its a growing one,” he added.
Another output provider that is doing interesting things with magnetic media is Portland Color based in Portland, ME. The company specializes in retail graphics and fabric printing, but uses its HP Scitex FB6100 printer for outputting to magnetic substrates. In May of 2008, the shop installed the printer to address a broader range of large-format applications with direct to substrate printing. Most recently, Portland Color purchased an HP Designjet L65500 Printer in support of their company commitment to sustainability.
“We typically use magnetic substrates for retail environments, such as lifestyle images combined with a branding background with a seasonal change-out using both magnetic receptive material and magnetic substrates themselves,” said Paul Glynn, vice president of operations at Portland Color. “Some examples of where you would see these magnetic applications in a retail environment include a cash wrap, on valances, between fixtures. If you go into one of our customers’ stores in New York, we have a several magnetic applications on the shelves and on a postcard wall. We have installed a magnetic wall that the fixtures are screwed in over that has an image on it. Each season, we go in and change out the top layer of magnets to fit that particular season,” he explained.
The company uses magnetic media from Master Magnetics and Drytac that they purchase through their distributor Alpha Imaging. Glynn reported that benefits of using magnetic media are that you can use them in a fixture system which make them very easy to install. “There is an investment up front in the backing, whether it is panels on the walls or a permanent installation, and then whatever you stick to the wall is changeable.”
“We’ve spent a year and a half growing this part of the business. Magnetic printing is relatively new to the market, but the product category is continuing to grow. A lot of people have caught onto magnetic substrate printing. It was very obvious at SGIA ’08 where there was a full feature on magnetic substrates. The year before they were buried in a number distributors booths,” he concluded.