Floor Graphics Keep Zooming Along

Floor graphics are the new playground of wide-format marketing, according to an article on the website of wide-format printing and technology company BIG Images.

“Everyone has to watch where they walk; why not put your logo or product message in their line of sight?” the article says, and how true that is.

Floor graphics have become a great Point of Purchase (POP) display because they can be applied to many different types of surfaces and they are laminated with a non-skid laminate and equipped with a self-adhesive removable film. Graphics can be easily removed within six months leaving little or no residue. Floor graphics are relatively inexpensive, still new enough that they draw attention and are a proven sales stimulant.

We recently spoke with representatives from three companies about how they got in to floor graphics, how the market has changed and where it may be going.

All The Rage

Established in 1992, Road Rage Designs moved to its current Spring Grove, IL location when President Mike Grillo teamed up with commercial artist Kris Harris. The duo has a combined 37 years of graphics experience. The company specializes in fleet lettering, vehicle wraps and wide-format graphics and began doing floor graphics about two years ago when they were asked to do a graphic for the Regional Sports Center in Crystal Lake, IL.

“We were already doing wall graphics for them, and they wanted to start advertising on their floors,” says Harris. The project was a huge success and business has just picked up from there. “I think the market is getting more attention, and people are becoming more aware that there are products that can work on floors and be very effective,” explains Harris.

Harris says advances in technology are playing a key role in the success. “Advances in adhesive technology have made it possible to put floor graphics in areas that you would not think a floor graphic would stay—like concrete sidewalks and carpeting,” says Harris. “Also, there are some great skid-resistant laminates that make it possible to lower the possibility of someone slipping on the graphics if they become wet.” When asked to pick out a hot trend, Harris immediately said carpet graphics. “It’s what everyone seems to be real excited about, especially for trade shows.”

While technological advances and hot trends are good signs for the market, the bad economy is taking its toll, according to Harris. “Right now with the economy down, it’s really hard to say what the future holds,” says Harris. “Smart businesses are advertising wherever and whenever possible, but there are a lot of businesses that are cutting back on advertising. This may put a damper on the floor graphics market in favor of more conventional and time-tested signage that is at eye level. However, I really think that as the economy recovers, and businesses are willing to spend more on advertising, the floor graphics market will grow very rapidly.”

Market Solutions

Grafix Solutions is a Sayreville, NJ-based multimedia contractor best known as the leading distributor of fleet vehicle wraps for all Dunkin’ Brand owned businesses such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, and ToGo’s.

Founded in 2000, Grafix Solutions offers wide-format printing such as fleet vehicles, billboards and wide-format banners. The company got into the market in 2005 when the company was asked to do some floor graphics for spring break advertisements around college campuses. “We produced floor graphics to advertise different spring break location venues,” recalls George Kern, design & development, Grafix Solutions.

While noting that there are newer materials and more durable inks and over laminates, Kern says more than anything else, the biggest change in the market is that demand is much higher today than it was a few years back. He adds that the biggest advancements, aside from the inks and materials being utilized, would have to be the ever-growing array of machines now capable of printing floor graphics.

“The resolutions are better than ever before and the colors are bold and vibrant…literally jumping off the ground to grab the prospective consumer’s attention,” he states. And this has lead to Kern’s choice for the hot trend in the market. “More outdoor applications to attract walk-ins from let’s say public sidewalks,” he says. “With newer, more aggressive adhesives and thicker over-laminates, this might pick up even more.”

As for the future of the floor graphic market, Kern says it is hard to predict, but the demand is ever growing. “With companies wanting to utilize every available spot for effective advertising, I don’t really see an end in sight for the demand of floor graphics. It is turning into a very lucrative market for those with the capability of producing them.”

Group Effort

National Print Group, Inc. (NPG) is a provider of in-store and out-of-home signage. With headquarters in Chattanooga, TN since 1957, NPG operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and sales offices across the country.

NPG has been in the floor graphic business for past several years, mainly printing them on screen and in large volume, according to Alan Ali, the company’s production manager. “As soon the power of digital print came along it opened up a new door, allowing us to work in smaller quantities and a variety of substrates,” he explains.

Ali says the technological advances in the past 10 years have been a huge boost to the industry. “Technology is advancing every day, especially in large-format digital print with much faster ways of printing and a better lifetime expectancy for the graphics,” he says. “The technology of solvent and UV-based digital printers provides customers with a much greater range of choices. Using full color graphics on a floor graphic creates the highest awareness of all floor categories. The impact is even more powerful since we have a variety of substrate options that adhere to carpet and unfinished cement/sidewalk.”