Wallscapes & Building Wraps
advertorial by Circle Graphics
Wallscapes & Building Wraps
Anyone who’s ever motored down L.A.’s legendary Sunset Strip, or strolled through New York’s iconic Times Square has seen them. Those big, bold “billboards” high above the city streets showcasing everything from Netflix’s latest series to Nike’s newest kicks.
Technically speaking, these media are known as wallscapes or building wraps (depending on how and what type of surface upon which they are installed), and if you’ve seen one, it’s a safe bet the industry-leading experts at Circle Graphics printed it.
Wallscapes are one of the most visually engaging products in all of out-of-home (OOH). Properly executed, a large wall is a powerful and engaging way to promote a brand and rise above the clutter.
Walls and building wraps are produced in essentially three formats — murals, which are hand-painted directly onto a wall’s surface; cable-installed vinyl mesh or flex; and adhesive-backed vinyl adhered directly to a surface (ranging from concrete or stucco walls to windowed office buildings).
Circle Graphics, the world’s largest producer of grand and large-format digital graphics and arguably the industry leader in the latter two wallscape formats (opting to forgo painted murals due to this media type’s more protracted, time-consuming process and expense), can trace its expertise in this product segment back to its longtime partnership with digital printing pioneer and icon Metromedia Technologies (MMT).
After some 20 years of working together, Circle acquired MMT in 2020, consolidating and strengthening their leadership position in OOH production while expanding its capacity, client roster, and wall graphic and transit capabilities.
So, what exactly is in Circle’s wallscape secret sauce that sets them apart from their OOH competition?
For starters, producing and printing walls is an extremely difficult process, and the margin for error — i.e., not getting it right the first time — is, well, slim to none. Numerous factors play into the success of a wallscape project, from ensuring color matching across all panels to materials quality to the product’s finishing, be it a sticky (adhesive) back installation or one using a cable/grommet system.
Circle has made “getting it right the first time” an art form, and its industry-best reputation for superior production and product confidence underscores how they (currently, and through the years with MMT’s groundbreaking innovation) have mastered wallscape production using proprietary processes that include:
- Drum printing technology utilizing automotive-grade acrylic-based paints that are significantly more durable than the pigmented inks most competitors use.
- Enhanced color-matching and printing vibrancy due to the wide range of colors made possible by using acrylic paints.
- Radio frequency welding which is stronger than traditional hot-air gun welding which can be inconsistent and impossible to visually confirm.
- Embedded “seatbelt reinforcement” around perimeters.
- Installation expertise for when you want to outsource this step to us.
- Specially designed pressure-sensitive vinyl (PSV) that ensures superb color accuracy and unparalleled durability against whatever nature wants to throw its way.
- An unheard-of 5-year (!) warranty on wallscape media produced using our drum technology.
- For clients needing less expensive production with a one-year warranty, Circle has options with standard UV printing on mesh.
The industry standard-setting doesn’t stop there, either, as Circle has also perfected its finishing capabilities, developing a cable installation process utilizing grommets and “T-pockets,” a proprietary design that literally “welds” vinyl pockets on to the back of the finished product to ensure super-strong, and invisible from the front, attachment/mounting points around the entire piece. The strength of these welds is critical (all it takes is one to fail), and Circle prides itself on offering the most durable construction in the OOH industry.
“Over the years, at both MMT and now Circle, we have invested a lot of time, money, and resources with our various business partners into perfecting our wallscape printing and production process,” says Trent Mullet, Circle’s VP of Operations, who works out of Circle’s Wooster, OH, facility (which was MMT’s HQ before the acquisition). “From our dedicated color management team and use of drum printing and acrylic paint, to our proprietary finishing process and installation capabilities, Circle is the industry leader across the board for grand and large format digital printing.”
OK, so we’ve heard how awesome it is when things go right, but what about when they don’t? (Which, in case you’re wondering, is a very rare occurrence when it comes to Circle.)
“It comes down to time and money,” says Mullet. “First, the print vendor has to stop everything to correct the mistake and get the reprint out as quickly as possible. Then there’s the client’s lost media time, for every day or week their advertisement isn’t running on the “space” they’ve paid for. And there’s also the question of who’s covering the re-install, which can often run into the tens of thousands of dollars and exceed the cost of the actual printing. The installer may also need to pull another permit to remove the bad print and re-install the replacement. These costs add up.
“At Circle, we strive to ensure, with meticulous, redundant QA and QC systems in place, that the product is right the first time,” Mullet continues. “However, in the rare event something goes wrong, we stand behind everything we make and can reprint and ship corrected materials within 24 hours in some cases when needed.”
Pioneering innovation. Proprietary, industry-leading printing and production capabilities. Superior materials and finishing processes. And the only one of its kind 5-year warranty.
Going with Circle for your wall production and other large-format printing needs seems like an easy choice, and while it’s true there might be less expensive options available, none can guarantee the level of experience, quality, value, and capability — and the peace of mind that comes with it — that Circle Graphics can.
We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on your next wall project!
advertorial by Circle Graphics
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