The dilemma with vinyl flexAuthor: maya | Filed under: Uncategorized
These days we get to see those flimsy vinyl flexes on billboards. Once your advert is printed on them and installed on the billboard you would be lucky if the old message or writing hidden behind the flex doesn’t show up. It looks very apparent, especially if the background of your design is white, which remains unprinted. To add the woe are the strong winds or thunderstorm during the months of summer and monsoon, which rips apart your flexes and leave a torn brand message hanging from the billboards. This again is the result of the thinness of the vinyl.
The responsibility should not be passed onto the printers alone. The agencies and the clients should equally share the blame. In the jest of brining down the cost to sub Rupees 10 per square feet, they ignorantly propagated the cheaper materials from China and Korea. Thin skins can be a hit for condoms but not in outdoor advertising. In such cases of low cost printing, I would prefer the client taking the call and onus, and not the agency.
There is another problem area. And that’s about flex installation. Clients these days insists free or negligible installation charges. I got caught in this trap once. For a recent campaign, to ensure quality we made sure the flexes were of acceptable weights (ounce) which is a denominator of the thickness of the material required. When the printed flexes were installed there was no reason to complain about print quality or translucency. But what came and hit me was the innumerable wrinkles after the flex was stretched, which couldn’t be eradicated despite couple of attempts . In the enthusiasm of getting the flex right, I had forgotten that these days pipe-mounting has beenn replaced completely with nail mounting.
Pipe-mounting is having pockets on all 4 sides of the bleed through which iron pipes are inserted which are then stretched and tied to the structure. Whilst in nail mounting or wire mounting the flexes are stretched by hand and then either nailed or wired through holes. The second option which is the cheaper one works fine for thinner materials which can be stretched with hand, but not for thicker ones which has less elasticity.
I learnt the hard way that from now on, I will have to make my clients aware that by adding couple of percentages on the overall outdoor budget for thicker material and for pipe mounting installation, the outdoor campaign would be in good health.
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