What’s Behind the Boom in Building Wraps

More and more, designers, advertising agencies, brand owners, and print service providers (PSPs) are discovering and using wide-format print media to creatively transform building walls.

Gone are the days when textured wall surfaces like brick, block, and stucco were overlooked as potential design or advertising space. In recent years, plain white block walls and other textured walls have become unique canvases for displaying school spirit, visually capturing the hearts of a hospital’s patients and visitors, or supporting a company’s brand messaging in restaurants, sports complexes, museums, parking garages, and beyond.

These specialty graphic applications can be featured as stand-alone projects or as part of a building’s overall design, where the application might also include floor and window graphic components. 

In fact, with the latest environmental graphics trend, today’s designers often incorporate wide-format pressure-sensitive print media into building designs to combine sophisticated design with architectural layouts and useful information. Environmental graphics tell a brand’s story by utilizing a building’s architectural elements and raw materials along with customized typography, images, and messaging to create a deeper connection between the place and the people who visit it.

Building wraps that feature pressure-sensitive adhesives can provide a long-lasting print image without the need to alter the building with mechanical fasteners or clamps. Additionally, end-users will find pressure-sensitive building wraps will remove without leaving any adhesive residue on the wall surface.

RoughRAP Install

Make your next rough wall application easy & cost-effective with IMAGin RoughRAP and PERMACOLOR RAYZor LF3638G duo.

For graphic installers, textured surfaced building wrap projects can be some of the most complex. But with added effort, installers can successfully achieve a great-looking wall graphic that will benefit the end-user for years to come. First, the site needs to be inspected to ensure the correct surface preparation is made for a safe and successful installation. Also, these types of applications typically require heat from either a torch or heat gun to help soften and “reset” the memory of the film used. This ensures a good bond to the rough surface and provides the appearance of the image being painted on the wall. Finally, the material chosen matters.

Manufacturers like Mactac® offer pressure-sensitive print media and laminate solutions for all types of wall surfaces – from smooth to rough and textured. Textured wall surface applications require both high-performing media with a matching overlaminate. Mactac’s IMAGin® RoughRAP® cast media and PERMACOLOR® RAYZor™ cast overlaminate is a long-time trusted combination of PSPs. RoughRAP consists of a 2.0-mil gloss white face with an aggressive, permanent opaque adhesive that can be printed with solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV equipment. The 1.5-mil RAYZor laminate is available in both gloss and matte finishes. This combination can be used outdoors for up to 18 months while interior applications can expect to look great for 5+ years.

For smooth concrete walls and columns, Mactac offers REBEL® X-treme and StreetRAP®. These products feature a thick, clear permanent aggressive adhesive that can be used for 5 years outdoors when paired with PERMACOLOR® ColorGard® LUV intermediate overlaminates.

For more information on Mactac solutions for building wrap applications, check out our Wall Application Guide.