Have you ever been stopped at a stoplight and saw a vehicle that had a picture in the back window? You were probably asking yourself, “How do they see out the back if there’s a printed picture on their window?”
It’s called window perf, and thankfully you have us to show and tell you all about it.
Window perf (short for perforation) is a special type of vinyl designed specifically for windows. The vinyl has tiny holes all over it and the adhesive side of it is black. This allows for a one-way view effect. The outside viewer sees the printed window graphics, and the inside viewer has a clear view of the people admiring their window.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, how clear are the printed window graphics? It has holes all over it! That doesn’t make sense!”
It would seem that holes all over a printed window graphics would distort and ruin the print kind of like how a boat with tiny holes all over it would sink to the bottom of the ocean. But, that’s not the way it is (by the way: a boat with tiny holes all over it will sink to the bottom of the ocean).
When viewed from far away the print looks complete. Even viewed from a normal distance (3-5 feet away) the graphic will still look good. However, if you get three inches away from the print, you’ll probably be able to see through one of the tiny holes.
Make an Statement!
Since window perf is specifically made for windows, it can really make an impactful statement. It looks great on storefront windows, office windows, vehicle windows, skyscraper windows, etc.
That vehicle your “stuck” behind, and left staring at their advertisement is exactly what they wanted! Think about it, …in the yellow pages (do people still use them?) their ad is right next to all their competitors, but out in traffic they have a captive audience at every stoplight!
On vehicle windows, window perf gets a little tricky. You have a choice of getting the graphics laminated or not. If you do laminate your graphic on the back window of your vehicle, you should be aware that the view to the outside might be a little blurry. There is “optically clear” laminate, but it will still not be crystal clear. Laminated window perf should last longer than un-laminated perf, however I’ve heard arguments the other way saying that the laminate over the tiny holes will dry out and be a point of failure.
If you choose to not laminate the graphics, you will have a clear view to the outside. However, your print graphics won’t have the laminate layer to protect against scratches. Also, when it rains it’s more difficult to see out of due to the water drops sitting in the holes. …Not a huge problem here in Colorado since things dry out so fast.
There’s also the option of applying a liquid spray laminate which will protect the graphics, although not as well as an actual film laminate, and still provide a clear vison.
Wrapping it up…
As you can see, window perf isn’t perfect (what is!), but all forms of vehicle graphics are awesome forms of advertising. And window graphics on the inside and outside of buildings really make an impressive statement to draw the customer in to “take a closer look”.
It’s important that you talk with your sign company and make sure they fully explain all the ins and outs of window graphics. In the case of vehicle graphics on windows, they better not mind taking the time to educate you on things like whether to laminate or not, and then let YOU make the final decision!