Welcome to Vinyl Insider

Vinyl Insider is your online community. It’s where sign makers, graphic artists, vehicle wrappers and others who work with vinyl can network, share ideas, and keep up with the latest products and services that help you do that you do better.If you are looking for vinyl installation tips, tricks, training, or techniques, Vinyl Insider is the online community for you. From our series of vinyl installation e-books to our team of vinyl pros and industry gurus, Vinyl Insider offers you the inside scoop on all things vinyl.

So what are you waiting for? Get involved, learn something new, share your expertise, spread the word, and let’s make the vinyl world a better place…together.

3M Commercial Graphics Expands Warranty and Guarantee Programs

Wed, Mar 28, 2012

3M Commercial Graphics has expanded its warranty and guarantee offerings with three new additions of printer and ink platforms. The SIIT GX 3M Ink Series for use in the Seiko I Infotech ColorPainter H Series Printers are now covered under the 3M MCS Warranty and two new OEM inkjet printers and inks are now covered under the 3M Performance Guarantee.

“We are excited to collaborate with Seiko Instruments USA to offer the vibrant and flexible SIIT GX 3M Ink Series paired with the high-volume and reliable ColorPainter™ H Series Printers to our customers,” said Adam Larson, marketing supervisor, 3M Commercial Graphics. “Our goal is to continue to collaborate with reputable partners to offer our customers the best products and solutions in the industry.”

3M MCS Warranty
Providing users with valuable tools for productivity, quality and cost effectiveness, the combination of SIIT GX 3M inks and ColorPainter™ H Series Printers offers graphics manufacturers added peace of mind under the 3M™ MCS™ Warranty. As the gold standard in the industry for more than 30 years, the 3M™ MCS™ Warranty protects discriminating users who require optimum performance for the intended life of the graphics. Find more details at 3Mgraphics.com/warranties.

Graphics manufactures who register for a certificate receive the ability to promote the warranty to their customers. To register and receive more information, users can visit www.3Mgraphics.com/warrantyregistration.

3M Performance Guarantee
In addition, the 3M Performance Guarantee continues to grow with the inclusion of two new OEM inkjet printer and ink platforms qualified to receive the 3M Performance Guarantee, including:

HP Designjet L26500 with HP 792 Latex Inks
EPSON SureColor® S30670 Printer with UltraChrome® GS2 Ink

The 3M Performance Guarantee covers tested and qualified OEM printers and ink combinations (solvent, latex and UV) used with 3M graphic media.

“3M conducts extensive testing to confirm that our products are reliable and provide consistent results,” said Jennifer Greenquist, inks and warranties business manager for 3M Commercial Graphics.  “It’s a four-month process with 10,000 data points and results several-inches thick.”

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3M Commercial Graphics 2012 Graphic Installation Training Session Dates Announced

Wed, Mar 21, 2012

3M Commercial Graphics announces the 2012 schedule of its world-class training, testing and accreditation process for installers. Aimed at providing graphic professionals with the training to take their skills to the next level, 3M Commercial Graphics offers opportunities for companies to gain recognition through the 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company Program and individuals through the 3M Preferred Graphics Installer Program.

The 3M Endorsed Vehicle Graphics Installer Program was also introduced last year for installations at car dealerships and has been established through the new 3M Scotchprint On-Demand Personalized Vehicle Graphics Program.

Held at the 3M Center in St. Paul, Minn., 3M Advanced Installation Training is a three-day session that enhances skills through discussion, demonstration, and monitored hands-on training. 3M Graphics Installation Trainers provide first-class training sessions that cover an array of topics, including vehicle wraps, fleet graphics, boat wraps, smooth walls, textured walls and floor graphics.

2012 Dates:
March 19-21
April 16-18
May 14-16
June 18-20
July 16-18
August 20-22
September 17-19
October 15-17
November 12-14
December 10-12

In addition to the courses offered in St. Paul, Minn., 3M Commercial Graphics also offers training sessions at Lowen Corporation in Hutchinson, Kan., in which 3M Preferred Graphics Installers offer extensive hands-on practice to build and refine installation skills. These courses run from two to five days, depending on customer requirements, with topics including sales and marketing skills; vehicle accessory disassembly; and graphic film installation and removal for vehicle wraps, boat wraps, fleet graphics, smooth walls, textured walls and floor graphics. These courses utilize the curriculum developed by 3M.

2012 Dates:
March 12-13
March 26-30

Graphics Training Seminar
Planning is also in progress for additional Graphics Training Seminars, with dates and locations to be announced. These seminars are typically three days, but can be customized, and cover various graphic applications with a strong emphasis on vehicle wraps and installation. Topics discussed can include sales and marketing skills; and graphic design, printing, laminating and installation.

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3M Commercial Graphics Helps NASCAR Fans Discover the Power to Personalize with Car Wraps

Fri, Feb 24, 2012

3M Commercial Graphics will showcase its 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 for thousands of car enthusiasts at select 2012 NASCAR races.

“3M’s extraordinary wrap films are already used on many NASCAR vehicles, but fans may not realize that they too can use it to create a custom look of their own,” said Doug Blackwell, business development manager for 3M Commercial Graphics. “We are excited for this promotion to get people talking about car wraps and to connect them with our network of professional installers.”

At seven events over the course of the 2012 NASCAR season, 3M Commercial Graphics will set up a demonstration area outside of the track where visitors can watch a car being customized with car wrap films from 3M. The demonstrations will showcase a variety of the film 1080’s 34 distinct combinations of colors and finishes. Booth staff will be available to answer questions, hand out product samples and provide information on how visitors can create their own custom car wrap with the help of their nearest 3M Certified and 3M Preferred Graphics Installer.

Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 and other 3M car wrap films will be given even wider exposure at the race taking place in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sunday, March 4. At this event, the 3M-sponsored car driven by Greg Biffle will be wrapped in a printed snakeskin design with a matte finish and Scotchprint Wrap Film 1080-CF12 (black carbon fiber). The design will prominently feature 3Mwraps.com. Visitors to the website will find more information about wrapping a business vehicle or a personal vehicle using Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 and other great 3M films.

The dates and locations where the car wrap demonstrations will take place are:

  • February 26 – Daytona International Speedway; Daytona, Fla.
  • March 4 – Phoenix International Raceway; Phoenix, Ariz. (3Mwraps.com appearing on hood of Greg Biffle’s No. 16 race car)
  • July 15 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, N.H.
  • August 25 – Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
  • September 16 – Chicagoland Speedway; Chicago, Ill.
  • September 30 – Dover International Speedway; Dover, Del.
  • October 21 – Kansas Speeedway; Kansas City, Kan.
  • November 11 – Phoenix International Raceway; Phoenix, Ariz.

3M is a longstanding sponsor of NASCAR, and in addition to sponsoring the No. 16 car driven by Greg Biffle, the company is also a Contingency Decal Program participant. 3M has many products designated as “Officially Licensed Products of NASCAR” or “NASCAR Performance Products,” and also offers hundreds of products that are used in racing and automobile production and maintenance.

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3M Commercial Graphics Introduces the SIIT GX 3M Ink Series

Wed, Feb 22, 2012

3M Commercial Graphics and Seiko I Infotech Inc. (SIIT) introduce GX 3M inks—vibrant, flexible colored inks made for use in the Seiko I Infotech ColorPainter H Series Printers. Designed for printing on many 3M brand opaque, translucent and reflective graphic films, GX 3M inks can be applied on or to fleet and vehicle graphics, indoor and outdoor signs, and promotional graphics.

The solvent inks have excellent conformability, and are available in eight rich colors, which include cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta and two shades of white. GX 3M inks are suitable for graphic films applied on compound curves, corrugations, and riveted and flat surfaces, offering outstanding versatility to users. When protected with the proper 3M overlaminate, the inks are also durable and weather resistant.

“We are proud to collaborate with Seiko Instruments USA and to introduce the SIIT 3M Ink series to the market,” said Adam Larson, marketing supervisor, 3M Commercial Graphics. “The Seiko ColorPainter H Series has proven to be a successful printer in the wide format graphic industry; we are excited about the opportunity to offer a co-branded ink for this reputable machine.”

The combination of GX 3M inks and ColorPainter H Series Printers gives users a valuable tool for productivity, quality, and cost effectiveness. ColorPainter H Series Printers are built for reliable operation in high-volume environments and offer industry-leading printing speeds and rich saturated color output.  These cost effective printers produce graphics backed by the 3M™ MCS™ Warranty. As the first finished graphics warranty in the industry, the 3M MCS Warranty helps protect discriminating users who require optimum performance for the intended life of the graphics.

“3M’s reputation in the industry made it an easy choice to partner with them to create this ink series,” said Pat Ryan, general manager, Seiko Instruments USA, Inc. “With 3M’s thorough testing and confident backing of its products, our customers know they can be confident too.”

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3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080: Brushed Black Metallic

Tue, Jan 17, 2012

3M Commercial Graphics announces the introduction of a stunning new color/finish combination to its 3M™ Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 – Brushed Black Metallic. The unique film color was selected in the recent Wrap Battle: 1080 contest, which asked fans of the product to vote for their favorite new color and finish on Facebook. More than 500 fans of 3M Commercial Graphics cast their votes, with Brushed Black Metallic emerging as the clear winner among the nine contenders.

“The Brushed Black Metallic film creates a very tough, aggressive look that really pops in the light,” said Shareef Khan, CEO of SS Customs, a leading custom wrap shop based in Redwood City, Calif. “I’ve used metalized films from other companies in the past, and they don’t have anywhere near as much flexibility or stretchability as Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080. We really appreciate the research and development that 3M puts into their films. You can see in the way that it performs, the way it adheres, and the way the air releases that 3M utilizes the most advanced technology.”

With this new addition, Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 now has 34 head-turning films in carbon fiber, brushed metal, matte and high gloss. As fans of the product know, film series 1080 makes a distinctive statement, providing industry-leading features and benefits that allow users to get the look just right, each and every time.

The long-term, removable cast films offer the same great installation features found on 3M Controltac Graphic Films with Comply Adhesive. The product’s pressure-activated adhesive allows it to slide and be repositioned until firm pressure is applied, with non-visible air release channels that assure fast, easy, and virtually bubble-free installations. Its 60 inch width means that users can wrap almost any section of a vehicle without seams, and the film remains removable for up to three years, making it easy to change looks. The film is also backed by the industry leading 3M MCS Warranty.

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3M Vehicle Wrapping Film Spreads Word for Richard Parks’ 737 Challenge

Wed, Dec 21, 2011

Diversified technology company 3M is proud to have played a part in promoting Richard Parks’ 737 Challenge: a world first race to climb the 7 highest summits on each of the world’s continents and stand on all 3 poles in 7 months.

The Cardiff branch of the UK’s largest signage company, Signs Express, was commissioned by the endeavour to wrap a new Audi A1 to raise awareness of the 737 Challenge. They chose the high-performance, ultra-conformable Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 by 3M, printed with striking graphics for the perfect finish. The fully wrapped vehicle made an appearance at the Dragons vs. Blues rugby match, televised in April 2011, and helped raise funds for the Challenge.

Richard Parks made history on 12 July 2011 becoming the first ever person to climb the famous 7 summits and stand on all 3 poles (The North Pole, The South Pole and the summit of Everest) in the same calendar year. He achieved his incredible world first in 6 months, 11 days, 7 hours and 53 minutes and aims to raise £1 million in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Part of his epic fundraising is a competition running until midnight on 12 July 2012, in which supporters wanting to help Richard raise £1 million in aid of Marie Curie have the opportunity to win a brand new Audi A1 (without its wrapping), donated by Mon Motors Audi. More information is available at: http://www.737challenge.com/

It was a perfect mix of graphic design and implementation, according to Emma Assender, fundraising executive for the 737 Challenge. “We engaged limegreentangerine, our design partners based in Cardiff, to design an eye catching wrap and Signs Express to carry that forward into the car graphics. They have done a fantastic job, enabling the 737 Challenge team and Mon Motors Audi to carry our message out on the streets. The car looks fantastic”.

Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 was used to provide the eye-catching look that combines black-and-white photography with rugged rough edges and complex typography. Suitable for high-quality screen printing and piezo inkjet printing, the film is combined with 3M’s Controltac Adhesive, which allows vehicle wrappers to slide and reposition the graphic before using pressure to activate the adhesive. Furthermore, using vinyl wrapping film rather than traditional car graphics means the vehicle remains immaculate with its original paintwork protected from stone chips and every day wear-and-tear.

Grant Zehetmayr, co-owner of Signs Express (Cardiff), commented, “As a keen extreme sports fan and graphic arts enthusiast myself, it’s been a great project to be involved in. My skilled sign makers have completed vehicle wraps for previous customers on this scale but never with such a high profile and for such a worthwhile cause. The recently reformulated 3M film was a dream to print and wrap.”

As part of its continuous improvement policy, Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 been optimised further for high quality print performance, as Kim Brewer, marketing manager with 3M’s Commercial Graphics Division, explained: “We recognise that graphic quality and finish are of utmost importance and are delighted that 3M was able to perform such an excellent job for Signs Express and the 737 Challenge. This is yet another demonstration of how vinyl wraps can create unique, attention-grabbing and impressive results.”

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3M Commercial Graphics Announces Winner of “Wrap Battle: 1080”

Sun, Dec 11, 2011

More than 500 fans of 3M Commercial Graphics recently voted in “Wrap Battle: 1080,” a contest to choose the next color and finish for 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080. By an overwhelming margin, voters selected Brushed Black Metallic from the nine color/finish contenders. The new film will be available in January 2012.

The contest was held on the Facebook page of 3M Commercial Graphics. After fans voted on their preferred color/finish combination, they were encouraged to share their choice with their Facebook friends, and then were entered in the sweepstakes to win a roll of the selected film.

Brushed Black Metallic received more than twice the votes of the next nearest finisher. The breakdown of the 554 total votes in the contest was as follows:

·     Brushed Black Metallic: 38%

·     Gloss Red Metallic: 15%

·     Carbon Fiber Blue: 12%

·     Matte Pink: 9%

·     Matte Blue: 7%

·     Carbon Fiber Gold:  6%

·      Matte Orange: 5%

·     Carbon Fiber Red: 5%

·      Matte Red: 3%

In the U.S., Evan Chan of La Habra, Calif., was the winner of a free roll, while Craig Stratton of Mount Pearl in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador won the prize in Canada.

“We are constantly evolving and improving our products to give our customers what they want,” said Doug Blackwell, business development manager for 3M Commercial Graphics. “This contest allowed us to communicate directly with users of our products, and we are thrilled with their response. Brushed black metallic will make an outstanding addition to our line.”

Scotchprint wrap film series 1080 has been embraced by car enthusiasts thanks to its variety of finishes, textures and colors. Film series 1080 is a long-term, removable, dual-cast film that offers graphics installers the same convenient installation features found on 3M Controltac Graphic Films with 3M Comply Adhesive. The film is slideable and repositionable, with a pressure-activated adhesive and non-visible air release channels to allow virtually bubble-free applications. The film is also backed by the industry leading 3M MCS Warranty, bringing peace of mind to discriminating users who require optimum performance.

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