Glass and walls are, ideally, supposed to serve functional purposes – enclose building interiors, protect from outdoor elements, offer security, let in natural light (for glass), subdivide interior spaces, etc. However, in the current digital age, walls and glass can also have aesthetic functions. Thanks to advancements in printing technologies, you can transform your walls and glass surfaces from simply being functional architectural elements to decorative areas that improve the design of your interior and exterior spaces.
By using various wall and glass printing technologies and materials used by companies like SAS Graphics, seen at https://www.sas-graphics.com/products/window-film-printing/, you are able to use your surfaces for advertisement, displaying signs and important notifications, mounting art, among other things. Below is a look at various printing techniques/technologies that you can use to print on your walls and glass.
Techniques for Printing on Glass
Traditionally, printing has been performed on paper, fabrics, and other materials such as wood and boards. However, advancement in printing technologies has allowed for a venture into new printing materials, and glass printing is becoming increasingly popular in fields such as art printing, signage and display advertising, interior designing, and so on. A number of glass printing techniques are available, and they include:
- Window Film Printing
Window film printing is one of the most popular techniques of printing on glass surfaces. It involves the use of a window film as a printing material, after which the print is attached to the glass surface. Various types of window films can be used for the printing process, including optically clear film, colored translucent films, etch frosted films, and one-way vision films.
The films are available in a large variety of sizes, from a large size film to cover an entire window surface or a specifically-cut film to cover only a part of the glass that needs to be printed on. When using the films, different levels of opacity can be achieved – depending on the printing needs – by applying a laminate on the film.
Window film printing is usually used for advertising displays (retail stores and promotional displays), workplace branding, and signage. It can also be used to improve the workplace environment by printing on glasses that partition office spaces.
- Direct digital ceramic printing
Digital ceramic printing is another popular technique for printing on glass surfaces. It involves direct digital printing on the glass using ceramic inks. The inks are made by mixing nano-particles of glass and colored pigments, which helps to ensure that they fuse perfectly with the glass surface. After the printing process, the glass surface is fired and tempered, which completely bonds the ink with the glass. A laminate or insulation layer is then added to the surface of the glass, which increases the durability of the print.
An alternative technique for ceramic printing is available in the form of digital UV printing. The techniques are quite similar, with the only difference being that digital UV printing uses organic inks, which are then cured using UV light.
- Screen printing
Screen printing is a more traditional technique for printing on glass. Unlike digital printing, it involves the use of mesh screen to apply the ink and create the desired image. The glass is then cured to dry the ink and bond the image to the glass surface. Screen printing is a more flexible printing technique, which allows printing on different types – size, shape, thickness, etc. of glass surfaces. It is commonly used for printing art, logos, product images, and other displays.
Techniques for Printing on Walls
Just like glass surfaces, walls are becoming popular surfaces for printing, and they are being used for external signage purposes, interior design, promotion displays, branding, printing and mounting art, and more. Below are some of the most popular wall printing techniques that are currently in use.
- Self-adhesive vinyl films
Film printing is one of the most popular techniques for printing on walls. It involves the use of a vinyl film as a printing material, which is then attached to the wall surface using a self-adhesive layer (found on the back surface). It is a simple and inexpensive solution for wall displays, as the film can be attached to any wall surface, from interior walls to exterior walls. Self-adhesive vinyl film printing is ideal for signage, workplace branding, promotional displays, and interior design.
- Wallpaper printing
Wallpaper printing is another popular wall printing technique. It involves the use of wallpapers a printing material, which are then attached to the walls using adhesives. The printing technique can be used for promotion displays, interior design, information displays, and even mounting of art and photography work, thus making them ideal for a wide variety of spaces from offices to retail stores, museum and galleries, and more. Wallpaper printing can be used for temporary displays or to permanently cover up a wall (especially when the wall surface is not aesthetically pleasing).
- Wall murals printing
Wall murals printing is quite to wallpaper printing in that both technique use wall coverings as a printing material. However, wall murals printing offers more aesthetic possibilities than when using wallpapers. To start with, wall murals are printed on using digital printing (as opposed to embossed or surface prints for wallpapers) which helps to create high-quality prints. On top of that, wall murals are 3D printed, which helps add more depth to the printed images. The high-quality 3D prints can also be combined with various finishes, for example, glossy or matte, thus making the images truly captivating. Due to these aesthetic features, wall murals are usually used for printing photography and are common in museums, art galleries, and exhibitions.
- Tension fabric printing
Tension fabric printing is another technique you can use to print on your walls. It involves the use of a large fabric as a printing material, which is then attached to the wall after being mounted on a frame (usually aluminum). For the perfect display, the fabrics are usually accompanied by LED lights, usually in the back, which illuminates the graphics and adds more visual appeal to the images. Tension fabric printing is ideal for promotion displays and art mounting.
Are you looking for creative surfaces to print on? Walls and glass are perfect surfaces for printing, especially when it comes to large displays. Whether you are looking to print signs, decorate your interior or exterior surfaces, mount promotional displays, or print and mount art, your walls and glass surfaces will offer a perfect surface, while the above printing techniques will help to ensure that you get the perfect print images for your project.