How to Start a Branding Project for Roto Moulded Parts
Starting up a new branding project requires great preparation. We would like to share the knowledge gained through the previous 20+ years of experience, and have prepared a guide broken into 5 essential sections.
In Section 1 – Product design and mold detail, we covered surface textures, product shape and thickness, brand positioning & purpose along with plastic types & molding processes. In Section 2 we help you choose the correct graphic type to best suit your branding project.
Good luck on your project!
SECTION 2: Choosing graphic types
Start with end in mind, will this product be used outdoors or indoors, positioned horizontal or vertical, will it face direct or partial sunlight, is it subjected to abrasion, immersed in salt-water, splashed with petrochemicals, require pressure washing regularly, or not at all. All graphics are not created equal, so we have provided a quick chart to see which type best suits your application below.
Constructions will differ based on the supplier, so the below are examples PSI Brand offer.
1. INMOULD Original. Printed on an opaque polyolefin substrate, this easy peel & stick construction can also be clear-cut or die-cut to give edge definition. Supplied on a transfer sheet and precoated pressure-sensitive adhesive.
2. INMOULD X-Treme. Printed on a naturally transparent polyolefin film, with similar attributes to the Original version, with the added benefit of improved abrasion and flame resistance.
3. POSTMOULD. Printed opaque polyolefin substrate, supplied on a transfer sheet for heat-transfer application, provides excellent adhesion to most plastics.
4. Hi-Tac Vinyl Decal. Printed onto a clear or white vinyl substrate, this pressure sensitive adhesive decal offers superior adhesion to most low-energy surfaces such as plastic
As with any supplier, PSI Brand graphic systems are unique. You should treat each new graphic as a R&D project, especially if you have used a graphics from a previous supplier, and allow extra time for operators to adopt new methods
Colour options and UV stability
In printing and graphics, corporate colours are called spot-colours and are determined by quoting PANTONE™ colour matching system numbers. Spot colours provide long-life expectancy, we say the ‘for life of the part’. We recommend your own testing in the specific elements, PSI Brand has tested to 8000 hours in a QUV Weatherometer, a testing unit that mimics extreme outdoor environments, and have seen graphics last over 20 years in some instances.
Digital print technology has become more mainstream, providing photo-quality finish, suited also for consecutive and variable data such as serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes. Screen spot-print colour technology so far outperforms digital print technology for outdoor fade resistance, however as this technology improves, PSI expects this performance gap to close.
Transparency and opacity
Does your brand require a level of transparency i.e., liquid level indicator or back-lit part such as lamps or roading bollard? If so, PSI Brand recommends their unique INMOULD X-Treme Type for this application as the natural film construction is transparent. If your branding is of corporate nature, and required 100% accuracy across many part colours, it may need to be necessary to add a White back-print to ensure colour consistency.
When does your brand require that x-factor? The little known, yet available special finishes that makes your brand recognizable. Fluorescents for hi-visual effect are available yet are not recommended for outdoor applications as any fluorescent pigments do not support long-term fade resistance.
Reflective additives are also available, like that used in road marking on lane guides suitable for outdoors.
Metallics such as silver and gold effects, offer extra bling factor and most readily available.
Conductive inks are used for specialist applications such as creating antennas for PSID™, RFID electronic tracking system for plastics.
Finish strong… typically graphics are finished with a Satin coating, which provides a plastic-type appearance, however a Matte is recommended for a military-type, extra low-sheen finish. Alternatively, a Gloss finish will provide a super-smooth, mirror-like finish.
Adhesives available for in-mould types from PSI Brand include their standard, cleanable adhesive, and PTAC™, peel-off type. Standard adhesive is the most popular type, as it’s well suited for a wide range of temperatures and mold surface types. While this leaves a residue that requires post-cleaning, secondary finishing processes are easily adopted.
PTAC™ is a more rigid adhesive, therefore less suited for curved or textured mould surfaces, and may prematurely release from hotter moulds where application temperatures exceed 40°C (104°F). Post-mould heat-transfer graphics are pre-coated with a positioning adhesive, which activates with heat. This adhesive is not the bonding agent, rather just used as assist transfer onto an oxidized surface. 7-Year Decals feature a hi-tack adhesive, designed specifically to bond to low-energy surfaces over time.
Standard scrape-off adhesive
PTAC peel-off adhesive
Not all graphics are created equal, so we hope you found this guide to choosing graphic types useful in maximising your branding opportunities. To see more on Steps 1, view previous section or click through to next section, artwork design…