Materials

Profiling for Print: A Necessary Step for New Products

W. Edwards Deming, American scientist, once said, “Innovation comes from the producer – not from the consumer.”  We recognize that we’re not the sole innovators on print projects, but rather innovation captains. This quote reminded us that we, as producers, are responsible for the successful execution of innovation.

At Custom Color, the foundation of our success lies in innovation. We’re a group of trendsetters who work systematically to find new and fresh solutions to our client’s printing problems.

The solutions to our customer’s printing problems lie in our material offerings. We store a standard stock of over 200 materials that work for a majority of our client’s projects. However, in order to stay on the cutting-edge and to anticipate marketplace changes, we must introduce new materials into our offerings.

How do we find out which materials to introduce? We listen to our customer’s needs. We scour trade shows and meet with vendors to find materials that our client’s have never seen before. Then we find the products at the highest quality possible that we can introduce for the lowest price to our customers.

Profiling for Print: A Necessary Step for New Products

Finding the product is just the beginning. Every company, regardless of industry, always wants to offer their clients the best products and services – at Custom Color, we’re no different in that regard. Unlike every other company in the world, we have to go through a much more extensive and complex process before offering new products to our clients: profiling.

Printers and materials do not have one-size-fits-all properties. Each printer and material requires special amounts of ink, a certain speed and a precise degree of heat in order to render a perfect print.

In order to guarantee the color that our customers have grown to depend on, the profiling step is crucial. After an initial trial test print, our purchasing department works with the press operators, the RIP team, the production manager and our color management expert to determine the printer settings that will ensure that the final product matches the graphic on the customer’s screen. After getting the settings just right, our color management expert will work to certify the material to G7 Master Qualification standards.

We check for multiple factors when introducing material. We look at the ink consumption, sublimation, color, the stretch and whether it creases or wrinkles. If the material meets our Custom Color standards and cooperates with our workflow, we’ll introduce the product to a permanent spot on our substrate lineup.

We have a very aggressive material testing and profiling process. Usually, we test four or five materials per month. Our vendors have noted our profiling process, too! We have been selected to be the primary research and development testers for one of our biggest vendors - this means that we have the opportunity to print on the newest materials before they hit the market.

We walk the walk. Because we’re all about innovation, we’ve introduced two new materials to our Global Shop booth. If you’re a qualified buyer and will be in or around Las Vegas between March 28 and 30, register here for a free pass to the show to check out our booth!

If you’re interested in learning about other new materials, drop me a line. I can’t wait to work on innovation with you.


Custom Color Josh VanMeter

As the Custom Color Purchasing Manager, Josh VanMeter is the keeper of the company credit card. When he isn’t scouting out the best material deals, he is either shopping at Costco or Gap, looking around Amazon or dreaming about San Francisco. Connecting with him on LinkedIn is a wise move, he’s a rising printing star. 

Wondering About Windows? A Q&A.

Josh’s recent Perfect Window Advertising blog starts out by explaining how underused, but incredibly effective, perforated window film is as an advertising medium. While reading about his take on perforated window film, a thought hit me: windows are awesome.

Perhaps while reading his blog you had some questions about window graphics.  I’ve outlined some of the most common inquiries that we receive when discussing window advertising or design with clients.

Why are windows so important anyways?

We’ve all heard the quotation, “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” This statement is so true, and should be applied to all relationships, especially those with customers and prospects. In reality, windows give retailers an opportunity to make the best first impression.

Looking to build and express your brand? If so, a blank window is not the way to go. Successful window signage will draw customers into your space to interact with your product or service. Windows provide an ideal canvas to advertise promotions and specials. Your customers might not follow you on social media or read your ad in the newspaper – instead of making the passersby wonder about your offerings, tell them! Long story short – window graphics are instant, inexpensive advertising for your business or organization.

I run various campaigns and need a window graphic that is easily removable – is that possible?

Of course! Just like all of our materials and applications, we have multiple options for removable window advertising!

The most commonly known removable window advertising option is static cling. We carry a 4 mil cling in both clear and white – this no-adhesive cling produces a one-sided print.  Static cling looks best when applied to a smooth and clean, nonporous, indoor or outdoor surface where humidity and other external elements will not come into contact with the graphic.

Perforated window film is an incredibly popular substrate at our Color Castle. For years our customers have been asking us about an inside mount perforated window film with a reverse print. We’re now able to deliver– even businesses in municipalities with regulations against outdoor mounted window graphics can still benefit from window film!

I want removable and reusable – have anything like that?

An option that is very similar to static cling is glass adhere. This substrate is comprised of many microscopic suction cups, which adhere to glass without glue or static electricity. Glass adhere holds to any smooth surface, has the potential to be repositioned and reused, and lasts indefinitely when used indoors.

One of our more popular, non-permanent and reusable graphic options is easy dot, a vinyl that features special air release properties, which allows for both bubble- and wrinkle-free installation. Easy dot is a guaranteed easy installation, as it does not require special tools, equipment or training. At Custom Color, we offer white and frosted clear, both of which are perfect for windows!

Any double-sided options?

Absolutely! For a more cost-effective option, customers opt for a thin card stock or styrene. After printing on both sides, our master finishers use a GBC air release laminate on the window side of the print.

We can also print second surface on a 4 mil optically clear material and flood with white ink. Sandwiched in between the two layers is a block out material to prevent graphic bleed through. A first surface print on 4 mil optically clear finishes the graphic off.

Do I need to hire a professional installer to apply these graphics?

Installation is no longer an excuse for not employing window advertising. Special tools and training are not required to install static cling, glass adhere, easy dot or double-sided prints. The lack of special requirements makes it easy for anyone, from teenage employees to franchise owners, to apply these substrates to windows.

Window advertising is great, but I want something for interior decoration.

You’re in luck! We have worked with many companies to renovate and innovate everything for office interiors, from wallpaper to windows. 

Sprint recently underwent an office redesign. We worked with Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture to create the appearance of etched glass, without going through the trouble of etching the glass. Through a little bit of research and development, we discovered a new usage for 2 mil optically clear isotropic adhesive. We printed a combination of white and black inks at different opacities to create the illusion of etched glass. This layered effect was installed in full sheets rather than cutting and weeding the vinyl, which reduced turn around time and cost. This professionally installed permanent window option is much more cost effective than etching all of the glass in their office.

In Conclusion…

Windows are an underrated advertising space – they are oftentimes an afterthought to in-store signage and POP displays. Now that you know the many different options for window advertising, hopefully you’ll leverage the advertising capabilities of windows.

Even if you’re not looking to use your windows for advertising, they can certainly be dressed up to revamp the look and feel of your office space.  Our customers will attest to this improved (and affordable) design upgrade. 

Maybe you shrugged before when I said windows are awesome – I’m confident that you see their full potential now. Whether you’re looking to use window graphics to boost your brand or overhaul your office, you won’t be sorry.

Want us to work on your window graphics? Let’s chat.


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.

Perfect Window Advertising: Perforated Window Film

While I can think of a million advertising mediums that companies forget about or take for granted, one of the most prominent that comes to mind is perforated window film. While I can think of a million advertising mediums that catch consumer’s attention best, one of the most prominent that comes to mind is perforated window film. Coincidence, right?

The greatest reason for window film is this: your business can have outfacing visual advertising that entices customers to walk in your doors. Windows prove to be a fantastic advertising canvas – using perforated window film gives business owners the opportunity to use all available space to advertise, without sacrificing the benefits of windows and the natural light they allow in.

Perhaps more organizations would use perforated window film if they better understood its properties and all of the possibilities that this pressure sensitive film offers.

Some city governments and property owners have regulations against materials on the outside of the window – because of these rules, some businesses think that they must dismiss outdoor advertising all together. Fortunately for them, our 70/30 option is a clear and inside mount. The image is printed in reverse and mounted on the interior of the window. That’s right, you can still gain all of the benefits of window-perforated film without breaking the rules or obtaining costly permits from your municipality.

Our outside mounted films are printed with latex ink. These graphics are perfect for sensitive environments, like hospitals and restaurants, because the ink contains no Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Some of the most popular uses for window film:

Organizations that handle sensitive information benefit immensely from window-perforated film – information can be hidden from the public while still providing employees an unobstructed view of the outside environment that surrounds them.

Lessors renting out office and business spaces oftentimes employ window perforated film when they start to see their energy costs trending skyward. Other businesses looking to alleviate the burden of the sun’s rays often look to window perforated film to help cool their space.

Museums and art studios wield the printed area of the film to protect interiors and artifacts from fading caused by the sun’s UV rays. 

Using window-perforated film on fleet vehicles, in addition to vehicle wraps, ensures a consistent design across the car, truck, van, SUV or bus. Film on vehicles also creates a more comfortable ride for drivers and passengers by eliminating excessive heat and providing UV and glare protection.

Stop taking the windows on your businesses, leased spaces and automobiles for granted! Perforated window film is incredibly easy to self-install and leaves behind no residue when removed. Make your windows work for you by advertising outwardly to customers and by creating a comfortable and safe interior environment. Without any negative implications of perforated window film, what are you waiting for?

Want your windows to be included in 200,000 square feet of perforated window film that we print a year? Contact us today.


As the Custom Color Purchasing Manager, Josh VanMeter is the keeper of the company credit card. When he isn’t scouting out the best material deals, he is either shopping at Costco or Gap, looking around Amazon or dreaming about San Francisco. Connecting with him on LinkedIn is a wise move, he’s a rising printing star.