It may not seem like it, but retail store environments can look like war zones if left unattended for long periods of time or not designed to accommodate for how people shop. Whether it's shelf talkers, channel strips, or counter cards; designing graphics for durability is one of the key pillars to reducing your printing costs. It needs to stand up to the toughest of tests.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better material than rigid vinyl. Here's more on what makes rigid vinyl an ideal substrate that will enable you to make your statement so it truly resonates by virtue of its strength, stability and versatility.

What is rigid vinyl?
Whether you're advertising a new product in the aisle or you have a counter card at the register showing a new promotion, rigid vinyl is a classic substrate that is built to last. Rigid vinyl is made from PVC plastic (short for polyvinyl chloride), which is known for durability and longevity. 

Rigid in performance – not appearance
While the term "rigid" is appropriate, given the material's strength and resistance to degradation, it's a bit of a misnomer. For print applications, the substrate itself is rather flexible in thin gauges, the most common being 0.010, 0.015 and 0.020. This enables rigid vinyl to be used in more environments as it has superior impact resistance, processes easily, and resists curling.   

Rigid PVC is commonly confused with polystyrene. It's extremely difficult to determine the difference but rigid PVC processes easier, is more durable, and is more opaque than the styrene counterpart. For exterior applications, rigid vinyl resists cracking in cold applications. Additionally, rigid vinyl impresses in outdoor environments, thanks to its resistance to ultraviolet rays. While most PVC signs come in clear or off-white, this material can effectively withstand the harshness of the sun's rays so richer colors won't run or fade, even after extended use.

When is it best used?
At the store level, rigid vinyl is most often used for small format parts and for uses where parts need bending or get touched often. Wobbler's are a perfect example of a shelf talker product that is best suited to be made of rigid PVC. They bend and dangle to grab attention but are extremely vulnerable to damage as they are next to kids and product sliding in and out of shelving. Other white material options like HIPS (high impact polystryene) can crack, tear, or aren't flexible enough. 

Did you know that there are clear printable PVC options also? NGS Printing prints many small format parts on clear semi rigid vinyl, which when we apply adhesive to the backside turns them into decals or floor graphics. The characteristics of rigid vinyl makes these extremely durable. 

At NGS Printing, if you have a product and aren't sure what material to use we'll give you our opinion on what may be best to consider. Every job is different and rigid vinyl is one of dozens of options available. What we recommend will largely depend on what you'd like to get out of your signs, how long they'll be in place and how you intend to use them, specifically whether they'll be for indoor or outdoor use.

NGS Printing is your signage headquarters for materials that are custom designed with your intended use in mind. Please contact us to learn more.