What is “Perforated Window Vinyl”?


When it comes to window signage, the biggest brand splash you can make without blocking sunlight entering or vision looking out of your storefront or rear vehicle window is digitally printed perforated vinyl.

You will see this vinyl around your city more once you are more aware of at what you are looking. This specialty material comes with many little holes punched in it, which allow light to still enter the window while from a distance the viewer sees only the graphic that you have printed on it. This vinyl can be used both on window storefronts and on vehicle windows. You can either get the more removable perforated or permanent. There are also different degrees of how many holes are used, but we typically used 50 or 30 percent hole coverage.

At Global Signs, we do not laminate our perforated vinyl as there is a long-standing debate in the signage industry about whether this reduces visibility or aids it, particularly in the case of a vehicle’s rear window, where visibility becomes a paramount concern. We fall on the side of non-laminated perforation being the smarter choice.

Rain water will collect in the little holes clouding vision, but with laminated perforation you are dealing with a second layer of vinyl which will somewhat impede vision on every day of the year, not just when it is raining.

Our operators drive with non-laminated perf wraps on their rear windows and never notice much issue with visibility.

The advantage of a full perf wrap on your rear window is you can have all the graphics you want without obstructing the view, as you would if you were to put plain vinyl cut lettering and logo all over the window. In the case of just lettering and logos vinyl cut, you must strategically locate the graphics so as not to obstruct the view, but with printed perforated vinyl you can really dazzle the eye with your brand splash.

Typically we will ask you to bring your vehicle by so that we may take pictures and measurements, then later forward you proofs with the graphics superimposed, so that you may see how the end result will look.

But if you are hard pressed for time, you may send us your own pics and measurements of the vehicle window, which we can work from in order to at least get you the estimate for the wrap.

Installation of perforated wraps typically takes a morning or afternoon, so be prepared to book this time off, although we can do the installation on any day of the week, so if a Saturday or Sunday or evening work better for you, let us know.

Weather is the other caveat, however, as we install outdoors, so we will try to book a warmer day with less wind, in order to aid the process.

As noted above, you may also consider perforated wraps for you storefront signage.

If you live in London, you may wish to consider consulting the bylaw signage office first as to whether you need a permit to cover your entire frontage, but if you are not on a main thoroughfare you may wish to skip this step and let the bylaw officers advise you on their own time if there is an issue. They do not have time to investigate every single window splash they may see and operate on a one-by-one schedule, so as in many things in life, sometimes asking forgiveness is better than permission, since the permits can range from $400 and up.

We have installed many perforated window wraps without the customer seeking permits and so far we have never heard of this becoming a problem, but we are not responsible for any signage that goes up without a permit and later must come down. If the customer wishes us to investigate the costs for them, we will do so but otherwise we operate on the assumption these steps are already taken care of and settled.

Perforated wraps are also excellent ways of reducing sunlight into your storefront showroom or office.

These wraps will block half the light coming into your space and thus replace the need for blinds or window film. More versatile are these wraps than window film as well, because of course they offer the option to print graphics across their face.

You could also simply have a solid color or just lettering across the face at your discretion. The sky is the limit for what you may wish to splash across your store or rear vehicle window.

Remember that vehicle wraps garner many more impressions throughout the year that almost any other advertising. Delivery vehicles in particular grab an average of 16 million impressions per year.

Particularly in the case of window storefront signage, perforated wraps are extremely easy to install–and you may wish to save yourself some cash by having us print the wrap to your specifications and allowing us to instruct you on how to install the vinyl yourself.

In the case of vehicle rear window wraps it is a little trickier and you will probably be best served by allowing us to do these installations for you.

But in the case of flat windows, we simply ship the perforated vinyl to you or you pick it up at our store, then on a sunny windless day you may do the following to quickly install your graphics.

First, clean the window of any dirt, dust or debris with soapy water or windex. Next, spray the surface of the window with fresh clean water, then apply the printed perf face down on the window.

The print will temporarily adhere to the watered down glass, allowing you to then remove the wax backing.

Peel it away by one corner, then slowly pull it down at a low angle, ensuring that the print underneath remains adhered to the glass with your other hand. Keep pulling it until both top corners have pulled away, the pull down by both corners at a straight angle, going slowly and stopping whenever you see a crease or fold occurring, as you do not want to create a stretch or fold mark on the print.

Once you have pulled the wax backing entirely off of the print underneath, throw it out of the way and what you will be left with is the sticky back of the print facing outward.

Next, spray the sticky backing with a soapy water solution, about 5-10% dish soap.

Now comes the final installation and it may be best to have a second set of eyes and hands to help you with this step.

Grab the print by the upper corners and flip it around so the sticky side is face down. Place it on the window and it will slide and glide around due to the soapy water. Align it to the window exactly how you want it to fit. If you have provided us with accurate measurements, then there should be a nice fit.

Next you are left with the task of pressing down the material. Use some sort of hard edge like a credit card that is wrapped over several times with paper towel so as not to scratch the ink of the print and also to absorb the soapy water that will come out of the holes as you apply pressure to the print.

Begin at the middle and push down slowly in one stroke up to the center top, then again from the middle to the center bottom. Next do the same from the middle, but now to either side. Next push out from the center spine you have created to either side in curved C-strokes side to side until you have nicely flattened the print at every inch.

Finally wipe the entire print down with a dry paper towel soaking up all of the excess water, then step back and admire your finished graphic installation.

If you have more windows to do, then repeat this process until all windows are done. Clean up your garbage of wax backings and paper towels and then let your customers see what your hard work has achieved.

Please send us your measurements and graphic files today at info@GlobalSigns.ca and we will be happy to quote and proof you on your next perforated window or vehicle installation.

Global Signs Staff