A Digital Printing Network
I ordered a roll of Seramark from imprintables yesterday because I just ran out of the roll I had. Today I got a call from Imprintables telling me that they don't have Seramark anymore (although I can obviously still buy it on the website), and that it has been replaced by a product called Graphitex. So...I've got a roll of the new product on the way. I sure hope it's good...with all the nightmares of removable vinyls that I have been through in the past I have to say that I'm a bit nervous of a new product that I can hardly find any information about.
I can't find the product anywhere on the imprintables website. I asked if there would be any problems with the material not sticking well, or any problems with placing/removing/placing again, and the rep told me that they have had this product for 4-6 weeks and haven't had any complaints from customers. Well...I can't even find the product on the website, so I don't know how many customers could have tried it already! Steven...please tell me this is good stuff and I shouldn't be worried that a major customer of mine isn't going to be disappointed with the change in product!
The IW site is bare bones to say the least, so I doubt your going to find anything on there. Shame I really liked seramark. I'm sure others carry it.
If the Graphitex doesn't work out I think Big Systems offers Sreamark.
Cool, Good stuff, change is always a leap but having some info from a real world user you can trust not a just a sales rep, helps take the edge off of trying something new.
Thanks Steve, looking forward to your post.
Thanks Steven! That was what I was hoping to hear...that it's even better than Seramark (since that is the best removable material that I've used). Any tips for printing/cutting/etc would be much appreciated to keep the learning curve as short as possible.
OK - so here is an update for you guys and gals.
The Graphitex media has replaced all of Seramark from Imprintables. The Seramark media was having difficulties in production causing back orders and then there were some inconsistencies in the media itself that manifested in it not staying on the backing properly etc. The field testing we performed on Graphitex was all very positive and I also had a couple of VersaCAMM classes evaluate it before we started offering it. The response was a resounding positive on the changes in media.
Graphitex is slightly thicker making it easier to work with in both production and application. It has better opacity and a brighter white point allowing for more vibrant graphics. The backing is a better formulation than Seramark and there have been zero reports of the backing separating in both print production and shipping of finished product.
the price of the new material is being held at the Seramark price to not affect our customers.
Printing of the media is best performed using the new Graphitex profile that has been added in the media profiles section of MVC. If there is not a specific profile for your model of printer, MCVP has done very well with a slightly lighter tone to the dark tone areas. I encourage anyone out there with the new media to send us feedback so we can continue to get the best product available out to you.
Let me know your thoughts!
The first prints are coming out as I type. First impression...this stuff prints fantastically! More vibrant than Seramark. If it sticks and removes well, the Graphitex is a sure winner!
Did you use the profile for Graphitex that is in the downloads area?
No...I couldn't find one for vpi540, only vpi300. Is there one there and I'm missing it?
I see you have started printing on it, but thought I would throw my 2 cents in here. I go through about 10 rolls a month of wall graphic material. I have been printing on the new Graphitex for about a month or more.
I will give my pros and cons on all 3 materials (Graphitex, Seramark, PhotoTex).
I have been using primarily Seramark. If you use Seramark at all you know that it is a very unpredictable product! When it is good - it is great - but you cannot tell from production run to production run whether you would get good or bad. They produce it in 60" rolls and were having problems with soft material folds on half of the machine. So you even on a good run you had a 50/50 chance of getting the left hand side of the larger 60" and it being a bad roll. I print lots of single color designs - which would show all the 'soft folds' - it looked awful. If they could get their production problems under control - it cut wonderful. It does rip through and can stretch if used over and over. Then of course there is the other issue where the Seramark would release from the backing paper while printing. Basically too many issues with that product.
Photo Tex. Has no production issues. Prints beautiful. Does not rip or stretch when used over and over. The downside of Photo Tex is the cutting. It has been explained to me that Seramark and Graphitex are coated on both sides of the material. Photo Tex is only coated on one side. So it is difficult to cut and it shreds sometimes. I use the Photo Tex for a paper doll for the wall and some other things that I produce specifically for children. It is less tacky then both the Seramark and the Graphitex. So it works perfectly for the 'paper' dolls where they can change her clothes and jewelry etc. They can pull it off the doll, stick it to the wall, put it back on over and over. This cannot be done with either of the other products - I tried. They rip, and stretch out when pulled on and off repeatedly. If you use a brand new 60 degree carbide blade and are very careful with picking you can overcome most of the cutting issues with the product - but too slow a process for me to use it with everything I produce.
Graphitex does not seem to have any of the issues of production that Seramark has. It prints great - even the single colors. It cuts and weeds very easy. Does not seem to shred like the Photo Tex. It is as I mentioned - more tacky than the Photo Tex - seems to be about the same amount as the Seramark.
My last 2 cents on the products is applying mask to things like words, etc. This is really difficult with Photo Tex. Their backing paper is very thin and it is really hard to work with. I did it. I basically applied the mask - pulled the decals off the backing paper and re-applied it. Not a great work around - but I had to do something during the times when there was no good Seramark to be had. Seramark was better for applying the mask to words, etc. They have gone through various backing papers with various issues though. I didn't have to pull it off - but did have to roll with pressure to get it to work. I ship everything - so it all has to roll up into tubes and then unroll and be usable for my customers.
The Graphitex is the best with working with masking words. I seem to be able to roll and unroll and it is working good. I have not had any complaints from customers. I tried it myself and so far so good.
So there are my thoughts on the 3 products out there. I can't give up the Photo Tex Completely - but only use it for my products that specifically are geared towards children using them over and over for the specific reasons I mentioned above. Other than that - I am loving the Graphitex.
Thanks, Sticker Chick, a.k.a., "K" I remembered.
That's good stuff.