Drytac Media Used For University’s Social Distancing Graphics


Cardiff University’s in-house print department printed more than 40,000 signs – using Drytac professional self-adhesive media – to prepare the campus for students and staff.

The university has benefited from an in-house print service for over 30 years, originally called Graphic Services and recently renamed Print Services. It fulfils all manner of printing needs, from business cards, flyers, booklets, stickers and posters – both academic and advertising – to pop-up banners, mounted poster boards, wall displays and floor graphics. It also provides laminating and thesis-binding services.

During the year, Print Services was presented with a new challenge: to help prepare the entire Cardiff University campus for the new academic year in line with Covid-19 guidance on social distancing.

‘From July onwards, we were printing pretty much non-stop in order to help the Estates division get the 200-plus buildings on campus ready for re-occupation and re-opening in time for the autumn semester,’ said Gareth Middleton, Senior Print Services Assistant, Bute Print Unit, Cardiff University.

‘By our rough estimations, in that time we printed somewhere in the region of 2.5 to 3 square kilometres of signage – more than 40,000 items. The majority of these were A4 wall signs that were printed on Drytac SpotOn and then guillotined or cut by hand from the roll.’

As well as the unprecedented amount of work that needed to be completed by the end of September, the print team had other hurdles to overcome. Middleton explained, ‘Due to the campus being locked down and restrictions on building occupancy, only two of us were granted access to our unit in the Bute Building where the wide format machines are. Added to this, that building was undergoing a massive refit and renovation project so rather than our usual peaceful (especially in the summer) leafy campus setting in Cathays Park, we had to work out of the middle of a building site.’

Cardiff University Print Services chose Drytac SpotOn White Matte, a 100μ (4 mil) vinyl film designed for short-term applications such as wall displays. Also available in White Gloss, Clear Gloss and Clear Matte finishes, SpotOn features Drytac’s innovative ‘dot pattern’ adhesive that enables easy bubble-free application without tools, and clean and simple removal.

‘All the wall signage is being used internally and, hopefully, for the short to medium term,’ said Middleton. ‘Drytac SpotOn gives a great solid, vibrant finish and is quick and easy for the Estates team to handle and apply in large quantities.’ Middleton added that the print team also uses the Clear Matte version of Drytac SpotOn. ‘It is great for all the same reasons as the SpotOn White, plus has the added advantage of being able to mount it on the inside of windows or on glass screens without blocking out all the light.’

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