Troubleshooting

If you experience any problems with our window-graphics films or overlaminating films, please check the table below for possible causes and solutions.

Important:
Performing a test prior to actual production can minimize costly errors and help to ensure the success of your project.

For technical assistance, contact us

Problem

Possible Cause

Solution

Inks are smeared or are not drying sufficiently.

Image was printed on the liner, not the film.

Print on the film, not the liner. (The regular liner is glossier-looking than the print side).

 

Graphics were handled before inks had time to dry.

Allow sufficient time for inks to dry. Drying time varies depending on the type of inks used, humidity level and other factors.

Image has faded in a relatively short period of time.

Aqueous (pigmented or dye-based) inkjet inks were used but no overlaminate was applied to the graphic. For information on the inks' lifespan, please contact the ink manufacturer.

To increase the life of the graphics, prior to installation apply a clear solid or liquid laminate that's compatible with perforated window films. For graphics requiring a lifespan of more than 6 months, we recommend the use of solvent-based, UV or other durable outdoor inks.

Can see through the graphics from the printed side (graphics are translucent).

Dark inks, such as black, brown, navy, dark purple, etc., were used to print the majority of the image.

For best results, use brightly colored inks, such as red, orange, yellow, blue, green, etc. With bright colors, the eye tends to focus on the graphics, whereas with dark colors allow the eye to see through the graphics.

Graphics look comparatively washed out.

Up to 50% of the image is missing due to the perforation process, which reduces the color reflectivity of the image. As a result, the image will look less vibrant than if printed on a solid vinyl substrate.

During the design stage, increase the contrast of your image by about 10-20%. This should help compensate for the reduced reflectivity of perforated window film. The use of brightly colored inks will also help improve the appearance of the graphics. The use of ImageVue , PromoVue or BudgetVue with their greater print surface, may also produce more vibrant-looking graphics (not suitable for vehicle graphics or full building wraps.)

 

Lighting is brighter on the back (see-through) side than on the graphics side.

For optimum one-way visibility, lighting must be brighter on the graphics side. Add supplemental flood lighting, if necessary, to illuminate the graphics.

 

The liner is still attached.

Remove the liner and attach the printed graphic to a window or other transparent surface. Graphics tend to look more washed out when the liner - especially the solid liner - is still attached.

Text is difficult or impossible to read.

Too small a font size, or a hard-to-read font, was used.

Use easy-to-read fonts in 30 point or larger for ImageVue, PromoVue and BudgetVue  films, and 50 point or larger for ClassicVue, SuperVue. See design info.

Water fills the holes and impairs visibility when it rains or the window is washed. This is especially common with vehicle window graphics.

The graphics were not laminated prior to installation.

Use a clear overlaminate, such as CLEAR FOCUS ClearLam (for flat surfaces) or CurvaLam (for flat or simple-curved surfaces) that is compatible with perforated window film. If an overlaminate is not used, dry the windows with a lint-free cloth.

Lamination

Overlaminate is tunneling or otherwise separating from the graphic.

Inks were not allowed enough time to dry and "outgas"” sufficiently.

Allow plenty of time for inks to dry and outgas - at least 24 hours -  before applying overlaminate to the graphic.

 

The graphics were rolled too tightly or with the print surface side in.

Roll graphics loosely with the printed/laminated side out, and use a 3” to 6” diameter core to prevent the graphics and overlaminate from wrinkling or tunneling. If shipping graphics, use a shipping tube whose diameter is large enough to easily accommodate the loosely rolled graphics.

 

Heat was used to apply a pressure-sensitive (cold) overlaminate to the graphic.

With ClearLam, CurvaLam or other "cold" overlaminates, always use pressure - not heat - to apply them.

Overlaminate/graphic is lifting from glass surface or is tunneling or wrinkling.

Glass was not cleaned properly

Prior to installation, use mild soap and water to clean glass. Click here for details.

 

The wrong overlaminate was applied to the graphic. E.g., an overlaminate designed for use on flat surfaces was used on a curved surface.

Use an overlaminate that is suitable for the job and surface. 

 

The tension control on the laminator was incorrect, or during the laminating process the vinyl film and/or overlaminate was stretched.

Use proper tension during the lamination process, and do not stretch either the film or the overlaminate during lamination.

Installation

Film is not sticking to glass.

Glass was not cleaned properly.

Use mild soap and water. NEVER use a solvent-based glass cleaner, such as Windex™. Dry glass prior to application. Click here for pre-installation details.

 

Glass surface is too cold - less than 5°C

Allow window time to warm up or, in the case of a vehicle or other movable object, move to a warmer location for installation.

 

Film is being pulled during installation.

Do not pull or stretch film during installation. The film has a "memory" and will return to its original shape over time.

 

See possible causes above.

Use an edge sealer, especially for vehicle window graphics and other applications in which the edges of the film will subjected to weathering, wear & tear, etc.

Film is stretching during installation.

Glass surface is too hot - higher than 32°C.

Install graphics in early morning, before glass gets too warm or, in the case of a vehicle or other movable object, move to a cooler area for installation.

 

Heat is being applied to film during installation.

When using a heat gun to get the film to conform to curves, e.g., use the minimum amount of heat needed to get the job done. The film has a "memory" and will return to its original shape over time.

Cannot open vehicle windows or doors with film installed.

Film has been installed over the vehicle window/door moldings, which may interfere with the window's operation.

Open all doors and windows both before and after the film has been installed. After installing graphics, be sure that all windows/doors that also serve as emergency exits function properly. Click here for important details.

Cleaning of Installed Graphics

Overlaminate is tunneling or otherwise separating from the graphic.

Aqueous inks were used to print the graphics.

Use a clear, compatible overlaminate to protect aqueous inks from moisture. An edge sealer may be needed, too.

After washing, film is lifting from the glass.

A solvent-based window cleaner was used to clean the graphics instead of mild soap and water.

Apply an edge sealer to secure the film. An edge sealer is especially useful for vehicle window graphics and other applications in which the edges of the film will be subjected to weathering, wear & tear, etc.

Removal of Graphics

Film is sticking to the glass surface, making it difficult to remove.

The film has been subjected to extreme heat and/or has been left on the window for more than 6 months.

Spray graphics liberally with a solvent-based glass cleaner, such as Windex™. Let sit for a few minutes, then remove. For stubborn graphics, use an adhesive remover to break down the adhesive so the film is easier to remove