Get a Rustic Look and Modern Durability

April 2, 2020

Think Patented established roots in Miamisburg, OH, USA, as a traditional printing company, but has grown into a full-scale marketing execution company that provides a wide range of services. They recently added Vycom’s new Celtec® Woodgrain expanded PVC material to their product lineup to meet a customer’s need for a rustic, yet easy to clean, durable sign.

“To grow our business, we can’t just put ink on paper anymore. We need to add value for the client, and that means having an entire host of tools under one roof,” explained David McNerney, vice president of sales and marketing for Think Patented. “Celtec has always been a reliable substrate for us, and we’re pleased that the new Woodgrain carries the same dependability and features.”

As a frequent printing solutions services resource for Vycom, Think Patented was the natural choice when the company wanted to test how Celtec Woodgrain would perform as a printing substrate. “They were looking in particular at whether it would enhance the look of a photo printed on it,” said McNerney. Vycom provided them with various images of scenery and Think Patented printed them on 8" x 8" samples of Celtec Woodgrain using UV ink.

“From our perspective as professional printers, whenever we use textured material it can really add depth or effect to the piece,” noted McNerney. “The Celtec Woodgrain material was no exception. The ink adhered well, the images looked great and we had no issues with it.”

Celtec is designed for use in a broad range of projects, including point-of-purchase displays, signage, art, storage, store fixtures, exhibits/kiosks, dimensional lettering and display boards. The lightweight material is easy to fabricate, paint and laminate. The smaller cell structure of Celtec Expanded PVC gives it optimal density, providing easy workability, edge finishing and superior screw and staple retention. The first in Celtec’s Textured Expanded PVC line, Celtec Woodgrain is available in white, with a one-sided textured woodgrain finish.

As the successful printing tests were wrapping up, Jason Schultz, director of strategic accounts at Think Patented, approached McNerney with a new customer challenge: The World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Wilmington, OH, USA, wanted an indoor sign that looked like aged, rustic wood. Because it would be located adjacent to riding facilities where horses regularly clomped through the area, the sign needed to be durable and easy to clean. Celtec Woodgrain was selected for the job.

WEC provided images of wood in the color and style they liked, as well as the look of aged tin that would be printed on another substrate and attached to the Celtec. Think Patented ran a quarter-scale proof of the concept and, as they expected, found the textured substrate brought depth and authenticity to the image of the aged wood. “It created a very realistic aged-wood look the client loved. We were also able to attach the other substrate to the Celtec using a simple liquid adhesive and they bonded together very soundly,” said Schultz.

He noted they also achieved the authentic wood sign look by routing the edges of the 1" Celtec on a flatbed cutter to create beveled edges. They painted the edges to match the color of the wood image using a standard wall paint. The entire sign was affixed to the façade of a chapel located inside the equestrian center using six 3" screws. "The first time the client saw the whole piece completed was when we installed it. They were completely blown away,” Schultz added. “From where it hangs roughly eight feet up, you can’t even tell it’s not real wood.”

McNerney sees many opportunities to use the new Celtec Woodgrain for their clients, whether the result is a wood-look product or just an image with more depth and texture than flat substrates offer. “This new material continues to meet our expectations for Celtec and has allowed us to differentiate ourselves in delivering a solution to our client,” he said.