Opaque Window Decal – Opaque decals obscure visibility from either side of the window. Rather than having “clear” portions of your sign, wherever the design does not cover it will be an opaque white. The best way to describe this is like a frosted window in a bathroom. While it isn’t completely blacked out the visibility through these is obscured by the opacity of the non-printed area.
Semi privacy films which can also be used to act as manifestation.
c. Manifestation in the form of a logo or sign, a minimum of 150mm high (repeated if on a glazed screen), or a decorative feature such as broken lines or continuous bands, a minimum of 50mm high.
For other safety products, see our full range of glass and window protection film.
We’ve summarized what sign type you should choose, the differences and the visibility and cut options in the graphic below. The written transcription is below the graphic.
The major advantage of decals is the adhesive material which makes for a stronger and more lasting sign than a static cling. The other major difference between a cling and a decal is what was alluded to above – clings are repositionable while decals are, for the most part, not. This makes clings much easier to install and more forgiving if you need to place them differently than you originally did. This can be an important consideration depending on the ultimate use of your sign. Another difference between the two is removal of the actual sign. Decals will sometimes require a razor blade and soapy water to remove any residual adhesive just like when removing stickers. Clings simply peel away from the window leaving no trace behind and requiring no clean up.
Halo Cut – Any of the cling or decal sign types can be “halo cut”. This means that the sign will be cut to the shape of the actual design with a small border – typically around ¼” – left around the perimeter of the sign.
People moving in or around a building might not see glazing in critical locations and can collide with it. To avoid this one of the following should be adopted.
Using your artwork or branding, or creating a bespoke design.
Provide glass doors and glazed screens (including glazed screens alongside a corridor) with all of the following.
Our “Signage 101” series helps you make sense of the world of signage and all of its different options. We’ve previously put together a video on vinyl banners and talked about every last thing you’ll ever need to know about grommets. Today we’ll tackle signage options for windows.
Both clings (opaque and clear) and decals (clear, opaque and perforated) come with several options. Most of these sign types have all of these options available except as noted below.
Whether as an individual or a business owner, the odds are pretty good that the sign you’re designing or looking to buy will be placed on a window. Businesses have been using storefronts as a prime way to entice potential customers for a couple hundred years. Even inside businesses there’s ample opportunity to use the types of window signs outlined below. Meanwhile it’s not uncommon to see some kind of no soliciting sign on the windows of residential homes in an attempt to get rid of the never ending stream of pesky salesmen. So without further ado let’s look at the different types of window signs, their differences, usages and more.
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The risk of collision is greatest when two parts of the building, or the building and its immediate surroundings, are at the same level but separated by transparent glazing and people may think they can walk from one part to the other.
a. Manifestation at two levels, between 850mm and 1000mm, and 1400mm and 1600mm off the finished floor level.
a. Use permanent manifestation to make glazing apparent (see paragraph 7.4).
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b. Use alternative indications of glazing, such as mullions, transoms, door framing or large pull or push handles.
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Cut Vinyl or Vinyl Lettering – If the design weren’t circular but rather a collection of individual pieces then this would be cut vinyl or vinyl lettering. These individual pieces would be cut exactly to shape with no border and then could be applied to the appropriate surface as individual pieces rather than a single decal.
Window Decals – Window decals all have some kind of adhesive backing that is stuck to a window. This can be done on the outside, the inside or even from the inside facing out (this last option is called “inside glass” and is described below). This adhesive material means that your actual window sign is “semi-permanent.” This just means that when installing the decal there will be some wiggle room to adjust it as needed but once the decal’s adhesive kicks in it will be extremely difficult to reposition. (This is just the opposite from our wall decals which are made of a lower tac adhesive material which allows the decal to be repositionable. So if you’re looking for something that can be moved around and is a non-window option then jump on over to our wall decals page.) These types of window decals come in three different types which are outlined below.
Halo Cut – A “halo cut” would mean that your red circular sale decal would have a tiny border of approximately 1/4 inch left around the perimeter of the decal.
Opaque Static Cling and Decal – The red portion of the sign is the only portion of the graphic that is printed. The white is the default color of the material without any ink.
We sincerely hope that everything works but should you encounter any issues, please call us or email us to let us know and we’ll get on it:
For more information, please go to the UK’s Building Regulations website and download the Document K which relates to glass safety in public places.
Critical locations include large uninterrupted areas of transparent glazing which form, or are part of, the internal or external walls and doors of shops, showrooms, offices, factories, public or other non-domestic buildings.
The first distinction to make when it comes to window signs is what type of adhesive material it uses, if any. This is a common question and aspect that causes the most confusion. Their respective definitions and adhesive properties are as outlined below:
Contour Cut – Any cling or decal sign types can be “contour cut.” This means that the design of the sign will be cut exactly to the perimeter of the sign. The most important thing to remember here is that if your sign is all text that you actually want what is called “vinyl lettering” or “cut vinyl”. This is often seen on office windows and storefronts where individual adhesive letters are applied to display the company name or brand. We don’t currently offer this on the website but can produce it. You simply need to call us if this is what you are looking for. When it is a simple non-text design, it is cut to the exact shape without any border as the halo cut option entails.
Manifestations are self-adhesive devices designed to highlight glazed areas. They can consist of rows of stickers – e.g. manifestation dots – or a continual strip of window film of contrasting colour with the glass – e.g. glass safety strips or frosted glass strips.
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Perforated Window Decal – Visitors from outside would see the graphic and would not be able to see into the store (this is sometimes called one-way vision). The graphic would not be visible from inside the store but would allow people inside of the store to easily see out through the micropunctures.
Regulation 14 is a legal obligation to manage and control the potential risks from glass.
Window decals of all types tend to be more expensive than static clings. In order, the most affordable decals are clear, opaque and perforated. Perforated is the most expensive due to the micro punctures that create the one way visibility. Actual pricing can be viewed on our Sign Price Calculator or by changing the “sign type” and size in our online design tool.
Perforated Window Decal – Perforated window decals are designed to allow one-way visibility. In other words, these are signs that allow you to see from the inside of your business to the outside but not vice versa. Therefore, you can still advertise your store hours, business logo or brand, and deals while seeing out of your store. Customers approaching your store will be able to see the decals clearly but won’t be able to see inside of the store. This is achieved by printing onto a material on one side of the sign that is perforated with tiny holes. These perforations won’t affect the aesthetics of your sign while creating a one way visibility that many business owners desire.
Contour Cut – A “contour cut” would cut your red circular decal right at the border of the red circle leaving no white border.
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If you need something that is repositionable then you need to get a cling. (The other option being a wall decal, but again, wall decals and clings are very different. Wall decals stick due to the an adhesive material while clings have no adhesive.) If the sign you intend on using is more permanent or going to be used outside then a decal is usually a better choice. There are even decals for cars, as well as high adhesive exterior decals that work on the ground – just think about a pool deck that has signs on the ground with warnings about running and the slippery surface. We produce both of these types of decals as well.
As detailed above both clings and decals have their pros and cons. Ultimately when you are looking for a window sign the first thing you need to determine is what will be the end use of the sign? How you are going to use the sign is going to dictate what type of sign you need to use.
Ready made designs ideal as manifestation for glass partitions.
Permanent methods to indicate glazing, and alternative methods
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Inside Glass – Inside glass, or second surface as it is sometimes called within the signage industry, means that the static cling or window decal will be reverse printed so that the sign can be placed on the interior of the glass but face out. This is an extremely popular option for small business owners or even homeowners who wish to have an external facing sign but protect it from the elements by placing it inside. Store hours, deals and promotions, branded decals and much more can be used in this fashion. For decals this means that the design will be printed on the backside of the decal so that the front adhesive side can still be applied to the inside of the glass and face out. This means that opaque and perforated decals can not be printed as “inside glass”. The same applies to opaque static clings. If you want an inside glass decal that looks opaque, simply use a clear decal or cling, but fill the background in with a color or graphic.
d. Where glazed doors are beside or part of a glazed screen, they are clearly marked with a high-contrast strip at the top and on both sides.
Our safety glass manifestations are available as a pack of individual stickers, in ready-made strips, or as a film which can be ordered by the meter or cut to size. They are designed to highlight glazed areas to comply with building regulations, to help avoid the risk of collision. They are therefore ideal for office partitions, public areas and patio doors. They are very easy to apply using soapy water, and the application tool provided. Please read more to find out about legal requirements with regards to large glazed areas in public buildings.
Clear Window Decal – Your decal will be clear everywhere that the design itself is not printed. These are great for storefronts and doors to allow two way visibility – assuming your design doesn’t cover the entire surface area of the actual decal. Also, make sure that any design on these types of decals has a strong contrasting color to ensure smaller decals can be seen from a distance if so desired.
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Clear Window Decal – Assuming the red portion of the sign was the only color on the graphic, the rest of the sign would be transparent.
b. Manifestation that will contrast visually with the background seen through the glass, both from inside and outside, in all lighting conditions.
As outlined above clings generally work better inside and on glass but can be used outside as well. They will not cling to walls (wall decals is what you want) nor to brick, metal, or other non-glass like surfaces. Decals, depending on the type, can be used on glass and glass like surfaces. They can be used both inside and outside.
Further guidelines are covered by Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
The last thing to consider is the visibility needed in relation to your sign. Clear decals and static clings will have two way visibility wherever there isn’t printed ink. Perforated decals will offer one way visibility from the inside of your store while opaque decals will obscure visibility regardless of which side of the sign you are viewing it from. Depending on your visibility needs you’ll need to select the correct type of sign.
Static Clings – Unlike a traditional sticker or window decal, static clings have no adhesive side. Rather, they attach through the static charge of the sign itself and the window. These signs are easily removed and reapplied in different situations. They are often used in such places as a sneeze guard inside a restaurant in order to advertise deals or soups of the days. Static clings can also be clear or opaque in nature.
Under the regulation, glass in offices and business premises must be:
Manifestations are designed to mitigate the risk of collision at work, in retail outlets or in public spaces, where it is a legal requirement to highlight large glazed areas is stipulated in Document K: Building regulation in England covering the buildings users protection from falling, collision and impact in and around the building.
Window Stickers – A sticker is just as it sounds. A one time use material that won’t be able to be repositioned. “Stickers” in this sense are often interchanged with the word “decal” in the signage industry. So instead of looking or asking for “window stickers”, what you’re most likely looking for is a window “decal.”