We are all familiar with vehicle magnets. They are those handy signs that realtors, contractors, home party product reps and others use to promote their business on the sides of their cars and trucks. Magnets serve a lot of very valuable functions. For new businesses starting out, it is an affordable first step toward your mobile billboard. For others, it is the best way to sign their business vehicle without violating home owner association covenants when they can’t park their “commercial/business vehicle” in the garage.  And for still others, it is a compromise when ‘permanently’ branding a vehicle is not necessary or possible.

Window Perf

Rear Window Perforation - exterior view

Now for the downside, magnets require maintenance. They should be removed and cleaned weekly, front and back. The door panel or rear panel where the magnet has been located should also be cleaned weekly to avoid scratching the clear coat or paint finish with road grit.  Additionally, the magnet should be repositioned to avoid “ghosting” (fading around the spot where the magnet has been).  Magnetic vehicle signs should have rounded corners to minimize the likelihood of it flying off the vehicle at high speeds. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to prevent those jokesters in your office or neighborhood from taking your magnetic signs or from putting them in creative locations.

Window Perf - view out

Rear Window Perforation - View from Inside

If you don’t want the care, maintenance and replacement expense of a magnet, there is a cost effective alternative: Window Perforation. The prime real estate for most business vehicles is the rear end (where those following you can see your terrific slogan and information) or the side panels (for those who park in front of homes or offices and want to advertise to the neighbors). The majority of cars and trucks have rear or side facing windows that can be covered in a printable, perforated film that allows the outside viewer to see the image while the driver maintains his or her visibility.

Window perforations or ‘perfs’ are printed on an open weave or punctured vinyl. The approved perf material for vehicles maintains a 50% open space to 50% covered space ratio to allow for safe driving and to meet visibility standards. An optically clear laminate is used to protect the ink finish on the perf without clouding or distorting the openings.  A window perf is generally larger than the area of a typical vehicle magnet which allows for larger print or more information to be included on your sign. It is also more likely to be in your viewers’ sight line (eye level as opposed to the lower door panel where most magnets are located) where they can’t help but see your message.

Perfs are a great first step for those considering vehicle wraps and give your business more credibility than the “temporary” magnet. It is true that the perf is affixed to the glass and is not repositionable, but the convenience of a no-maintenance, no replacement sign may be just the right trade off. Besides, you can back your car up to the garage when you get home at night and no one will be the wiser.