Friday, June 29, 2012

Reflective vehicle graphics

Here is a great illustration of how reflective vehicle graphics look in both daylight and while illuminated with directional lighting such as vehicle headlights.

Note here that the red and white portions are much brighter while illuminated. This is due to the reflective glass particles within the vinyl film.  The darker the vinyl color the more that color will change while reflecting light. This brings us to the question we often get about reflective black. While there is a 3M reflective black vinyl available, we rarely use it.

Is black actually a color? Well, this is debatable depending on who you talk to. It sure is a color in a paint, ink or vinyl selection. However, color as light is not a color. With reflective vinyl we are dealing with both color and light.

Since black, as light, is not a color, it cannot reflect any color. So,  getting black to reflect really cannot happen. What you will see when black reflective vinyl gets hit with light is various shades of gray all the way to white. This happens because what is reflecting is actually the glass partials within the film.

Back to our picture. The black you see is simply black. As you can see it works just fine as is. Having it brighter, as with reflecting, would decrease the contrast it gives the white against the red. By the way, both the white and the red are reflecting.

Next time you are have a reflective sign or decal need, run it by a professional. They will be able to assist not only with color options but also with the variety of reflective quality films available.