Gradient window film has become a staple of the modern workplace. When we switched from cramped cubicles to beautiful glass walled spaces, the open feel was a breath of fresh air. Most of us love the transparency and sleek look, but lack of privacy can be an issue.
How do you find the balance between the exposed glass office and the shut-off cubicle? Gradient film for glass is the answer. It’s the ideal solution for adding privacy while keeping the open look of glass.
When choosing a gradient film, the first choice you need to make is between standard or custom. While there are some excellent standard options, many clients need specific solutions that call for a custom film. And we’re not just talking about wildly ambitious design projects. You may be surprised by the limitations of standard films. Even many projects that only need a simple privacy band choose a custom printed gradient due to the benefits.
So, what are these benefits? What are the actual differences between off-the-shelf gradients and custom gradients? It’s hard to know what solution is right for your project if you’re unfamiliar with the full capabilities of each. We’ll explore exactly what your options are and what you can use each gradient type for.
Standard v. Custom Gradient Glass Films
A standard gradient is a stock or off the shelf gradient window film. They come in a standard size and design, and what you see is what you get. These are frequently very limited in size – rarely larger than a 60” height.
A custom gradient is just that: custom. Because each gradient is printed for a unique job, they’re easily customized to fit your needs. Any size, direction, color, pattern, or density. This lets you have as much or as little privacy as you need.
Beyond the sheer functionality, custom gradient window film allows for unique branding and design opportunities. They can go beyond simply providing privacy and be a unique interior design feature.
Custom Print at Any Height
Standard window films are commonly 60” or 48” heights – rarely the size of your glass. Why? Manufacturers often print only to the size most people want privacy for, with opaque white at the bottom and clear film at the top. But that means installs leave unsightly seams where the material ends and the glass begins.
Custom window films can be printed at any height – covering the full glass and resulting in an elegant final look. This is a great option for those who need more privacy. Printed gradients can extend as high as you want – whether that’s 70”, 90”, or 200”.
Furthermore, by creating a seamless surface from floor to ceiling, the material becomes invisible to the eye. The final install creates an illusion of a custom panel of glass. The smooth finish resulting from applying film to the entire piece of glass is a major reason many clients choose custom gradients. Even if the printed area is only a standard 48” white gradient.
Custom Print at Any Density
How much privacy do you need? With custom gradients, you can choose exactly how opaque your window film is. Go very opaque for complete privacy in secure rooms. Or choose very transparent to add style to your glass but keep visibility. Many spaces have unique privacy needs that standard films cannot perfectly accommodate.
Custom Print in Any Direction
Typically gradients are horizontal. But with custom gradients, you can get creative beyond the typical horizontal gradient. Go vertical, diagonal, center out, or radial. Choosing an unusual direction for your gradient is a great way to elevate the final installation to a truly unique aesthetic for your space.
Besides adding style, sometimes a more creative direction is a necessary solution to a functional problem. For example, one past client of ours had a glass wall dividing a lobby and café. The gradient needed to hide an awkwardly placed ventilation pipe at the ceiling. This wasn’t possible with an off-the-shelf product.
Our solution was a custom printed gradient window film, with opaque white starting on the left fading to clear on the right. No more ugly vents.
Custom Print Any Color(s)
Given the shelf choices, you might be under the impression that gradients need to be white. That’s definitely not the case. With custom, your gradient can be any color. We can even match Pantone and paint colors. Your custom gradient can fade from your color to clear, or it can transition between two or more colors of your choice.
Custom Print (and Cut) Any Pattern
Whether you want to incorporate branding, or simply create a more interesting look – custom patterns are a great option. From modern styles such as a dot or square gradients to natural looks like beach grass gradients, the possibilities are endless. You can create a gradient out of any symbol – including your logo for a truly personal touch.
Custom Print Any Graphic
While gradients are stunning all on their own, your space may require something more complex. Adding custom graphics – either printed or cut – is one way to create a solution that has the branding or style you’re looking for. Add images, text, or your logo to the brand or simply beautify what is normally a functional privacy feature.
Metropolitan West is a nationally recognized and award-winning full-service window film and wall graphics company. For over 25 years, we’ve been creating beautiful office environments for clients that include Fortune 500 companies, combining quality products with innovative solutions for even the most complex projects.
If you’re getting started on a gradient window film project, Metropolitan West would love to partner with you! Whether you need something simple or you’ve got an out-of-the-box design concept, we’re happy to help you find the right solution for your project.