Anaheim, California-based Graffiti Shield Inc., manufacturers of anti-graffiti films and tools, saw a dramatic drop in business within a few weeks after COVID-19 hit. All that changed when it received a call from one of its service accounts, a California hospital, about procuring some film. Running short on protective face shields, the hospital had been trying to make its own by cutting film with scissors and then attaching elastic bands.
But the hospital call gave Graffiti Shield owner Mike Schuch an idea.
“Knowing the production equipment that we had, within a few hours we had designed and were cutting shields, completely changing the way we do business in order to help them,” Schuch says.
That first day the company produced 1,000 face shields. The next day the hospital placed an order for 5,000.
Schuch says the original design used an elastic strap to hold the transparent polyester shield and foam pad in place. But elastic was impossible to find, so the team incorporated an adjustable strap secured by a Velcro fastener into the shield. To add a printed label to the top of the shield, Schuch turned to one of its vendors: Avery Dennison, and its Supreme Wrapping Film SW900.
SW900 is designed as a film to be used in vehicle wraps, but as Schuch knew from experience, it was ideal as an anti-graffiti laminate. And in this case, it was the perfect film for branding the face shields the company was producing.
“The main reason we took the project on—besides helping out the hospital—was that we didn’t want to have to furlough any of our people,” says CEO Jeff Green.
Not only has the staff stayed intact, but the company’s head count is actually up 10 people.
As of mid-April, Graffiti Shield’s production of the face shields was up to 3,500 units a day, and Green expects the daily volume will hit 5,000 soon.
And now, it’s not just hospitals that are calling.
“We’re talking to some fast-food restaurants that want us to brand our protective face shields with their colors and logos,” Green says.
“Most people perceive this film to only be for customizing vehicles,” says Avery Dennison regional sales manager, Tamara Baumann. “But I know of a lot of shops that use SWF for storefronts, walls, decals, and other commercial projects because they love the way it installs and do not feel the need to purchase a roll of cut vinyl.”