How to Choose Patterned Window Films: Fixed vs. Variable Prints

February 02, 2024


Whether you're running an office or a retail business, windows can offer fantastic real estate for creative designs and impactful graphics. Not only do window graphics elevate the look and feel of an interior space, but they can also reflect your brand identity and reinforce your ideals and company culture.

One of the primary questions when evaluating window films is whether to go with a standard pattern or texture…or if it's better to upgrade to a custom-printed design. There are at least a few pros and cons to both fixed and variable patterned films, so here’s how to evaluate which option may be right for your project.

What is a Patterned Window Film?

A patterned window film is simply a film that has a unique pattern or design printed onto it. Depending on the print shop, you may be able to choose from a wide variety of designs or just simple geometric shapes and prints.

Sometimes, you can find textured window film, such as frosted film, that allows light to penetrate while ensuring privacy. Even better, you may be able to get patterned frosted window film, which uses the frosted material to create patterns and designs and optically clear patches for the negative space.

Fixed vs. Variable Prints for Patterned Window Film

Depending on the scope of your project, fixed patterns (those that are readily available) may work best. However, for many companies, it's better to custom-print the designs and graphics so they are unique to the brand. Here's a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of both fixed and variable-designed window film.

Pros and Cons of Fixed Patterns

  • Pro: Faster Print and Installation Process If you're in a rush to get new film on your windows, a fixed pattern can be ready much faster because the printer has everything they need already. Plus, if you use a removable adhesive film, you can remove and replace the fixed pattern as needed, such as for temporary projects or promotions.
  • Con: Limited Design Options Some printers may offer tons of unique designs, while others may only have a few readily available. Also, each of these patterns will be generic and not branded for your business.
  • Pro: Easier to VisualizeBecause fixed patterns are ready to go, you can see a mock-up in your office or retail space immediately. This makes it easier to determine which design works best, and you can compare multiple designs side-by-side until you make a final decision.

Pros and Cons of Variable Patterns

  • Pro: Fully Customized Design — If you want something that reinforces your company culture or offers a branded experience for clients, you need variable window prints. This way, you can include graphical elements like your brand colors, company logo, and other proprietary assets.
  • Con: Takes Longer — When developing a brand-new design, you'll have to work with the printer to approve each update. This back-and-forth can take a while, especially if multiple people have to sign off on the design and size of the film.
  • Pro: Better Results for Your Business — While fixed patterns can elevate the appearance of an interior space, they can also feel a bit boring, depending on the situation. For example, if you're trying to wow clients with a bold window film, you may need something better than a "stock" pattern.

Get a Free Quote for Your Next Window Film Project

Not only can you choose different patterns for your windows, but you can also choose different types of film. Thankfully, Digital Window Graphics has multiple options to help your project look its best. Whether you need something that's easy to install and remove or you want a film that offers privacy and stunning graphics, we have what it takes to achieve your desired results.

Contact us today and get a free quote for your project. We're always here to help elevate your business.

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