Saturday, February 20, 2016

Stick to it! A resource list of tapes for designers.

Tape is one of those things that you often use, but rarely think about.

So here's a listing of a variety of speciality tapes for your creative design toolbox!  Just click on the title link above each tape description to go to a web page to purchase that tape or for more info.

"SOLAS" stands for "Safety Of Life At Sea" and it is super-durable reflective tape that was designed originally to be used by the Coast Guard. It's strong. It's shiny. What more could you want? It may also be useful outside your exhibit pursuits on bikes, backpacks, or cars.

Gaffer's Tape
If you think duct tape is useful, try Gaffer's tape. You can think of Gaffer's Tape as duct tape without the sticky residue. It's the standard tape in the film and theater worlds. Best of all, the adhesive is designed to not rip off paint. You can leave Gaffer's tape stuck to a wall for days, and then remove it without tearing up the wall surface or leaving sticky gunk behind.

Blue Painter's Tape

The "blue masking tape" is great because it doesn't mar or mess up walls.  Great for painting/masking of course, but also super when putting together large paper or cardboard prototypes that need to interface with walls, floors, or windows.

Vypar X-Treme Tape

X-treme tape is a non-adhesive, self-bonding wrap. It's not really "tape" since it's not sticky. But it really grips and wraps around wet stuff or slimy stuff --- think water exhibits, hoses, bubble exhibits, etc. Once it's in place -- it is NOT coming off! You just pull on the tape and it fuses to itself under tension. As a bonus it comes in a range of colors as well.

Here are two variations on good old reliable duct tape:

Gorilla Tape
Gorilla Tape is like regular duct tape on steroids. Sure, it's much stickier, but it also adheres to uneven/rough surfaces.

Clear Duct Tape
From the creative minds of 3M comes "clear "duct tape! It is less noticeable than standard duct tape, but more importantly, 3M claims it lasts 6 times longer than the standard variety, having been engineered for extreme temperatures and UV exposure.

Vet Wrap

A "self-clinging" wrapping material that does not require tight compression.

Instant-bonding Glue Dots
Adhesive "dots" that require no drying time, are clean and easy to use, and work on a variety of materials. Glue Dots bond instantly to any surface.

Terrifically Tacky Tape
This is double-sided craft tape with red liner that is super strong. (The bond actually increases after the first 24 hours it is applied.)  This is the same kind of ultra-thin, very sticky tape as "3M 4910 VHB Tape" but TT tape comes in shorter-length rolls so it is less expensive.

EMPTY EMPTY and PACKED PACKED tape rolls from Benchmark.
Use on crates for traveling exhibitions so you don't mix 'em up!
(Benchmark sells lots of other interesting exhibit and mount-making supplies as well.)

3M Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener System
Clear self-mating reclosable fastener with clear acrylic adhesive on the back. This is the "mushroom" topped style, rather than hook and loop, so it fastens to itself and doesn't collect fuzz like the "hook" half of velcro.

Colored Plastic Vinyl Floor Marking Tape
Great for outlining areas on floors or walls.  These tapes come from Identi-Tape and are highly adhesive and resistant to water, oil, fungus and chemicals, have a semi-gloss finish, and can be written on with permanent markers.

1/4"-wide Colored Plastic Vinyl Tape
Also from Identi-Tape, these 6-mil vinyl adhesive tapes are available in a 14 colors plus clear in 36-yard long rolls. These tapes are ideal for constructing lines and tables on dry erase boards, identification of small tools, decorative striping, etc.

Hugo's Amazing Tape
The cool thing about Hugo's Amazing Tape is that it only sticks to itself.  This makes it great for things that need to be wrapped and re-wrapped, or opened and closed, on a regular basis.  Hugo's tape can also be used as a temporary clamp or stabilizer for irregularly-shaped materials as well.

And that also wraps up this post about tape!  Do you have any favorite tapes that we've missed here? Leave us the info in the Comments Section below!

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