Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Exhibit Designer Toolbox: The Sticky Subject Of Tape

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

For now, I thought I'd highlight some unusual tapes for you to add to your exhibits (and prototyping!) toolkit:


"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.

Available here

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.

Available here

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.

Available here

And now, 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.

Available here

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.

Available here

Any discussion of tapes, and especially duct tape, would be incomplete if we didn't mention the annual "Duck" brand duct tape "Stuck At Prom" Scholarship Contest. Duck makes duct tape (a little confusing, I know) and holds an annual contest for couples to create a complete set of prom outfits using duct tape! (You can see one example at the top of this blog posting.) Also check out the completely mind-boggling array of past contest entries at the Duck Tape website.

Have any favorite tapes that we've missed? Leave us the info in a comment below!

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