Updated: Jun 27, 2019
One of the first tests FOLIA™ Exterior Grade had to pass was whether it could withstand a bullet. We’re not joking; a state park in Alaska had some trouble with happy-go-lucky hunters using their signs for target practice, and whatever they put up had to be tough.
Really tough- Alaska tough. The one-inch thick FOLIA™ passed the test, which meant it was also durable enough to withstand Alaska’s tough weather.
That was back in 1993. For the nearly 30 years that followed, FOLIA™ was our most popular product, used in parks, museums, studios and theme parks around the world.
To give you more background, FOLIA™ Exterior Grade is custom high-pressure laminate product used for exterior purposes, like wayfinding signage and interpretive panels. Most of the FOLIA™ panels we produced were ½” to 1” thick and proved over the years to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and heavy use in high-traffic areas.
Many people in the wayfinding and themed entertainment industries know us by the name FOLIA™ and have trusted the product for years.
In the summer of 2018, we made the decision to stop producing our FOLIA™ Exterior Grade panels. It was a difficult decision, but innovation and research led us to a better solution for our clients’ unique needs.
Innovation leads to ALTO™
As a company that strives to innovate, we stay ahead of the curve for the environment, the industry and for our clients. We did it once, bringing FOLIA™ to market before anyone else had a durable signage solution, and we've done it again with ALTO™.
Back in 2006, we started working with aluminum, and quickly understood its benefits. After careful R&D, we decided to invest our efforts in ALTO™, and it has transformed the way our clients think about customizable surface materials.
ALTO™ is powder-coated aluminum product that can be customized with graphics of all kinds: maps, photographs, art, text, you name it. If you can design it, we can get it on ALTO™.
ALTO™ can be cut into custom shapes, can be curved and comes in a perforated version that has been integrated into several architectural projects.
Several long-time clients who are familiar with FOLIA™ have been introduced to ALTO™ and they are consistently impressed by the quality of the product. Many are excited to start on new outdoor projects that use ALTO™ instead of FOLIA™.
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Here are some questions we’ve had from our clients:
Does ALTO™ offer the same anti-vandal mounting system? Yes! We also still offer entirely concealed mounting.
I have many FOLIA™ panels onsite and only need to replace one. Will an ALTO™ panel fit in? Yes! ALTO™ is thinner than FOLIA™ HPL, but we can mount the ALTO™ on a Sintra PVC foam board to ensure consistency.
Will the graphics be as clear and crisp? Will the colors be as vibrant? Absolutely. In fact, the process we use for ALTO™ results in better colors, sharper lines and easier-to-read text.