Matting - appearance matters

6th of October 2015
Matting - appearance matters
Matting - appearance matters

How important is the appearance of a mat when it comes to creating an entrance system for a commercial or retail facility? Ann Laffeaty finds out.

The chief purpose of an entrance mat is to trap and hold any walked-in dirt as soon as visitors arrive. But these days corporate image is becoming more important and companies are increasingly striving to differentiate themselves from their rivals. As a result there has been a growing tendency to use colour and branding on entrance mats to make an impression
on customers.

At the same time, matting manufacturers are continually coming up with new techniques to make their mats in a variety of shapes and to print them in an ever-widening range of colours.  And in fact attractive mats can have a major influence on the overall appearance of a facility according to Mountville Mills country manager Pieterjan Defoort.

“Any business wishing to promote a positive image will use a logo mat to welcome or communicate with customers,” he said. “Appearance and cleanliness are both crucial attributes for a facility and these can have a major influence on how potential customers and suppliers are likely to perceive a business.”

He says today’s matting firms are having to offer a wide colour choice in order to allow customers to match the colours of their logo. “Where a wide choice of colours is offered, customers can also use ‘trend-colours’ to enhance the appearance of a mat,” he said. “Today’s company logos are becoming increasingly complex and it is also important that mats have a sufficiently high print quality to display the logo correctly.”

Logo mats popular

New from Mountville Mills is the Portal Premium range of logo mats. These offer 60 colours and the possibility to incorporate intricate designs. The company also manufactures a standard logo mat with 30 colours, plus high definition logo mats that offer photographic print quality.

“Our high definition mats can incorporate smaller taglines underneath the logo or even a registered trademark or copyright symbol with ease,” said Defoort. “They also have a dense, plush, carpet-like surface that allows for finer print lines and contributes to the overall print quality and appearance of the mat.”

According to Defoort, logo mats are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. “There is a general tendency to steer away from the lowest price options,” he says. “Customers prefer high quality products with high print definition. Some hotels even install logo mats in the lifts, and these are changed throughout the day to wish customers a good morning, a nice day or a good evening. Mats in custom shapes with photographic print quality are also often used to impress customers.”


He adds that custom-made mats are evolving fast and are in high demand. “When combined with the highest print definition and a wider colour offering, these are the ideal products to promote a brand or product,” he said.

The entrance of any building provides that vital first impression for customers according to Superior Manufacturing marketing manager Giselle Dirckx. “As with any introduction to people, places or products that first impression is critical,” she said. “Entrances have to satisfy a variety of requirements including attractive design, high throughput rate and excellent functionality.  And even between cleanings the entrance mat should continue to look great after thousands of people have walked on it.”

She says large commercial buildings with heavy traffic can see as many as 5,000 crossings a day. “The entrance mat is becoming a large promotional opportunity to enhance a company’s image and truly welcome guests since most people look down at the floor when they enter,” she said. “And logo matting allows the company to customise an entrance with an image, logo or message for really powerful branding.”

She says a clean, well-kept entrance is critical to any business wishing to establish a professional impression in line with its corporate identity.  “Appearance is important everywhere from shopping centres, airports and cafeterias to speciality stores and public buildings,” she said.

According to Dirckx, new techniques in mat production and high definition printing technology make it easy to produce complex logo designs along with shading and three-dimensional effects. “A high resolution results in a photo quality print with superior image representation, while the height of the carpet pile enhances the depth of the image for a truly brilliant effect,” she said.

The company’s logo matting is made using polyamide fibres which are crush resistant and hold their structure well, adds Dirckx. “Crush-resistant mats will tolerate more wear and keep their appearance and functionality longer in high traffic conditions.”

Superior Manufacturing offers four Notrax logo mats including the 198 Logo Superior which is densely tufted to allow extremely fine printing. According to Dirckx, demand for logo matting has increased significantly since mat customisation has become more accessible to companies of all sizes.  “Whether ordering 1,000 mats or one mat, companies can now choose the logo mat quality that best suits their brand and corporate identity,” she said.

Notrax has recently expanded its logo printing capacity and claims to offer an almost infinite number of colour possibilities. Multi-coloured logos, complicated designs, artwork and photographs can all be easily replicated within a mat, says Dirckx. “We also offer a ‘Match Your Mat’ service that allows customers to order a mat incorporating colours that reflect their logo,” she said.

Customer communication

Maren Schulte, product manager at CWS-boco, also feels that an attractive mat can help to shape the customer’s first impression of a facility. “It can also be used as a smart way of communicating to customers,” she said. “For example, individualised mats can be installed bearing slogans such as ‘welcome’ or ‘please wait in line’.”

She says the materials used to make the mat will have as significant an effect on its appearance as print quality. “First you need a high quality material that ensures the fibres remain upright and provide a dense surface,” she said. “This will also ensure that all dirt and moisture is removed from the shoes. Good colours and print  quality will then provide the mat with an excellent appearance.”

CWS logo mats are available in 150 standard colours and 16 million ‘special’ colours. The mats can be supplied in any shape to suit customer requirements.

Like other manufacturers, Schulte claims that the market for logo mats is growing. “Customers are increasingly demanding more individualised products since the way in which companies want to be represented at the entrance is becoming more important,” she said. “Appearance and cleanliness both matter and logo mats are also being used in lifts, cafeterias and retail outlets at point-of-sale to highlight a particular product display.”

Mat aesthetics are a high priority when used front-of-house according to Denis Rawlins managing director James White. “As an example we are increasingly being asked for anti-fatigue matting for hotels, department stores and boutiques by customers who stipulate that they must not look ‘industrial’,” he said.

“We are also receiving more enquiries from stores seeking an attractive yet effective system for their mat wells. Clients are increasingly aware that both attractiveness and effectiveness are important.”

Denis Rawlins offers rubber non-slip outdoor logo mats with full-colour print plus three grades of nylon-tufted logo mats. These come in 30, 60 and 150 colour options.“The quality of design and manufacture are both key to the appearance of a mat,” said White. “When it comes to logo mats, the supplier needs to be able to provide a wide range of colours and guarantee high print quality.”

Better print, more colours

So where will the logo mat industry go from here? “Tomorrow’s mats will have an even higher print definition and more colour options to choose from,” said Mountville Mills’ Pieterjan Defoort. “Meanwhile, the effectiveness of logo mats in terms of dust and moisture control will greatly improve.”

Maren Schulte from CWS-boco says demand for mats in customised shapes is growing. “There is also a trend for customers to become more involved in the creative process,” she said. “We offer a tool called the ‘CWS mat designer’ which gives customers the opportunity to create their own mats by choosing colours and uploading logos to see what it would look like.”

And James White from Denis Rawlins believes that improved print quality and custom shapes will be the next steps in the logo mat market. “As inlay techniques improve, this will widen the scope for logo options and other materials in effective matting,” he said. “And who knows what may happen with LED lighting incorporated into mats in the future?”


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