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Enhancing Privacy with Window Film

glass divider with privacy film

“Transparency,” a word once reserved for chemistry classes and research laboratories, has now taken on whole new meanings in the English language. In business, CFOs can be “transparent” about their financials. In criminal law, suspects may be “transparent” about their disclosures. People who are “transparent” about their emotional state are open, vulnerable, and somehow freer. “Transparency” is a state that is favored, that is preferred, that is better for society.


Not always.

There are times, places, states, and conditions where some good, old-fashioned privacy is preferred. Where you don’t necessarily want to be perfectly see-through. Where you want to put up some boundaries, some borders — some tint, as it were.

Consider privacy window film. Once upon a time, in the early days of window film, tint was the thing. Early window films provided interior darkening and some blockage of the sun’s penetrating rays and light. But what became immediately “transparent” to the pioneering developers of early window films was that it also afforded an element of privacy — for cars, rooms, storefronts, or even entire buildings.


With the growth of major cities throughout the late twentieth century, there were more and more large buildings, highrises, and skyscrapers. These large developments and landmark buildings often included glass and windows for as far as the eye could see. 

In some cases — such as a ground-floor retailer located in a big-city highrise, transparent, clear glass was a good thing. Proprietors and owners wanted that high visibility into their stores, shops, restaurants, and bars. And that is still very often the case.

But there are also a multitude of instances where some privacy tinting is preferred. A bank, for instance. Or a federal building. Or a private office.

The privacy afforded by modern window films works two ways: inside and outside. With the right privacy window film, pedestrians and passersby can’t see everything going on inside your building, and people working inside a building get some shading, cooling, and yes, some privacy. It’s a win-win.


We’re all familiar with privacy window film applied to windows and glass that are exterior-facing. Your ground-floor stores. Your large office buildings. Your exclusive nightclubs. But what about everything else on the inside of a huge highrise?

Modern offices, hotels, convention centers, and work-live spaces are filled with interior conference rooms, banquet areas, lounges, offices, and gathering spaces that call out for some privacy. Privacy and decorative film are often used as “distraction markers” to stop people from walking into a clear panel of glass in these areas. And they’re also where contemporary glass finishes are really making an impact.

There was a time when frosted glass windows on a conference room in a law firm were cutting edge. Well, the game has changed. New privacy options for glass offers an amazing assortment of patterns and designs that designers, contractors, and architects can choose from when creating great, private spaces.

Decorative glass finishes like 3M™ Fasara™ are good examples of the assortment of privacy glass treatments available on the market today. Gradients, prism dots, clouded, partially opaque, alternating, frosted, etched, the list goes on. Depending on the designer’s aesthetic and privacy requirements, the glass and windows in interior rooms and offices can be completely transformed into something that is visually stunning, subdued, or stylistic.

There truly are some amazing things happening in glass finishes right now. Take a look at the latest 3M™ Glass Finishes catalog and see for yourself.

We’ve come a long way since tinting the windows on the limo. Privacy window films and decorative glass finishes are now applied to just about every large structure, commercial property, and building we can imagine. And we can say with full transparency that a little bit of privacy is a good thing.


Want to see more? Visit the NGS photo gallery and see examples of privacy window film.


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