Our Invention

Our invention started a completely new product category which spread across the world, making the Contra Vision® brand a byword for one-way vision window graphics. It began with a revolutionary squash court concept and from this Contra Vision Ltd was formed in 1985.  We continue to innovate and have established an unrivaled range of technologies, from architectural glass to printable one way window films, all offering unique product benefits to help achieve your vision. Contra Vision is proud to be the only company which specializes in one-way vision graphics and we take pleasure in helping people to achieve the best results.

Contra Vision Squash Court

1982 – The Invention

Our story began over 30 years ago when Roland Hill, a keen amateur squash player, was driven to make the sport more accessible to a larger viewing audience. Squash is a challenging sport for spectators because the court is traditionally enclosed by opaque walls. Roland’s eureka moment was a new one-way vision technology, which enabled colors and graphics to be visible from one side of the glass, while retaining excellent and unobstructed see-through from the other side. This led to the construction of the Safe Screen squash court in 1982, the world’s first squash court with one-way vision walls on every side. Spectators could now watch the game from all the sides of the court while the players’ view is blocked by the (blue) one-way vision walls.

1984/85 – Contra Vision Ltd and First Patent

It soon became clear that there were many other opportunities and applications for the invention including advertising, branding, signs, decorative architectural effects, solar control and one-way vision privacy. Patents for Roland Hill’s invention were granted from 1984 in many countries around the world. In 1985 the inventor turned entrepreneur founded Contra Vision Ltd to promote and sell products around the world and to license multi-nationals including 3M and Avery Dennison to use our invention.

Contra Vision
Contra Vision

1991 – World’s first total bus wrap

The world’s first total bus wrap was produced by Contra Vision in New Zealand for the Pan Pacific Hotel. The bus was converted into a mobile billboard which still allowed passengers inside to see out. The process involved shipping Contra Vision part-processed material from Europe to be spray-painted in New Zealand.

2000 – Contra Vision architectural Berlaymont project

Over 22,000m2 of controllable louvres were installed onto the European Commission Headquarters, acting as a high performance secondary facade. The position of the louvres is adjusted in response to changing climatic conditions and available daylight. A Contra Vision white on black dot printed interlayer was laminated between the glass to provide additional solar control and privacy.

Contra Vision
Queen's award

2015 – Queen’s Award for Innovation

Contra Vision received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation. This recognized our new patents and technology for ceramic printed architectural glass, enabling two different colors to be printed in exact registration as a dot pattern. The first large projects were initiated including the Nova Victoria building in London, with a red colored glass facade which is invisible from the inside.

Today – Keep on innovating

Contra Vision remains the world leader in one-way vision and other see-through window graphics. What started as an invention to increase the accessibility of squash, has turned into a global phenomenon seen on buses, cars, retail windows and other buildings in over 100 countries. We continue to innovate and were recognized with a second Queen’s Award for innovation in 2020 for our revolutionary HD micro-perforated window film, with applications for both printing and unprinted privacy and interior decor.

Stratford Station Contra Vision