What is Lettering vinyl?
It is a plastic sheet of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that can be cut and / or printed to create designs or posters, which can then be fixed on different surfaces. In general, they have an adhesive side and can incorporate a carrier for placement.
According to its manufacturing method, we can differentiate cast vinyls and calendered vinyls. The latter in turn can be monomeric or polymeric. Monomeric vinyls tend to be cheaper and less durable, and are recommended for flat surface applications, especially indoors. Polymeric vinyls are recommended for applications on flat or slightly curved surfaces, and can last 7-10 years, even outdoors.
Cast vinyls have greater durability and quality. In general, they are recommended for interiors and exteriors, and being thinner they are easy to cut, discard and can be applied on curved, uneven, rough surfaces and moldings. Currently the differences between cast and calendered vinyls have been minimized, due to improvements in the manufacturing processes of the latter.
On the other hand, there are two large groups of vinyls according to their personalization techniques: cutting vinyls and printing vinyls. For the first ones we use a cutting plotter to cut out the design on a flat color vinyl. For multi-color designs, each color is cut out separately and then combined in placement.
Printing vinyls have a similar function to cutting vinyls, but they are also prepared to allow printing on their surface with special inks. They can be personalized with images, letters and logos of all kinds of colors.
As a general rule, cut vinyl is usually more durable than print vinyl, while the latter has more customization options. In some cases, a laminate is used to protect the printing vinyls that protects the inks from UV rays and other environmental factors.
- It is a material of high durability and quality, which can be used both for decoration and for signage or advertising.
- There is a wide variety of colors, transparencies, effects and finishes.
- For printing vinyls, the customization possibilities are unlimited, allowing you to create almost any design.
- It is extremely malleable, adapting to create all kinds of designs, cuts, shapes and colors.
- They are very easy to install, quickly and cleanly, without requiring the use of expensive tools.
- Can be used for single products or in small quantities
- They can be applied on a wide variety of surfaces, such as walls, glass, floors, shop windows, vehicles, furniture, posters and many more.
- They can last for years, both in indoor and outdoor applications, because they are resistant to external factors such as humidity, sunlight and other climatic agents.
- It can be easily removed once it has completed its useful life or its advertising or decorative utility.
Technology and tools needed to create and place lettering vinyls
- Computer with vector design software to create the image.
- Cutting plotter that will cut out the pieces of the design.
- For printing vinyls, a printer with special vinyls inks is required. Some printers can both print and cut the vinyl. If your printer does not have this feature, you must use a cutting plotter.
- Tools and supplies for discarding.
- Accessories and tools for laying.
- In some cases, other accessories may be required such as a conveyor to perform placement, or a laminator to protect the printed vinyl after application.
Lettering vinyl creation process
1.- Design preparation: We create the design on a computer, with the help of specialized software. The design is prepared according to the needs, for example it may be required to invert it in a mirror.
2.- Cutting and printing: Once the design is created, it is sent to the corresponding machine to print and / or cut the vinyl. In both cases, the cutting or printing parameters must be adjusted according to the material used.
3.- Disposal: For cut vinyl, the excess is removed and a protractor is often used to facilitate placement.
Lettering vinyl placement process
The installation method will depend on the surface and the material that we are using. Self-adhesive vinyls are placed directly on the surface to be decorated, spreading the vinyl with the help of a spatula. For vinyl cut into designs that are made up of multiple colors or separate parts, a protractor is used. In the case of printing vinyls, it is recommended to use a clear laminator to cover the vinyl once it has been laid, in order to protect the print from external agents.
There are also other types of placement, for example canvases for printing, roll ups, canvas, magnetized vinyl, among others. Printed canvases can be stitched together to form larger designs, and then hung with special supports. The Roll Ups are self-sustaining advertising displays, which are made up of a printed canvas and a base, on which the canvas can be rolled up to facilitate transport and installation. Another particular case are the magnetic printing vinyls that have a magnetic sheet on one of their sides, to be able to apply and remove them from metal surfaces repeatedly, without the need for adhesives.
Signage Vinyl Applications
There are a wide variety of applications for wrapping vinyls. Some of the most used are:
- Solid Color Vinyl - This is a single color cut vinyl with a gloss or matte finish. It is manufactured in a wide variety of colors to combine in the designs. It has a wide range of applications for all types of signs, decorations and signs.
- Printing vinyl: it is a white material with a glossy or matte surface, with a self-adhesive side. It is suitable to be applied on various surfaces, both interior and exterior. It is used as a personalized wallpaper in home decoration, as well as for advertising in offices and commercial premises, or for example for vehicle wrapping.
- Acid vinyl or glass: it is a printing and cutting material that is applied on glass and transparent surfaces as it covers but allows light to pass through. The finish is similar to that of an acid etched glass. It is widely used in the decoration of homes, offices and commercial rooms, to label windows, glass doors, shop windows, room dividers and many more.
- Transparent laminator: it is a transparent material that is applied on the printing vinyls to protect them from wear and tear. They can have several functions, for example, the anti-slip laminators that are applied in floor and stair signs, which in addition to protecting the print, provide a rough surface to prevent slipping or sliding.
- Magnetized vinyl: it is a printing material that has a magnetic sheet on one of its sides. It can be used on any magnetizable surface, for posters or advertisements that you want to place, modify and remove successively.
- Micro-perforated vinyl: this is a printing vinyl that has small holes that allow some light to pass through. It is used on transparent surfaces for decoration and advertising in commercial premises or offices, on windows, room dividers, shop windows, car or bus windows.
- Canvases: they are printing materials that can be used in advertising such as banner, hanging, roll up, poster, decoration or exhibitions.
At Sublimet you can also find conveyors, laminators, plotters, inks and all the accessories and consumables you need for your signage projects.