When you’re looking for something fast, affordable and easy to put on your car or truck to spread a message, you probably won’t find anything better than cut vinyl graphics. Traditional cut vinyl graphics have been around for years, but still serve a niche and are the best solution in many instances.
Colored vinyl comes on large rolls in a variety of colors and is fed into a “plotter” to be cut down into letters and shapes. The vinyl is one of the most durable products in sign making – a high quality vinyl can last for a decade or even two, if applied correctly and not exposed to too much sun or weather. The best quality vinyl is called “cast” vinyl – so it is important to ask what quality of vinyl is being used for your project and what warranty is provided against fading, peeling or cracking.
Colored vinyl was the first replacement for hand painted graphics. It was truly cutting edge at a time when a “letter head” – or sign painter – was your only option. Computers cut vinyl faster and more accurately than a painter could.
You see cut vinyl commonly used for things like window lettering, boat lettering, or very simple vehicle graphics. With the advent of digital printing, when you want more than one or two colors, most sign shops will push you toward a digital print – which is a close relative to color vinyl.
Digitally printed graphics are created when white vinyl roll – specially made vinyl for this purpose – is fed through a printer and full color imaging is applied. The advantage is amazing eye-popping color and complexity. The disadvantage is shorter life span in most cases – the vinyl may stick just as long, but the color will fade more quickly since it is INK applied, and not a pigmented vinyl.
For those who are looking to do something plain and affordable – liquor license numbers, website or phone number on car door or window, or even wall graphics with a favorite quote – we direct our clients to cut vinyl.
While there are many amazing options now in vinyl – digital, perforated, and even glow in the dark – don’t forget the simplest answer may be the best and most affordable.