May 30 Installing Vinyl Signage
The use of vinyl is a popular solution for signage as it can be an affordable, colourful and versitile option for bespoke signs. Vinyl is an adhesive plastic that can be applied to clean smooth surfaces such glass, acrylic and timber, and can be a great option to display your business branding.
Vinyl works well for crisp bespoke signage, especially when contrasting colours are used to accentuate the vinyl from the backing.
We use polymeric calendered film vinyl for our signage here at The Laser Co. Polymeric vinyl is exterior grade that is somewhat resilient against fading, chemicals, warping and shrinkage. The average life span of polymeric vinyl is 5-7 years.
The expected durability of polymeric vinyl is determined by many factors including colour of the vinyl, angle and direction of sun exposure, humidity, temperatures and the environment. As not all pigments are manufactured equally, the most durable options are typically black and white.
Vinyl for signage purposes will mostly be used in a vertical exposure setting and as such the expected durability for these circumstances would be roughly:
Black and White – up to 8 years
Colours & Transparent – up to 7 years
Metallics – up to 5 years
A Note On Colour Matching
Vinyl is available in a range of colours so we can colour match to your specific requirements. Bare in mind that colour matching vinyl is not the same as colour matching CMYK in printing. We have a swatch of every colour available and we match as best as we can to your brand, but it won’t be exact.
Vinyl Application Process
To apply vinyl on your wall or surface, you will need:
- – a clean, dry and smooth surface
- – masking tape
- – spirit level
- – tape measure
- – pencil for marking centre points etc on the wall
- – a squeegee or firm plastic card
When your vinyl decal or sign arrives, it will be between a backing sheet and a layer of application tape. Do not peel apart the layers. Applying vinyl decals is a fairly straight forward process, follow the below steps to ensure a smooth installation:
1) Prepare the surface
If you are applying to a wall, make sure the wall is clean and smooth. Attempting to apply vinyl to a brick or concrete with any texture may be unsuccessful. If applying to a glass surface, clean the glass with window cleaner and dry with a lint-free cloth
2) Place the design on your wall / surface
Place your design on the surface, taking the time to ensure it is in the correct position, horizontally and vertically aligned. You cannot reposition the vinyl once in place so this is where the tape measure and spirit level come in handy.
3) Make a ‘hinge’
Once you have settled on the position, tape down the design with masking tape at one edge of the sheet. Do not extend the tape beyond the ends of the sheet. You may want to apply two strips of masking tape to makes sure the sheet doesn’t move.
4) Cut into sections, if possible
If for example you are installing a long line of text, this can be difficult to do in one go. You may be able to cut down the vinyl into smaller sections for ease of application. Once the hinge is in place, this is the time to do this.
5) Install the vinyl
When ready, lift the sheet up, not moving the masking tape hinge, and slowly peel off the backing sheet, making sure the vinyl is sticking to front face application tape. As you are peeling the backing sheet, use the squeegee (or your hands if you find that more comfortable) to run along the vinyl to flatten it against the surface. Do this for all parts of the design.
When you are finished you will be left with the vinyl and the application tape stuck to the wall. Carefully peel back the application tape, being mindful of any pieces of vinyl that have not adhered properly to surface. If pieces have not adhered properly, you can realign the application tape against the surface and squeegee over the unfinished pieces.