The Most Common Vinyl Graphic Questions Answered

Vinyl Graphic

When purchasing a new vinyl graphic, several questions are commonly asked, which, if not considered, can slow down the process of getting your unique design on your window or wall considerably. It’s essential to take some time to ask these questions to make sure that you get the final product you’re looking for to minimize time and monetary wastage from needing amends. When a vinyl goes to print, you should be confident that you’re getting the colors and finish you want, and the best way to do this is by asking and answering the following questions.

Do you want your graphic on the inside or outside of the glass?

Many vinyl prints are designed to go on windows and have company logos or information on them. The decision to place your graphic on the inside or outside of the glass will first depend on if the glass has a color tint, which may change your graphic’s look. You can test if the window is tinted by placing a sheet of white paper on the glass, and then looking through it from the outside. Even though the window may appear transparent at first glance, you may notice that the paper is a slightly different shade when you do this test. If this is the case, then you may want to consider sticking your vinyl to the outside of the window to make sure that no colors change when viewing the design.

People worry that if vinyl is stuck outside of a window, it may be more likely to be damaged by the weather. In general, this fear isn’t warranted, and most types of vinyl are manufactured to withstand harsh conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and rain. Vinyl prints can also withstand cleaning with ease if you regularly have a window cleaner in your building. It may be worth simply asking them not to use any harsh cleaning product when cleaning your windows with prints on them, but warm water will generally not affect them at all.

What colors should I use?

There are two main considerations when choosing the color of your lettering: your brand and the purpose of the vinyl print. If you’re a part of an organization with clear brand guidelines, you may be limited by the palette approved to be used. If this isn’t an issue, though, then choosing colors that are easy to read is the best approach. Unlike when printed on white paper, black is often quite challenging to read when printed on glass as it blends into many interiors’ background. Instead, use bright colors when possible, especially if the sign shows a warning or something important that can’t be missed.

Should you choose a matte or gloss finish?

When choosing your vinyl print, you’ll generally get the choice between a gloss or matte finish, which is used to improve the longevity of the design and gives it a unique look depending on your choice. The difference between the two is negligible and is a primarily personal preference, so sample both to see which you prefer. A matte finish can work well if you want a ‘professional’ look and in office spaces, while a gloss finish will work for any vinyl graphic in windows or on cars. If you’re going to place your design inside a window, the finish will make little difference as the glass will give a naturally glossy look.

What should you do if there’s an existing vinyl that needs to be removed?

If there’s an old vinyl print, it will need to be removed before the new one can be installed. If you plan on doing this yourself, make sure you have the correct supplies as regular water won’t be enough to remove all the adhesive. If you have someone coming to install your print for you, they will most likely remove the old one for you, but make sure to let them know that this needs to be done before they start the job. When choosing your vinyl printer, take some time to understand their full range of services to see if they offer everything you need to install your new graphic – a great example is CraftsmenIND , but a Google search and looking for reviews is an excellent place to start.

Types of vinyl film

Depending on the purpose of your graphic, you can choose from many different styles and effects.

Gloss vinyl

Like a gloss-finish paint, these vinyl prints have a shiny surface. If you pick a gloss finish, you’ll have access to the most significant number of colors of any other cut vinyl, and you can expect it to last from three to five years if installed outside. Premium gloss types of vinyl will last even longer, and if you install them inside, you won’t need to replace it for at least a decade. If you need your graphic to stand up to the weather, then a gloss is generally the best choice and is superior to a matte finish, so if you’re installing on a car or outside of your office, then a gloss finish is recommended.

Matte vinyl

A matte finish will have a non-reflective look and absorb light instead of the shiny look of a gloss vinyl graphic. Matte finishes are often used indoors as they give a high-class look when combined with the right design, although there are fewer colors to choose from. Without significant weathering, you can expect a similar lifespan of three to five years from a matte finish vinyl print, but as mentioned, it won’t last as long as a gloss finish if the conditions are harsher.

Translucent vinyl

Moving away from cut vinyl with a solid color, you can also choose from several translucent and transparent options. Translucent vinyl looks solid, but allows more light through than gloss or matte options, meaning that they are an excellent choice for sticking to fluorescent tubes or anything backlit. They are often used for warning signs and have a more robust satin finish to last between seven and nine years.

Transparent vinyl

Translucent vinyl is manufactured to let some light through, and transparent vinyl is entirely see-through, meaning you can get very creative with your design. Transparent vinyl is slightly thicker than the other options and is mostly used indoors as a display piece, rather than practical.

Blackboard vinyl

A unique type of vinyl, blackboard vinyl has a textured surface, which means you can write directly on it with chalk. It’s an excellent alternative to a traditional chalkboard as it’s lighter and easier to install, and it can be stuck to a wall rather than hanging a large board. Many cafes and restaurants use these to display their menus, and blackboard vinyl is also perfect in schools and offices.

Metallic vinyl

For a more unusual finish, you may want to consider a metallic finish, which comes in gold, silver, and bronze, and other colored metallic looks. Metallic finishes are often used to give a decorative look on glass and be used outdoors as they have a protective layer. Most metallic vinyl materials have a silver back regardless of the top’s color, so keep this in mind if you’re installing on a window.

Reflective vinyl

If you need a sign that you want visible in low light, then a reflective vinyl is a good option and is often used for warning signs and road safety signs. This can also be applied to vehicles. Throughout the day, they will look black and white, they will reflect any light and be highly visible in low light. The most common colors are white and yellow to maximize the amount of light these signs reflect.

Frosted vinyl

Another unique application, frosted pieces of vinyl are designed to be installed directly onto glass and allow light to pass, though it’s impossible to see. If you want to make a room more private, this is a perfect solution as a frosted vinyl will still let light, but you can’t see any details. You can also add effects and patterns to these vinyl sheets, such as rice paper, spots, and checker boards.

Stencil vinyl

These are the only type of vinyl that’s not designed to stick onto a surface permanently. You can create a graphic, cut it out of the length of vinyl, and then adhere it to your surface, giving a ‘negative’ that can be painted over. When the paint has dried, you simply remove the vinyl and are left with the cut design. Cityscapes are a great example of this, and vinyl is the perfect material to create your design.

With this information, you should now be well informed to choose the best type of vinyl for your project. Vinyl is a fantastic solution for creating signs and is far cheaper than other signage solutions. Follow FarhanTech for great content.