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Back Lit Sign Question?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by ZsVinylInc, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. ZsVinylInc

    ZsVinylInc Member

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    So I am new to doing back lit signs. I recently made an addition for a customer with Orcal 8500 Translucent. This client now is opening a second location and wants me to do new pan faces for his new location. He wants to have yellow lettering with black outline. Normally if I was doing regular cut vinyl I would just stack that layers. My question is if I stack the layers will you still be able to get good translucent on them? Or is there another and better way to approach this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Big Z
     
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  2. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    You need to make sure that you cut the yellow area's out of the black...

    If it was me I would add a about an 1/8" outline to the yellow so when you overlay the black you don't have to be 100% on your alignment.

    Like this...
     

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  3. ZsVinylInc

    ZsVinylInc Member

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    I think I get what you are saying...So then the yellow would over lap the black about 1/8"....I appreciate you advice and help. So what would be the pros and cons if you laid the yellow first and then laid and overlapped the black? I would assume same result just slightly different look.
     
  4. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Personally I'd lay the yellow first then the black outline. This would allow me to do like a "color trap"

    I usually add a 1/16" or 1/8" to my bottom layer (yellow in this case) then overlay the outline. That way if I'm slightly off in my alignment I won't have any white showing.

    I've attached a wireframe of that "A" (I changed the yellow to red so it'd be easier to see)

    Also I like to use the 3M 3630 series because of the clear synthetic liner makes alignment 1000 times easier.
     

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  5. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Lay the yellow first, then the black. Be sure to hold it up to a light while you insall to make sure it looks the way you want it to.

    What ever the outline thickness is, say .5" make your yellow a .25" thicker.
     
  6. ZsVinylInc

    ZsVinylInc Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help I appreciate it. I never knew about the 3M clear Liner. If I do more of these I will have to look into that. I also have developed an almost 100% full proof alignment procedure that I have been using for a long time. usually gets you within about 1/32 - 1/16".
     
  7. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Or just print some crosses in each corner to act like registration marks, then pull them off after the fact. Anyway the yellow needs a bleed over the black.
     
  8. Signguyno1

    Signguyno1 Active Member

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    Too do it properly would be to spray it in reverse and then back up with the last ground color. When done properly will look the best and last much longer then cut vinyl and or printed graphics.

    This is something that you learn when you have been in the sign industry for many years and have served an apprentiship.

    Just mortaging the ranch, buying a plotter or printer, leasing a storefront in a strip mall, does not constitute a full service sign company.

    Beware, when taking on projects beyond your capacity, can and will get you in deeper then you will realize. Sub out what is beyond you and make sure you are protected by insurance.
     
  9. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    No way, I have 3M film on backlit signs that have been up 15 years. signguyno1 you sound like some old bitter sign guys I have ran out of biz. GET WITH THE TIMES!
     
  10. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    :goodpost:

    Back sprayed signs would out last vinyl 100 - 1. Some people just don't like to take professional friendly advice.
     
  11. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    I would be willing to bet you on that!!!!!! I have backlit signs with 3M first surface app that have been up 20 years and are still looking great.I see these "sign salesman" back-painted signs all over looking like crap after 5-6 years. Ahh who cares as long as someone made some money, right?
     
  12. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    Well I don't know how stuck on vinyl could compete against the proper lacquer used on a back sprayed acryllic?? A lot of people have the notion that if it can't be "stuck" on then it is not worth doing. I have some 20 year old illuminated signs still going that requied new boxes because the faces outlasted them. And I also would be willing to bet that there would be shrinkage with outlines using vinyl.
    The said job would be a piece of cake using a vinyl mask. All that is required is the weeding of the outline which would then be sprayed black, leaving the same mask there but just removing the "letters" and spraying yellow, remove mask and spray white. How simple is that and there would never be a worry with shrinkage.. But maybe not too many know how to backspray properly???
    I would gladly do a test using your method and my method and place them in Death Valley for 20 years and see which one goes the distance.:wine-smi:, but "you" are the people who also say that a digital print is best because the customer can have a new sign every 12 months because the last one faded out??
     
  13. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    ??? really ???

    sounded quite bitter to me.

    sure back sprayed it the best option, but i have done hundreds of vinyl backlits and they last plenty long enough....

    who wants a frickin backlit to last 30 years anyway?????????????????????
     
  14. ZsVinylInc

    ZsVinylInc Member

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    Mosh I don't understand why I would print some crosses when we are not even talking about doing any printed vinyl. Also if you laid the yellow over the black being as it is translucent wouldn't that change the shade of yellow in those areas because the black behind it would make it look darker. If you but the yellow down first then the black, black is black so if it looks darker it wouldn't look as out of place.

    So Signguyno you are saying that I should have stopped learning and expanding my products, services, and abilities after I learned how to do cut vinyl? Who do you think the first guy who ever did a back lit sign learned from....Probably no one but himself. I am more then capable of doing this sign and yes I have insurance. This new location for this guy is just a temporary one for this business. Then then plans to move it to somewhere else and has talked about putting a completely different type or business in this location within a short amount of time. So why would I spray it when it is going to need changed again soon.
     
  15. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    Sounds like friendle advice to me???

    Maybe the customer????:wine-smi:
     
  16. Signguyno1

    Signguyno1 Active Member

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    Well, Mr Mosh!

    I have to thank you for your private message, proclaming that I am so mean to one asking for help, as well as stating that my slogan has been used for the last twenty years by someone else in your area.

    First: Mr. Newbe, Sir!
    You are wrong in the area of reverse sprayed graphics having longevity, just check with all the large producers of back lighted signage over the years as well as the manufacture's of the specialized paints for that purpose!

    Vinyl products shrink with age and heat, that can not be denied! Proper paints will expand and contract with the medium they were created for!

    Secondly: as for my slogan, I have had that slogan for over 52 years and that trumps your statement, I have proof as well!

    FINALLY: Vinyl is not final! There are newcomers and there are old timers and there are those that can sell ice cubes to eskimos, having no idea what they are talking about. Be advised, we in the sign industry, do know our trade!

    You have not run me out of business or anyone else for that fact. You have just displayed your inexperience and inflated ego!

    There will be no further posts to this post by me but i'm sure there will be by other professionals in the trade.

    Have a nice day.
    :noway:
     
  17. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Mosh is cappy using a proxy..
     
  18. astro8

    astro8 Active Member

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    We do s**tloads of backlit signage...sure we use a lot of vinyl and print now, but nothing beats a backsprayed sign...if done properly with acrylic (nitrocelloluse back in the day) cut with clear...

    P.S I just had a flashback of hand cutting all those masks...think I'll go polish the vinyl cutter now.
     
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