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Cut Vinyl vs. Printed Vinyl

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by signspot, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. signspot

    signspot Hokiesigns

    Jul 15, 2010
    Hokie Nation
    I have about 30 .080 gauge aluminum signs ranging from 12"x18" to 36"x48" to make this week. These will be marking sections in a college football stadium. The design will be 2 colors that covers the entire sign. I debating on whether to print each sign on my HP L25500 on cast vinyl using a cast laminate or cut everything out of cast vinyl. I feel certain that the cut cast vinyl option is going to last longer than the printed option but I think the printed option will look better as a finished product. The printed option is going to be quicker as well. Probably half of the signs will receive direct intense sunlight all year round. Just wanted some opinions on how others would go about this.
  2. 1leonchen

    1leonchen Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    The carribbean
    cut vynil is more work but i think is a more refine finish and a longer lasting product
  3. S'N'S

    S'N'S Active Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    If I have anything facing the sun and want it to last long term I use cut vinyl.
  4. carter75

    carter75 Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    I agree with both other posters on the cut vinyl. Are the colors that you are going to be using available in an exact match or close enough match in cut vinyl to please the customer? If not, you may end up having to use printed.
  5. john1

    john1 Guest

    Printing would be my choice, Less work and no worries of lifting as much as cut vinyl

    Print, Laminate, Apply vs Cut, Weed, Mask, Apply

    Printing all the way.
  6. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I'd go with the high-performance cut stuff.
    Is it too late to offer them the option of print or cut?
    (charge more for the cut of course)
  7. Cale Frederick

    Cale Frederick Member

    May 19, 2012
    I would normally say cut vinyl. However, we have a few printed graphics on our building that are in direct sunlight from about 11 am until dark. They have been up for roughly 5 years now and really seem to be holding up well. They are actually on material that is only warranted for about 6 months. IJ 8624 with 8625 laminate textured surface install. We tend to print a lot more now since those prints have held up so well. But... That's just been our luck. Not sure it's best solution for all.

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State
    can't speak to the life span on Latex Inks,

    but we have had great luck with printing using OEM Roland inks,
    know of one sign that is facing due east been that way for close to 3 years non-laminated and the colors still pop.

    my concern is where (height wise) are these signs going? the cut vinyl will have more edges due to the layering and allow for some one to "pick at it"
  9. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Auburn, NY
    Use a quality vinyl + lam and print them. There are no guarantees with any of it, cut or print. We have both on the front of our building. Some cut has faded and some of the printed has been going strong for almost 6 years.
  10. ICeMAnAbk

    ICeMAnAbk Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Cut vinyl.

    Figure, ink it just a thin layer ontop of your media.
    Vinyl, is color all the way through but takes a lot of time...

    If you're doing a large order (I dunno... 100?) I'd check into using Screening inks vs printable inks since most screening inks are very durable and cheap. Make a screen and screen & Air dry. Most roadsigns are done with a screening process, and I'm sure it's an ink which eats into the material much like a solvent to make it much more aggressive. If you're not too good at screening stuff, I'd go with the vinyl. will take longer, but I don't seen an issue of fading happening soon. Some inks out there are very reliable, but some aren't.

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