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How would you make these signs?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Malkin, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

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    Just got an order for 25 more of these (did just 5 before).

    24" x 30' x .080" aluminum blanks coming from Grimco. We used vinyl letters before (cast, Gerber 220 series). This time I am considering using solvent printed with lamination instead. We keep IJ180c v3 with 8518 lam on hand, so that is what I would use. Our requirements are that the signs be long lasting, so no calendared vinyl.

    I am interested in hearing how others would approach this fairly typical sign job.

    Thanks,
    -Ted
     

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  2. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

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    Digital print all the way. Lam, apply, done. Way faster (and therefore cheaper) than doing cut vinyl. I'd do it full bleed, one piece.
     
  3. steve b

    steve b Active Member

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    Wouldn't cast vinyl last longer than a print??
     
  4. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    Screen printing?.....
     
  5. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    For 25 I would screenprint. Better wear and tear than digital.
     
  6. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    That eliminates digital printing right there.

    At 25 signs you probably should look at screen printing. If you can't find a merchant here to print .080 get a price from Grimco. Most people don't know that Grimco does custom printing and their prices are pretty reasonable.

    Or you can do them in vinyl.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We'd either screen them or flatbed print them.

    We're starting to flatbed print things that we once screened to save time and money.

    We're doing a job right now for 50 signs-double sided one color and it's actually cheaper for us to print then screen it and we offer both in-house.

    It might not last quite as long, but nothing anymore today is expected to last more than five years.
     
  8. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

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    I should have been more specific with the longevity. We would expect the signs to last 5 years with minimal damage from exposure. Anything past that would just be bonus. So I would just want the best method to achieve that goal.

    Thanks for the recommendations so far.

    Pat: What is the usual lifespan for eco-solvent digital printing (using a cast vinyl & lam)? I do realize it's going to vary a lot, but how long do you bank on it lasting?
    Also what about a worst case scenario: Full color print facing south (gets the most sun around here) with no shade.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i have had considerable fading on a wrap i did within 3 years.. it was 3m180c with the 8518, solvent print (megaink). i was shocked when i saw the van those 2-3 years later and how it had obviously faded. but i also have signs with 3651 and 210 that have been going on for 4-5 years and still look good. i guess the sun exposure and the colors in the print (type of ink) all play a factor in longevity?

    i usually say prints last 3-5 years to customers....

    if i thought i would catch grief if these didn't last at least 5 years i would have them screened or cast cut vinyl.
     
  10. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Price it to them both ways and let them know what to expect from each.

    I'd expect digital to last 3 years before noticeable fading, 5 years before they looked like they needed to be replaced.

    Using a good cast vinyl I'd expect a MINIMUM of 8 years before you'd have even minor issues.

    Screen printing will depend a lot on the inks but most of the signs we've printed are holding up longer than the aluminum. Once the baked enamel finish starts chalking it's all downhill from there. I've got a group of parking signs right up the street that we screenprinted in 1995. The printing still looks good but the white background is deteriorating and "staining" the printing as it washes off.
     
  11. uneedasign

    uneedasign Active Member

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    Screen print
     
  12. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Isn't 5 years forever nowadays..really?
     
  13. bayshorecreations

    bayshorecreations Very Active Member

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    My personal feeling on this, if you did it with cast cut vinyl for the first few that you did for the customer that is what they are expecting for the rest of them. If you do choose to do it a different way I would be sure to let them know first and also let them know that there may be a slight color difference from the first bunch you did for them.
     
  14. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Do them in calendered.
    They only have to last until Dec 2012

    wayne k
    guam usa

    I'd print an order of that size on cast - with a cast lam.
     
  15. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    + on screen printing.
     
  16. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

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    Thanks all for chiming in.

    Because this customer (local VA) doesn't seem to fussy on details, I'll seriously consider screenprinting. The 150 sq ft of digital printing adds up cost wise, I'll bet the screened cost will be pretty reasonable & possibly last longer as well.

    Also we are getting a little busier and I could make better use of my time.
     
  17. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    I'd probably blow them out in vinyl but would check the outsource price for screen printing.
     
  18. redline graphics

    redline graphics Member

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    Just the time it takes to post this and read the comments they could have been done in vinyl. Maybe screen be less but if you dont do it in house, how much time and $ do you really save? 25 signs? 1-2 hours cut, installed, invoiced.

    Just my .o2 cents
     
  19. pointjockey

    pointjockey Member

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    as long as the customer gets whats he is expecting, I would produce them in the method that would yield me the most dollars....I'm liking Screen Printing. I would also let the customer know that he would get a nice price break at 50 signs instead of 25.
     
  20. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

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    I'd do cut vinyl if it were me probably. All the setup for screen printing (25) is pretty high. If I didn't care how long they lasted I'd just do them on a UV flatbed.
     
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