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Laminating Translucent?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Vinyldog, May 5, 2010.

  1. Vinyldog

    Vinyldog Member

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Tulsa, Ok
    Considering whether or not to laminate the 5ft. square translucent design I just printed on MPI2050.
    It will be applied to acrylic and eventually be back-lite and 15ft. up facing east. Just wondered how many consider this normal procedure.
    I would think the lam would need to be flat (not gloss) like the material itself, right?
     
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  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    when you're laminating, it doesn't matter what your stock material is... somewhat. Matte, Gloss, Luster is the result of your laminate.

    should you laminate? imho, YES!
    could you get away without it? Yes, but someday some guy is going to wash some bird poop off his sign face and realize that his windex is erasing his graphic... and then you get an angry phone call.

    Granted, it doubles the cost of your media but you've got to sell it and work it into the cost of your project before you give your clients estimates. If they're looking for dirt cheap/temporary/garbage, then don't think twice about not laminating. But if its a good client, good pay, and your name is going on the project... then laminate your prints everytime!
     
  3. Vinyldog

    Vinyldog Member

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    More than the durability issue I was curious about what special attributes a laminate might need for the back-lite application - for example would an optically clear lam have an advantage?
    I see a variaty of laminants avaliable for different applications but have not seen one specifically recommended for translucent use - the fact that the translucent vinyl already has a flat finish like you would normally use for a lite sign makes me wonder if it is not commonly used in that form (un-laminated).
     
  4. MrSigns

    MrSigns Member

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    Miles City, MT
    Absolutely lam. Backlit. Backlit signs are a higher end product. So you should produce it as such.
    I use the optically clear lam.
    But I prefer to use translucent cut vinyl before digital print. Design will dictate what product is more appropriate.
    when printing on my VersaCamm I overprint(2). The digital prints can seem washed out when illuminated. The overprint helps.
     
  5. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    overprint adds unneeded and unwanted over-saturation when unlit - members here suggest 2 methods - reverse print on clear sub-surface with first-surface print on translucent, or first-surface on clear then same print on translucent.
     
  6. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Why wouldn't you laminate it if it's only 5 sq. ft?
    Much more of a hassle to go up 15ft. and change the print after it fails...
     
  7. Vinyldog

    Vinyldog Member

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    All good advise

    Wish I would have read about the wash-out problems before I printed it but I had to have it done yesterday - I used O.210 - it seems to work pretty well for everything - I could have done this computer-cut with a seam and looking back now I would but this is done and now I'm going to see how it works.
     
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