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Suggestions Longest lasting printed vinyl on dimensional signs

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by Active Sign, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Active Sign

    Active Sign The Boss

    Jul 8, 2013
    I have a client that has acrylic faced foam letters with printed vinyl on them. Another shop made the sign about 4 years ago and the printed faces are fading bad. They want to replace the sign with a longer lasting option. Logo has a gradation and they will not accept a solid color alternative, so it must be printed.

    I considered face mounting some printed cast vinyl with a cast lamination to the faces. This option will only outlast the old sign by a few years at most.

    so now I am thinking about doing channel letters with clear acrylic faces and 2nd surface mounting the printed graphics inside the letters. I am hoping the clear acrylic will work better than lamination. I have done this many times using cast solid color cut vinyl with great results. Has anyone done this with printed graphics and had good long term results?

    Thanks for any tips!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    have you thought about painting them... if it has to last paint will outlast any printed ink.
  3. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    cast print cast overlam. your best bet for first-surface. second-surface helps, but the sun fades all over time.
    actually, the clear acrylic will actually stain/yellow in the elements, so you're not really gaining much from this but I'm sure it would help.

    Stock cast colored vinyls show noticeable degredation after the 5year mark, maybe less in your region, and your prints should last just about as long but i'd be screwed if I boasted a 10 year warranty on printed graphics outdoors. heck, even all of the American flags posted on the moon are currently white from UV exposure.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    The most cost effective option is likely PVC letters with cast print + cast lam (same stuff used for car wraps). How long it will last depends on where it's located.

    Painting is arguably the best option, but then you have to find a painter to work with and that can be problematic.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. printhog

    printhog Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    Second surface printed reverse onto cast clear backed with white (printed for illumination if so needed) will do fine for 7+ years if your letters are made on solar grade polycarbonate faces (with UV inhibitors). The polycarb cuts about 80% of the UV for 7 years or so, the adhesive on the clear cuts the rest (UV inhibitors are not part of vinyl, they are part of the adhesive layer on laminates). Pay attention to the manufacturer's markings for the polycarb, it is a surface treatment on only ONE side of the polycarbonate. There is a side that goes to the sun and one that doesnt. 3M translucent films on Makrolon SP would be my suggestion for this use, and would give you best life. I've had 3M Scotchprint graphics on channel letters in this configuration on convenience stores that have gone for 12 years plus.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. spectrum maine

    spectrum maine Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    biddeford, maine
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

    Aug 6, 2007
    Edge prints. I've got a partial vehicle wrap out there that was done in 2008 and it still looks like it did the day it was installed. Did a full color Edge print with a Frog Skin layer (Gerber's UV Abrasion Guard was available yet).

    If they're looking for extreme long term, then you need to explain the available options and what that'll mean for their gradient logo.
    • Like Like x 2

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