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Reflective Road Signs

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by TheSnowman, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    Haven't ever really messed with this too much yet in the 8+ years I've been doing it, but I have some basic road instruction signs to make for a camp ground, as far as speed limit, parking, etc, and they want them to be reflective. Am I looking at the right thing here that will reflect like a sign on the highway?

    http://www.grimco.com/Products.aspx?cid=0220&pid=00930&sid=RA1824BKW

    And also, I assume on black it doesn't matter, but do they normally do a translucent vinyl over the tops, and that helps with the reflective under it, or am I making that up?
     
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  2. idsignsil

    idsignsil Member

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    If you want the lettering to be reflective, you will have to get the matching vinyl as to the blanks that you order. Grimco will also do custom reflective signs, so you just draw it up and send it to them and it comes to you looking good. That is what we do. I email a lady and she does the custom reflective signs. Then they come on the daily Grimco truck when they are ready, and they are not that much more expensive. I can get you her contact info if you are interested.
     
  3. Dzrt1st

    Dzrt1st Member

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    The black on all traffic signs is non-reflective. It is either opaque screen printed or applied opaque vinyl depending on the quantity produced.
     
  4. Kelcy Deeds

    Kelcy Deeds Member

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    Hey guys, i know this post is really old but i had a question. I live in central america and we dont have to keep by any set of traffic sign laws but we still like to get the best reflectivity out of the signs we make. Im doing a bunch of yellow diamond grade sign with black lettering. am i fine to put oracal 751 over the diamond grade yellow? is there any reason to use the special 3m 1170 for the black. we use 1170 for any colors we do and it works great but id like to save some cost by using a standard black cut vinyl if possible. Also if people want the protective laminate for these signs. is it ok to use a high end normal overlaminate for these or does it have to be an optically clear overlaminate or does it have to be the 1170 clear. just remember, these dont need to be regulatory, they just need to be done well and practical. Thanks!
     
  5. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    For what your non-regulatory needs are, I'd say Oracal 751 is just fine and for a laminate, I would apply a clear acrylic over the top, such as One-Shot.
     
  6. Kelcy Deeds

    Kelcy Deeds Member

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    Thanks! I'd like to try to stick to a film lam if possible though cause the guy who I'm doing a bunch for is complaining that people are peeling off the 1170 vinyl and I think a film might keep that from happening better than a spray.
     
  7. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    I typically would apply clear acrylic with a roller or brush so it lays on really thick, but yeah, I think either would work okay, as a 2 mil laminate is going to be very difficult to peel up.
     
  8. Kelcy Deeds

    Kelcy Deeds Member

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    Ohh i gotcha. Thanks for your help!
     
  9. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    3M and Avery both make overlay UV/AntiGrafitti films for Traffic Signage.
     
  10. Kelcy Deeds

    Kelcy Deeds Member

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    Do you know the model numbers for those?
     
  11. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

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    Kelcy,

    You can apply most any 2-mil CAST high performance vinyl direct to prismatic film and the sign should last outdoors 7-10 years without laminate. Any laminate you apply at this point should be anti-graffiti if sign is to be used where kids tend to tag them
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    In her case yes compliance is not an issue.

    Avery is OL1000 anti graffiti + uv or OL2000 uv only from their traffic division.

    3M Anti UV is 1160, full anti graffiti is 1170
     
  13. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    2CT is incorrect. 3M 1160 is anti-graffiti and 3M 1170 is their UV. They will not gaurentee one to do both.

    OL1000 will do both for avery products.
     
  14. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Did you guys miss where they want to overlam ontop of the cut vinyl, so people can't pick the letters off?

    I don't think it'd work. I've never tried to overlam cut vinyl... But wouldn't it work just like overlaming uv? You'll have some gap/air where the vinyl is, and it'll end up cracking and looking like crap in the winter.

    We use 1160 a lot for our screen printed graphic signs... But I wouldn't do it for vinyl cut signs.

    If the business is there... And you don't need to follow reg specs... I'd Buy a latex printer, it prints great on traffic signs. You can Get a 115 for 7-8k... Not sure about how support is or price on your area, but it'd set you apart from the competition.
     
  15. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    You are right, I always get them backwards. We have fully switched to Avery and Avoid 3Ms overpriced traffic at this point.
     
  16. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    You can avoid but until avery gets out and does the same leg work with the cities as 3M does. Avery is never going to get the market hold that 3M has. Too many cities trust 3M and don't trust Avery.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    We don't do 1160 on top of vinyl. Vinyl is not the proper material for reflective signs. We do put 1160 over EC film though. There is no need for 1170clear UV on top of cut EC colored films though because all the cut EC films are basically 1170 clear with color added. They are already UV resistant. If they need tamper resistance add 1160 it's very thin and gets into the cut areas very well. And is 3M warrantied.
     
  18. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We have converted all of our clients from 3M. Right now some of our signs are being tested by ADOT and a few municipalities to see how they compare to 3M. Every test my clients have done have shown Avery as far superior.
     
  19. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    That's what I'm saying though. Their materials are great. Their ability to get that across to cities and end users is the problem. They leave it up to you to convince the customer that their material is just as good. Instead of going out themselves and getting it spec'd in so that it's easier for the person trying to quote their materials. If the bid says no substitute then your kinda screwed.
     
  20. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

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    The bigger issue is how the spec is written by the city/state/municipality for the permanent regulated (and sometimes temporary Work Zone) signage. They can write the spec so that only the "preferred" brand is the one that complies with the spec.

    I'm working with a state DOT (Not TDOT) office currently that is in the process of approving digital production, and they are spec'ing the printer, ink, reflective sheeting and overlaminate on permanent AND temporary work zone signage. As you can imagine, the spec is written with one supplier in mind. This manufacturer has a patent on the spec'd reflective sheeting that keeps the competition out for at least the next 2 years.

    I sat in a meeting with 12 engineers that have worked on this for over a two year period and they looked at me crazy when I said that they are creating an anti-competitive situation. Their solution was submit a letter to the committee and ask for a second supplier be added that offers a sheeting with a spec that offers "similar" reflectivity-brightness-readability.

    For those not in the traffic signage business specifically, I've learned quickly that there is very little comparison to traditional sign making because of the regulations, ASTM standards and is MUTCD compliance and of course government bureaucracy.
     
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