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Starting a Laptop/Mobile skin business, need help please

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by Maxi, May 24, 2010.

  1. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    Dear All,

    First of all, I would like to thank you all for sharing information about this industry, I'm just few days new to it and I already know a thing or two because of the great posts you guys posted here.

    I'm planning to open a small business to sell skins for mobile phones and laptops in multiple sizes, I'm aiming for the best quality possible so I would appreciate your support and advise on the following points:

    1- The Printing material: I have made my research in this forum and found that most users are recommending either 3M IJ180-c and Oracel 3164 Gloss, but which one is the best?

    2- Printing: What is the best printer to print on these materials?

    3- Cutting: What is the best cutter to cut my designs based on the sizes I want?

    4- Software: I plan to mainly use AI, maybe CorelDraw, is there any other software that I should know in order to use the printer and the cutter? or they are already compatible with the above two software? I see that some of them are.

    5- Lamination: Does the materials I mentioned already glossed? I never printed one myself, I always buy them ready and they look awesome and glossed, do they gloss them after printing or its printed like this? if they gloss them then what's the best machine/device/material to use to gloss them?


    I would appreciate your support, even if it's small, remember that every word you said will be good for me.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best,
    Maxi
     
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  2. Fatboy

    Fatboy Very Active Member

    Welcome Maxi......why don,t you contact a Roland dealer in your area.I am sure they can answer all your questions!Go and have a demo.I think that is the best.:Welcome:
     
  3. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    Thank you very much :) you helped me by this because I didn't know Roland :) it seems like a good company that makes good equipments and stuff.

    Is this their website? http://www.rolanddg.com


    Will look forward for more information and especially advise.


    Best,
    Maxi
     
  4. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

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    A roland might be a good choice but you would have to sell tens of thousands of these to justify such a purchase. Why would you not hire your your printing of your designs?
     
  5. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    Thank you Salmoneye, you raised a really important point which is the cost, I believe you are right, I should hire the printing of my designs, but I would like to have your help about the below questions because many printing companies will tell me that they will provide "best quality" and use my lack of experience in this field.

    1- What type of printing should i go for? digitial? any specific needs i should mention?

    2- Should I provide them with the material? what material do you recommend of the two i mentioned? will it be cheaper if I buy the material or i leave it all on them? or that will depend on my negotiations?

    Thanks
    Maxi
     
  6. jscarl

    jscarl Very Active Member

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    Welcome from mid Michigan. I do not do any printing, but it sounds like you are getting very sound advice.
     
  7. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    You just need to do some research on how a sub works. You would send them your design, and they would print it on their material. If you are subbing it out, your project is going to be very tiny compared to most jobs that they print, unless you are just doing thousands and thousands of these.

    And yes, digital is the only printing for vinyl unless there is some kind of dye-sub out there, but I don't know anything about that. Pretty sure for pressure sensitive vinyl, you are only able to go digital.
     
  8. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

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    I can tell you that if your about to start up a business you should write out some goals your trying to accomplish and also a good business plan wouldnt hurt either. You should definetly start by out sourcing the printing. The most important part of a business is the client so have you figured out how you plan on getting business in the first place yet?
     
  9. Dan Antonelli

    Dan Antonelli Very Active Member

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  10. SurfaceSigns

    SurfaceSigns Member

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    Welcome from the Canadian West Coast.

    You'e gotten lots of great advice here so far, I'll try to address a few questions that haven't been answered along with some advice.

    The gloss level is determined by the material the printing is done on (if you don't plan on laminating the prints), or by the type of laminate applied. Both are available in everything from matte to high gloss. You can also get laminates that have different textures to add to your designs.

    If you are planning on selling the skins for the end user to apply, I would definitely use a material that has air release channels in the adhesive (3M, Oracal, Hexis, Avery, Mac Tac, etc all have suitable materials). This allows for an easier installation with no bubbles. I'd also suggest using a Cast material over a Calendared material, as the Cast materials are made to handle curves and such better.

    As Pat said above, you really should laminate to extend the life of the skins. The laminate acts as a protective barrier for the print, both from physical damage and fading. Laminating also gives the print a bit more body, making installation easier for the end user.

    If your are sourcing out the printing, there is no need to provide materials. You would simply spec what materials you would like used. Most of us tend to stick to brands we like, so for short runs, you may have to go with what ever that shop uses. For larger print runs, I'm sure the shop would have no problem sourcing the materials you spec.

    On the Artwork side, you can use pretty much any of the major design software titles such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel, etc. Basically, as long as it can produce a PDF, EPS, or AI file, you'll save a bundle on having your print source prepare the file for rip and print. Jpeg, tiff, and other raster file formats can be used, but they need to imported into a vector program to produce the cutline for the skin. If you are outsourcing, I would touch base with them to find out what their file requirements are.

    To get into this on your own, you are going to need a Printer/Cutter (I'd personally suggest Roland), a Laminator, Shop tools and supplies, a work bench, an opening inventory of digital media and laminates, computer, etc. If you were willing to look at used, you could probably get up and running for under $20,000 all in. From there, the sky is really the limit in this industry. You need to look at how many skins you feel you can realistically sell, and weigh your options.

    Keep in mind, the skin segment is a very saturated marketplace now. The margins seem decent, but looks can be deceiving. With a product like that, the marketing is paramount to your success, and may cost as much or more than it would to produce the product, initially anyways.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  11. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

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    Welcome from OK Good luck!
     
  12. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Thank you very much, yes the members here are greatly experienced and willing to help :)
     
  13. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Thank you very much, I believe it will be better for me to outsource it, I will do more research as per your recommendation and go for the best option.
     
  14. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    First of all, thank you for taking time to respond to my post, i really appreciate it!

    As for the equipments and the material I believe I will take your advice and find a place to print it for me as I don't have that large budget now.

    As for the material, I want to produce skins like the ones on this website for example http://www.gelaskins.com/ they are using a 3M material that's for sure but I'm not sure which material exactly they are using this is why I'm just guessing, i've ordered samples from this website and many other and on the back of the sticker (skin) there is only "3M Controltac" written but no mention of the exact model, any idea on what this can be? is it the one you mentioned? I'm sure it's difficult for you to know without thouching it or seeing it in real.

    I have a good business plan and I'm nearly sure that it will work really well with the specific audience i'm targeting, I hope things goes well.

    Thank you once again for everything.

    Best,
    Maxi
     
  15. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010
    Thanks for your reply, I will definitely do this, and I will outsource at the beginning, I already have a business plan with goals and objectives, it's just the production part that I'm lacking information of, and with your help and the guys here I'm sure I will be able to know the right thing for me and determinate the cost associated with it.

    Best,
    Maxi
     
  16. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010
  17. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    Bonjour Maxi,

    I can help you with all of your questions. You just have to send me an email and I speak french too. b.dulude@ssbgrafix.ca I also know your market in France since I sell some stuff there.

    Good luck!

    Benoit Dulude
     
  18. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Thank you very much for taking time to write all this useful information, I believe after reading your comment and Pat's comment as well as the others my only problem is to find the right material to use, many printing shops in my area will claim that their material is the best, and they may even provide me with 3M material but not exactly the one I need, they may provide a more expensive one or a one that is not suitable for my business.

    I plan to sell the skins so I agree with you,I should do lamination, is there a type of lamination I should use? or it's only one time and I can tell the shop "I want lamination for the skins"?

    I have a very good marketing plan as well as PR so I'm sure I will do good after i figure out what material/quality i need and get things going.

    Thank you and all the Canadians in the west coast!

    Regards
    Maxi
     
  19. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Thank you, wishing you the very best in your personal and business life as well.
     
  20. Maxi

    Maxi New Member

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    May 24, 2010

    Will do.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best,
    Maxi
     
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