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What vinyl are you printing your stickers onto, and why?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by StickerGuy83, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. StickerGuy83

    StickerGuy83 Member

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    I’m moving into larger format printing with an HP Latex. I’m currently using a thick Calendared vinyl that’s 11 mil and I put a 3 mil laminate over it. I like the thick durability of the stickers, but this vinyl isn’t cheap and it doesn’t come in 54” rolls.

    I’ve heard HP Prime Gloss is a pretty affordable polymeric which works well with the latex printers. But just how thick is it with the liner? I was only able to determine the weight of the liner (160gsm) and the base vinyl is 3.4mil.

    Is there a decently priced polymeric out there that’s closer to 11-13mil that works well with heat?
     
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  2. StickerGuy83

    StickerGuy83 Member

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    11-13 mil with the release liner is what I’m looking for.
     
  3. thephatchef

    thephatchef New Member

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    Our cheap stickers are printed on Orajet 3641 with Briteline Shield laminate. If a higher quality decal is needed, we'll use Avery 2903, 2105, or 2126 (high tack) with 2060 lamination
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. StickerGuy83

    StickerGuy83 Member

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    what is the thickness (including liner) of the vinyl without the lam?
     
  5. rvolkers

    rvolkers Member

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    3164
     
  6. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Why are you looking for a certain thickness of media for stickers?

    Some more information on how you using these stickers are needed
    * What are they going on?
    * What size?
    * How long for the life span?
    * Who is installing?

    Typically, "stickers" are short term and cheap. "Decals" are a higher quality, long life and more $
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Correct. We do not make stickers. Stickers come in Cracker Jack boxes and kids activity books.
     
  8. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    second the 3164 for cheap generic stuff. Pretty easy to apply when laminated too. We Also use that for short term indoors stuff, like selfie boards and such.

    anything longer term we use the 3551 and if it’s going on a curved surface then we use the 3651. Put a lot of the 3651 on street lights etc when they’re numbering them for repairs.
     
  9. StickerGuy83

    StickerGuy83 Member

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    From a consumer standpoint, people buy "stickers, decals etc". Most of the consumers do not know the differences between a decal and a sticker. Some of the largest sticker companies in the USA print "stickers" with 3+ year outdoor durability.

    It is up to the person printing the product to produce a quality product. This varies, but has a pretty average standpoint when it comes to printing quality stickers for a competitive price. Most use a PVC Vinyl. I personally do not want to use PVC. Im looking for a polymeric calendared vinyl that isn't extremely thin, and will be durable in the elements. I'm not wrapping cars here. I use cast 3M/Avery for vehicle graphics which get laminated.

    For this particular thread, I'm referring to a "cheaper" sticker, generally small in size, nothing very large, but with an outdoor durability of 3 years without laminate. Would be applied to many things, including a car glass window, a laptop, a wall or glass, mostly flat surfaces with little curves. General purpose I would say.

    I bring up the thickness of the sticker for a specific reason. I want a rigid, durable sticker that doesn't feel like it came out of a cracker jack box. First impression of a sticker when a customer gets that sticker in hand -- feel, flexibility, durability, print etc.

    Quality is important to me. And I would like to keep that standard going when it comes to my stickers.
     
  10. StickerGuy83

    StickerGuy83 Member

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    I personally like the rigid, thicker stickers because they feel good in the hand and don't curl as easily or feel as flimsy.
    Decals/graphics for longer term outdoor or vehicle wouldn't be done on a calendared vinyl. I would use a cast with an over- laminate.

    Varying in sizes from 2-3" up to 6+ inches. They will be going onto a multitude of things -- walls, glass, laptops, small equipment, cars etc. General purpose. life span of up to 3 years outdoors without laminate. Customer would be applying these themselves.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    For the most part, most calendered vinyls are gonna be somewhere between 2.5mil to 4mil in thickness. Matching laminate will be in the neighborhood of 3 mil. I have no idea what or how you would use an 11 mil vinyl WITH laminate on anything.

    You seem to have a grasp on what you are using and why, but you might want to get more acquainted with what the rest of the industry is using for the same things you mentioned.

    Being thicker does not equate to quality. Giong to a better grade of vinyl such as cast would be giving quality. Calendareds usually don't have a quality level other than low end.​
     
  12. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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  13. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    A sticker is to a decal as a fiddle is to a violin. One is the correct nomenclature the other is not.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    Decal sounds fancier but by definition, most of us are sticker makers. Just embrace it, nobody will think less of you.
    Definition of decal
    : a picture, design, or label made to be transferred (as to glass) from specially prepared paper
    Definition of sticker
    1 : one that pierces with a point
    2a : one that adheres or causes adhesion
    b : a slip of paper with adhesive back that can be fastened to a surface
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Boudica

    Boudica Member

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    A fiddle is a violin with attitude.
     
  16. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If you people don't know the difference between a decal or sticker, who gives a flyin' f*ck ?? As long as you can communicate with your customer, that's all that matters.

    I've called things by many many other names in order to get a job. I ain't about to split hairs over something so silly.
     
  17. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Want cheap and thick but looks like a million bucks? Kapco 3.4 mil calendared with their 5mil textured floor laminate.;)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    So you are contradicting yourself. You don't want to use PVC but you want to use vinyl? You understand PVC is Vinyl correct? It literally is Polyvinyl chloride.

    Anyway there are many ways to skin this cat. Our preference for decals is Arlon 510MT and if it's air release than either Avery 2105EZRS or Arlon 4600MLX.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    I use oracal 3165 and 215 laminate. Its thick which makes it easy to handle for sticker application, holds up real well and is relatively inexpensive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Boyanski

    Boyanski Member

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    The cheapest possible, which is the thickest. That results in the ability to cut them first, then print them. So my edges have perfect fit and cut.
    And no problem with lifted edges like when printing on a good vinyl. All are happy. And please stop talking about sticker life. When they fade, they will order new.
    Now if i have to make them properly and laminated, i will charge double, which no one around me wants to pay so...
     
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