Decals, Decals, Decals
“Decals” is a very vague word. When a sign guy or a printer talks about decals, it could mean so many different things. The one thing most decals have in common is that they are usually vinyl decals and have some kind of glue material to make them stick.
I will try to break down the different vinyl decals in this short article. The first vinyl decal we will discuss is “the cut vinyl decal” more commonly used to cut vinyl letters for people in the sign industry. An example would be vehicle lettering such as on vans, boats, trucks, trailers, and cars. Cut vinyl letters are used for signage needs too such as banners, metal signs, the interior and exterior of buildings, illuminated signs, directional signs, etc. Basically, vinyl letters are used in most sign applications.
Vinyl cut letters are pretty cut and dry ( pardon the pun). They are used to send a bold message and if done right should look good too. A great place to design vinyl letters or vinyl lettering for different applications like we just discussed would be designasign.com. They have a lot of great options for vinyl lettering.
Another form of vinyl decals is digitally printed vinyl decals. This is when an image or complex design is printed right on vinyl generated from a computer. This digital print then becomes a vinyl decal that can be applied to a surface. This process is used more often to get images on vinyl such as a picture of someone, a product, or scenery. However, digital prints on vinyl are used on complex art work or large quantity orders.
Other forms of vinyl decals are bumper stickers and vinyl graphics. “Vinyl graphics” is just another fancy way of saying vinyl decals. You will hear a lot about vinyl graphics in the auto industry.
Then there are vehicle wraps. A vehicle wrap is basically one big digitally printed decal that is applied over an entire vehicle. A vehicle wrap is the most difficult to install and the most expensive. But when done right, there’s nothing like it. It’s definitely my favorite.
So I hope I’ve cleared up a few decal dilemmas. I’m still trying to figure them out myself! Happy sticking!