Exploring different types of vinyl for signage, apparel & more

If you’re preparing to open a new business, you likely have a checklist a mile long of things that you need to organise before opening your doors. One of these tasks likely involves arranging some signage, but, unless you have an unusual and slightly neurotic fascination with printing, like we do, then thoroughly researching different grades of vinyl for signage probably isn’t included in your plans. Well, we’re here to tell you that there’s more to choosing vinyl signage than you might imagine. To help you avoid spending hours online trying to narrow down your options, we’ve simplified some of the things that you should think about when ordering your signage.

What is vinyl?

Vinyl is a very versatile material backed with adhesive that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including walls, windows and even vehicles. Depending on your design, vinyl can be conveniently cut to various shapes and sizes to suit the space you have.

Vinyl Signage – Outdoor Use

If you need outdoor signage, then we recommend choosing a high-grade vinyl. This will ensure the longevity of your signage that would otherwise be easily affected or damaged by exposure to environmental elements and pollutants. Whilst it might bear a heftier price tag than some of the lower grade vinyls, you won’t have to worry about replacing all your building signage after only a short period of time. In fact, high grade vinyl generally lasts between five and seven years. You can also choose UV lamination to protect your signage from fading in areas where it is likely to be exposed to sunlight.

Depending on the nature of your business, you might also consider reflective vinyl. Reflective vinyl has a metallic foundation that reflects light – it is commonly used in street and roadworks signs, on police cars and other emergency service vehicles. Reflective vinyl might be appropriate for your business – even if you’re not constructing a road or opening an ED – as it is highly visible after dark, which is particularly useful if your business operates at night (and if not, you still have the benefit of advertising your business at night and catch the attention of prospective customers).

Vinyl Signage – Indoor Use

Unless you operate jet ski tours along the coast (uh, hello dream job), it’s very likely that your business will require indoor signage. We recommend using an intermediate grade vinyl with a mid-to-long term lifespan. This is ideal for signage that is unlikely to be exposed to the elements, but nevertheless needs to retain its colour and print quality. For example, this might include point of sale or restroom signage. You can also choose to laminate your signage to extend its lifespan, particularly where it may be regularly handled.

You might choose to go with a low-grade vinyl if you only need the signage for a short period of time, for example, if it’s required for an event or short-term promotion. Low grade vinyl is ideal where you are not concerned with longevity and are looking for a cost friendly option. Recently, vinyl signage has become increasingly popular at private events such as birthdays and weddings, due to its easy application and sleek appearance.

Heat Press Vinyl – Apparel

If you’re interested in branded apparel, we usually recommend vinyl heat transfer printing, or ‘heat press’.  Heat transfer involves tracing and cutting your design from vinyl and transferring it onto clothing using heat and pressure. While there are other methods available, heat transfer is the most affordable and tends to be the most eye-catching. The vinyl will add texture to your apparel, and its durable nature will ensure your design lasts for a long time without fading.

In conclusion…

While there are various high-quality sign materials available, vinyl is one of the more versatile and cost-effective options. Its ability to be shaped and applied to a range of surfaces, curved or flat, means it continues to be one of the best options on the market. If you require some more guidance on the different grades of vinyl and its uses, we would be thrilled to connect you with our team of print specialists, so get in touch today!

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