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Full Color Printing of Vinyl Decal Stickers for Small Businesses

Vinyl Sticker Printing

I’ve mentioned in other posts that full color printing of banners, signs, and displays was once the sole domain of large corporations. Because you needed large volumes to be cost-effective, these print media were mainly produced by offset printers or screen printers.

This article explores how all that has changed, including pressing of vinyl decal stickers. Print method on various advertising media including vinyl decal stickers went digital in the 1990’s and has changed the look of business since.

Most of the time we’ve found with 4 CP of vinyl decal stickers, that they and even nominally small ones  (500 or more) are still produced most economically with screen,, flexographic, or offset printing. As the quantities go higher, offset or flexographic press is sometimes less costly, although it is wise to get quotes on your vinyl decals for a couple different types of presses if it makes sense to do so (usually in the 50K+ range).

Full Color Printing Methods Make Colorful Vinyl Decals and Stickers Affordable for Smaller Companies

full color printing of vinyl sticker decalsHowever, between 500 to 1000, screen press still makes the most sense typically, depending on the size of the graphics. The larger the sticker, the more sense to imprint these on a screen press. For instance, 4″ x 6″ vinyl graphic, quantity 500, single or double-sided, will be more cost effective to screen print with 4 CP, than to do them digitally. However, we’ve found that 2″ x 2″ one will make more sense, typically, to print digitally up to 1000 quantity.

With digital full color printing, a small business that may not need 500, 5000, or 50,000 vinyl decal stickers can order quantities of 25, 50, or 100 at a reasonable cost. Now your small business can look like a big business, and nobody has to know you’re small, because you look big and well established with your vinyl decal stickers that were printed using full color printing.

Why Colored grand format Vinyl Graphics can make you look like a major player for pennies on the dollar of what it used to cost

The main arena that digital imprinting has changed how business looks worldwide, though, is in the low quantity, full color printing of large format graphics. One of the most unique uses started back in the ’90’s with the advent of what is now commonly referred to as “vehicle graphics” or “vehicle wraps.” Using a template of whatever vehicle you want wrapped, your designer will create colorful designs for your vehicle, and a competent vehicle wrap installer will apply these large format vinyl stickers to your vehicle, effectively creating a moving billboard for your business.

Vehicle Wraps, Bus Wraps, Store Front Windows, Semi-truck Trailers, and other ways to look like a major player

full color printing of vinyl sticker decalsSo, let’s say you are a small electrical contractor, and you have a 2010 Sprinter van. You want to increase recognition of your company, even though it is currently quite small. You contact a company that creates or does the press and the installation a.ka. vehicle wraps – on company vehicles. You give them the particulars on your van, send them your graphic elements, (or have them create them, depending on where you’re at in that process), and they will lay out your design, front, back and sides (and top if you think it’ll be seen).

After you approve your design, you can either take your van to their location or they may come to yours, depending on the company (some smaller shops don’t have the in-house space to accommodate vehicles). They’ll wrap your vehicle entirely with a special type of conformable vinyl decals, and now you’ve got a traveling billboard your potential clients see every day as you drive about your area. The windows are wrapped with special one-way designs that display colored graphics to the outside world, but that you can see out of. They are referred to as “perforated window vinyl.”

Similar usage of vinyl wraps are now used on semi-truck trailers around the world. You can see a truck with someone drinking a cold Pepsi® on the side of a semi-trailer, and suddenly you’re inspired to pull of at the next exit and grab a cold one (or at least that’s what PepsiCo hopes you’ll do!). McDonalds, Burger King, and Coca-Cola are other companies that utilize this traveling billboard form of advertising as well.

Metro Buses are another place that full-wrap are also seen frequently. As buses travel all over the city, they get many views daily, and if a message is well-done, it can be very profitable to the business advertiser.

Finally, store windows are another place that businesses use large format displays…usually the perforated ones mentioned above. Many stores have replaced the old-style window display with color printing because they can utilize that space for product and it saves time not having to set up new window displays seasonally.

So, that is how small businesses have been able to use digital press of vinyl decal stickers to dramatically changed the way they get viewed in the past couple decades – they now look bigger for a reasonable cost!

Also, check in here to discover more features of graphics produced through full color printing.


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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