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Best way to produce shadowed vinyl?

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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:32 pm

Best way to produce shadowed vinyl?

What would be the best way to produce large vinyl text (imagine uksignboards.com as the text) in white with a black cast shadow.
This is to go on coaches which will get plenty of grime & cleaning.
Options are:
1/ White vinyl overlaid on black vinyl. Comment:Twice the work & material, time consuming & difficult to line up.
2/ White vinyl with printed shadow (print/laminate/contour cut). Comment: probably the most durable and the correct way.
3/ White vinyl with printed shadow (contour cut then liquid laminate over whole of text). Comment: cheaper than vinyl laminate & quicker to produce but less durable than 2.
Each vehicle would use around 8 metres of printed vinyl.
The fleet would use around 160 metres so I need to go about it the right way.
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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Option one for me, primarily because I don't have a printer. I would have thought self coloured vinyl would be more durable than anything printed - laminated or not. Would the contour cut keep registration over a long length? by the time you've laminated and contour cut and taking ink costs into consideration would it be that much cheaper and I've not have trouble overlaying one colour over another.
Alan D
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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:28 pm

I'm with Alan.
It's more work for you, but it's a better job.
Although there's a slight chance that the white layer might lift during strenuous cleaning.
Second choice would be the white vinyl/printed shadow but then you have to worry about the contour cut.
Although there's a slight chance that the print might fade more quickly.
I like that Oracal air release stuff, I don't print but I buy prints as needed.
Or, you could handpaint the shadow round the white cast vinyl lettering.
That would be fun.
Love....Jill
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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:42 pm

I think the best way is to over lay two layers of vinyl. Cover the shadow layer completely then you have vinyl to vinyl which won't lift off.
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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:07 pm

Thank you for all the feedback.
I like the idea of 2 layers for longevity, it's just that each name is 4.5 metres long without a break and would be tricky to line up.
I could lay the top layer on the bottom over a light box but then would be liable to air trapped along the ridges when fitting.
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Post Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:52 pm

I agree with Alan and Jill to overlay one on top of the other.
If your top letters aren't joined you can put those on singularly or in 2's which will make lining up much easier.
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:13 am

I'd never pre-layer.
Apply the black dry (contoured as per Martin's excellent suggestion)
Then apply the white layer using Rapid Tac a few letters at a time.
It's easy to align by eyeballing it.
The RT allows you to slip each letter into place, the transfer tape is transparent enough so that you can see the black parts.
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:19 pm

I never lay up on the bench anyway. I would fix the black and then the letters on the job and the letters I would put on in 2s or 3s so any miss registration can be taken up on application.
Alan D
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:22 pm

Great thanks, that looks like the way to go.
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:49 pm

There was a post on here about doing this, showing different techniques.

Trouble with white on black is that you might see a difference in colour with the black underneath?
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Post Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:31 am

If it was white text with a black background you could jet a black keyline with welded black drop shadow and lay that over the white cut text. No colour variations for the white. Or weld the black and white text and over lay the white on the black so that the white is fully covered. that way there's an even discolouration of white.

Did I make sense? Been at work having a working day with a couple of bottles of vino ;-)
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Post Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:06 am

Yes Lee, got that. Signlab will do this weld effect in one click.

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