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Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

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Richard Wills

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:28 pm

Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Our usual supplier of cut vinyl letter for an internal gallery wall, is not available. We're after MAcal – 8988 – 16 Graphite, 85 words (560 characters) around 15mm high, Century Gothic, works out around 500x700mm, plus an Arts Council logo. This is going inside gallery, for six weeks.

New supplier (connected with our old supplier) is suggesting this a couple of hundred pounds, due to being half a day's labour. Does this strike anyone else as being slightly steep?

We run nine shows per year - perhaps I should get a used graphtec.
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David Hammond

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:09 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Depends how they are pricing it.

15mm is quite small, plotting the text could be slow, and weeding out will be a tedious, slow process, so should attract a premium.

Some people will give you a price per meter, others will charge material + Time.

Some vinyl suppliers have minimum order volumes or amounts, whether its £100, or 5m of material... that has to be passed on.

I doubt it is a days work, depening on the characters, an hour to weed and tape up.

They may just say a couple of hundered so they don't get the job.
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Richard Wills

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:18 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Keep upping the price until the job goes away.

Anyone interested in this - needed for Tuesday, and there are some additional larger text elements - on top, as well as a couple of lines, same vinyl in reverse for front door (72pt lettering)
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David Hammond

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Yes, it sounds straight forward but here's the snag.

You want it Tuesday, it's currently 5:30 on Thursday.

We would need to order in the vinyl, which now will probably arrive Monday, as soon as it arrives will need cutting, weeding, taping up, then possibly shipping out.

We've gone from it being 560 characters, to now there's some larger bits, so we've no idea what is actually involved, or how much material is needed.

How will the artwork be supplied? As a vector file, to size with the fonts outlined ready to plot?

Unfortunately some job's/customers just aren't worth the trouble & effort... unless you're charging good money for it.
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Richard Wills

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Fair enough - it was first thing this morning when we contacted them - Other elements were quoted at total £100 plus vat, which is on a par with what we've been charged previously.

File as PDF from indesign
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Chris Wilson

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:01 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Am confused as to what is going on here?

Is this a trade supplier you use Richard? Or is this straight of the street?

I have to agree with David to be honest. I think Sign industry is fairly competitively priced across the UK.

Anything that under 5 working days a slap a £50 charge or 30%.. which ever is more suited. It’s an express service after all.
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Richard Wills

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Post Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:56 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

This is a trade supplier - six miles down the road, so we usually get the graphics biked over.

I understand rush fees happen, but only on the text panel this time. We didn't even specify precise shade of grey, nor brand of vinyl - had assumed that a mid to dark grey vinyl would be a stock item for a mid to large sized firm. SO, perhaps they don't want the work. (details on an earlier message were from a response from our previous supplier)

I'm photographic by background, but a lot of what I do has overlaps with the sign trade. Any suggestions for file format export from indesign (or illustrator?), to make cutting simple for a supplier?

Or, given our annual spend on cut vinyl, should I follow my thoughts on taking this inhouse with something like a graphtec ce6000-60? We're not making signs, and most of our text panels top out at A1.

We're B2B and B2C, specialising in photographic printing and exhibition production, with a reasonable gallery, a couple of miles from Parliament.

Thanks, both for reminding me that I may be thinking in a similar way to one or two of my clients, and for your responses.
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Richard Wills

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Post Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:55 am

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

For the first time in months, I've not had to turn on the aircon this morning.
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Iain Pearson

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Post Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Hi Richard
If i was you, id go with your gut feeling and buy your own vinyl cutter
It will pay for itself in a short space of time, and then you have the flexibility
on what jobs you produce and what you outsource

Good luck :thumbsup:
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Simon Worrall

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Post Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:55 am

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

I think you'll find Ewan is selling an elderly graphtec on this very board at this very moment!
I would jump at the chance.
Your welcome.
Simon.
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Richard Wills

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:15 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

So, again thank you for advice so far.

Looking to get something like a CE6000-60, for a couple of usages, mostly lettering. I imagine that the size of text we could go down to would be dependent on the font, and grade of vinyl used - probably nothing smaller than 10mm high, to go onto glass, painted wall and Forex or DiBond, for internal signage.


Thanks.


mod-edit
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Chris Wool

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:01 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

does seam a bit steep but as Richard says snags and you are in the middle of London.
other question is after spending a guess £1000, plotter some stock vinyl, app tape etc. do you have the time to do it out of your normal day. a1 size full of 15 10 mm letters takes a well set up plotter to do with out wanting to kill something.

i would be wanting to print the small stuff..
on similar type job i gave the customer a choice and cost difference - just hand over the cut vinyl he to weed etc. or finished job, he tried the weeding etc. himself came back the next day and said fair enough you do it all please.
having said that if your doing regular exhibitions etc. then the flexibility could be a god send.
enjoy
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Richard Wills

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Thanks Steff, are the Suma's wildly better than the Graphtec, for what we're after - this won't be running every day.

A lot of the text we'll be working with will be nearer 25 - 100mm high, but I have a colleague who likes small text, so I'll let her learn how to weed small letters (fortunately, house style is sans-serif).

Already have laminator, and laminate and mount prints to aluminium and DiBond, with a couple of 8x4 benches, and plenty of light boxes (do they help for weeding?)

Most of the text will be a mid grey, as well as potentially some out from window frosting (aware that 24" isn't totally ideal, but can design the graphics with feature spacing).

We may be moving into a rabbit warren of a new space, so will need signage and info all round. Rather than print and mount onto forex etc, figured It was time to go straight to the wall. That and the ability to have text on the gallery walls at relatively short notice, is what's tipping the balance (but not quite to £2k). If colleagues want last minute text, then they can experience the joys of weeding, until they start getting their orders in, in a timely fashion.
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Chris Wool

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

richard just noticed the prices for the summas are the new price steff will say the selling price latter and nothing wrong with summa plotters generally considered top of the range by some.
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Richard Wills

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Thanks Chris, I'll claim sticker shock reduced my ability to read. I've always preferred to buy once, rather than cheap.
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Steff Davison

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Richard Wills wrote:Thanks Steff, are the Suma's wildly better than the Graphtec, for what we're after - this won't be running every day.

A lot of the text we'll be working with will be nearer 25 - 100mm high, but I have a colleague who likes small text, so I'll let her learn how to weed small letters (fortunately, house style is sans-serif).

Already have laminator, and laminate and mount prints to aluminium and DiBond, with a couple of 8x4 benches, and plenty of light boxes (do they help for weeding?)

Most of the text will be a mid grey, as well as potentially some out from window frosting (aware that 24" isn't totally ideal, but can design the graphics with feature spacing).

We may be moving into a rabbit warren of a new space, so will need signage and info all round. Rather than print and mount onto forex etc, figured It was time to go straight to the wall. That and the ability to have text on the gallery walls at relatively short notice, is what's tipping the balance (but not quite to £2k). If colleagues want last minute text, then they can experience the joys of weeding, until they start getting their orders in, in a timely fashion.



Oooo some earlier posts deleted...better be careful.

I rate Summas, the first machine I bought was a 10 year old used Summa 120D it ran for 3 years non stop(8-10 hour a day non stop), then it died, I still have it, one day Ill put it in reception as a reminder of how it all started.

Anyway, its down to personal choice, I have a particular workflow which wouldnt work with any other brand of plotter, namely using a "cut server" cutting registration system which has saved me countless hours in labour cost. To me they are a workhorse.


Graphtec are a quality machine, its a Marmite thing I suppose. I have stayed loyal to the brand that got me out of my spare bedroom.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Steff
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Martyn Heath

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Graphtec and summa are both top brands but graphtec is much cheaper and for your needs more than enough!.

Just a pointer for small text (relating to one of my posts) i would suggest using mactacs m7 range. Weeds fantastic compared to other vinyls on smaller stuff. This will save you some huge headaches.
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Richard Wills

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:30 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Thanks Steff, is the D60 a tangential cutter, and would I be looking at separate RIP software?

And Martin, thank you - Mactac M7 will be my first material.

I guess I'm after a Transit, rather than one of these
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Steff Davison

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:22 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

No its not a tangential cutter, although it does have a "tangential simulation mode" within the summa cut software.
My machines each have a genuine copy of Summa cut and all the other bits and pieces which come with it. I have used mine with flexi as the design software. You could use Corel or adobe Illustrator if that is what you are used to.

Other software packages are available, others here may be able to help you with that. I have used flexi since I started, you can use it on subscription. Its a case of what suits you
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Richard Wills

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Post Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:30 pm

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Thanks, I look forward to seeing if I can afford to go top notch.

Most likely, all design will be done in illustrator, as most of the staff who'll be generating files are reasonably experienced with Adobe SW, and we're not looking at complex designs (yet...)

Martin, did you mean metamark M7? Can't find your thread on tiny text.
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Martyn Heath

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Post Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:59 am

Re: Cut vinyl lettering - an indictation of cost please

Yes i did richard :smiles:

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