Sign vinyl (known simply as vinyl) is a thin self-adhesive vinyl film widely used in the signage industry for various branding applications. Vinyl can be cut using a computer-aided vinyl cutter/plotter or can be printed onto using screen-printing or a wide format printer. In some instances, cut vinyl is used instead of screen-printing for low quantities. Vinyl film is available in various colours, sizes and durability.
This page will focus on “basic colours” self-adhesive vinyl film; it does not fully cover translucent vinyl, frosted (sandblast look) vinyl, solvent vinyl (digitally printable vinyl), and see-through vinyl. There will be separate pages for those. I will also take a more in-depth look at cut and printed vinyl on different pages.
Vinyl film is available in various colours as well as in gloss and matte finishes. Some suppliers sell vinyl with a split-back, which is easy to remove when making small stickers or decals.
Most suppliers will have a colour book with the different colours they sell.
Vinyl is sold in various sizes in sheet as well as roll form. Manufacturers usually adapt the sizes to vinyl cutter sizes such as 610mm or 1200mm. popular sheet sizes are 1mx700mm.
You have to decide which size is right for you. If you cutting vinyl with a vinyl cutter make sure the vinyl roll can fit in your cutter, if you making bumper stickers and cutting it down to size yourself make sure you buy manageable sheets of vinyl. Also, make sure when you are purchasing vinyl if you are paying per running meter or per square meter. 1.2mx1m is more expensive when paying per square meter than running meter.
Vinyl film is sold in various durability grades, from 2-3 for your everyday signage and bumper sticker uses to five year quality for marine uses such as branding a boat. Some suppliers also sell vinyl film in “permanent” and “removable” varieties. With removable vinyl, there is little residue with the film is removed.
Types of vinyl
“Basic” colours for general signage applications
Translucent used to brand advertising lightboxes
Sandblast vinyl for a sandblast effect
Solvent vinyl can be printed onto with a wide format digital printer
Uses for sign vinyl
In the signage industry vinyl has numerous uses, the most common applications are to cut it into required shapes, to print onto or to print and cut into a desired shape such as via die or kiss cutting.
Uses for vinyl include:
Indoor and outdoor signage
Marine signage/boat branding
Cutting into various shapes
Real Estate Signs/Boards
Fashion Swing Tags
Signage vinyl can also be used to make stencils for sandblasting
Ways to brand with vinyl
Cut into letters or shapes with a vinyl cutter or plotter
Sign vinyl is applied to various substrates to create signs including:
ABS plastic sheets
Magnetic sheet to create removable door signs
Glass (shop window signs)