Vinyl is used extensively in the professional sign business. In fact, you might be surprised at the various creative ways we use vinyl in sign fabrication. Applications for vinyl include general business signage, vehicle graphics, boat graphics, window graphics, wall graphics, wall murals, and door/office hours. Some of the more atypical applications for vinyl include boat motor hood cover, etched glass vinyl to create privacy films, reproducing photographs into wall graphics, personalizing yeti coolers, and ceiling murals.
So here’s the 411 on various ways we use vinyl in the sign business.
Types of vinyl
There are many types of vinyl, each made specifically for application to various sign surfaces and environment conditions. Some examples include:
- Long-term durability – best used for exterior signs and high traffic areas
- Short-term durability – typically used for specific events or short term office renovations
- High Tac – excellent on textured surfaces
- Low Tac – often used for temporary signs
- Concrete vinyl – used for installation on brick or concrete
- Metallic vinyl – can give a vinyl sign extra “pop” or flare
- Translucent vinyl – typically used for lighted signs and logos
- Reflective vinyl – the go to material for emergency vehicles, increased night visibility of traffic, or directional signs
- Glow in the dark vinyl – used for interior applications such as stairwells
- Masking vinyls – best used to shield areas not being painting when stenciling
- Etched glass vinyl – for a mock sandblasted look or privacy film that lets in light
- View Thru vinyl – the go to material for exterior window advertising
- Neon vinyl – used for very short term, eye catching graphics
Vinyl can be printed in just about any color and we can typically match (or come very close) to ensuring your vinyl signage compliments your overall brand image. It’s also important to keep in mind that for lighted signs, the sign color changes depending on if it is illuminated or not.
Different grades of vinyl will be different thicknesses. Variations in thickness are slight and not noticeable to most people. Using the correct vinyl thickness can make a big difference in performance and durability of the sign for the intended application. While it’s a bit counter intuitive, thinner vinyls actually have a longer outdoor life.
Indoor vs Outdoor Vinyl
All vinyl with the exception of View Thru Vinyl can be used for indoor signs. Types of vinyl used for outdoor signs will have different lifespans. Generally you can expect to have an outdoor vinyl sign last between five and eight years.
Durability of Vinyl Signs
The durability of a vinyl sign will depend of the type of vinyl used, the environment, and colors used. Higher quality vinyl will generally last between five and eight years in an outdoor environment. Indoor environments are considerably longer. Reds, oranges, and yellows typically fade the fastest.
There are so many choices and it’s important to select the right mix of vinyl properties for your specific application. Contact us for additional information.