VINYL VERSUS DIGITAL
When it comes to adding the copy to a sign face, all of our work falls into one of two categories: vinyl and digital print. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Here’s how they compare:
Sign Copy made with Vinyl
Vinyl is basically like a decal that can be cut into shapes and letters with adhesive on one side that adheres to the sign face. When using quality materials [read more about vinyl types here], there is essentially one, main advantage to a sign made with vinyl: its longevity. While the sun can eventually start to fade vinyl, you can expect at least 5-10 years of life expectancy. Or more. We’ve seen some of the signs we did in the 1980’s and 1990’s still looking good.
Vinyl does have some limitations. For starters, there are only a finite number of colours produced. Here at Signs of SA we carry in inventory about 70 different colours of vinyl – more than anyone else in town – yet there are times when the colours available to us won’t exactly match the specific PMS colour of your logo. Furthermore, there can be no “shades or fades” in vinyl colours. So logos/lettering that uses blended colours, shadows, of fading cannot be done using standard vinyl colours.
Sign Copy Digitally Printed
Vinyl’s disadvantages are printed copy’s advantages. Digitally printed signs can print colour-specific (e.g. PMS) and all the shades and fades of today’s complex designs. The trade-off however, is two-part.
Digitally-printed signs will not last as long as vinyl. Whereas vinyl signs are likely to last 5-10 years or more, digitally-printed signs tend to last about three years before pronounced effects from the elements can take hold (unless the sign is laminated which can add another 2-3 years of life expectancy).
Also, printed signs are susceptible to scratches (again, this can be mitigated with lamination). This really isn’t a problem with vinyl.
The advantages of Vinyl Cut Signs over Digital Print is a sharper edge. With Digital print, there is always a faint bleed between different colours. As Vinyl Cut Letters and Symbols are cut, the edge is perfectly straight. The other advantage, is that Vinyl Cut Signs can be more cost effective in many instances.