The Signworld brand was built on the quality of our products and service, but even the best vinyl signage can’t overcome a bad installation. Bubbles, wrinkles, rip and tears all degrade your business in the eyes of the consumer, and they distract from your sign’s message, too.
In today’s post, the Signworld team breaks down the fundamentals of self-adhesive signage, and shares some installation tips.
Getting Started with Vinyl Signage – The Fundamentals
Believe it or not, there’s a lot that you can do to ruin your vinyl sign installation before you ever start mounting it on your window. Unless you pay attention to these vinyl fundamentals, your installation is going to suffer:
- Proper storage is key. If you aren’t storing your signage properly, it’s never going to live up to its potential. To prevent fading or adhesive deterioration, vinyl signs need to be stored in a cool, dry place that does not get hit by direct sunlight. Any rolls should be stood on-end using the roll blocks that you’re provided. Please note that vinyl signage shouldn’t be left in storage for more than two years. Feel free to consult with Signworld staff for more information on the optimal storing temperature and humidity conditions for your unique product.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness. Contaminating your vinyl sign workspace is a big problem. Avoid applying the pre-mask in the same workspace where you cut your graphics, as the material can be marred by “leftovers” on the table. Your substrate should be perfectly clean, as dust is one of the most common causes of the “bubbling” effect that ruins vinyl signage every day.
Vinyl Signage Application Tips
- Squeegeeing is skill that’s often underappreciated. You should squeegee at a 45-degree angle and strive for firm, overlapping strokes with every pass. Remember that squeegeeing isn’t a strongman’s game; proper application is more about smooth, gliding strokes than power.
- Don’t rush perfection! Give your vinyl’s adhesive a little bit of time to work. If you’re using a pre-mask, make sure you wait long enough before you pull it off, or you risk pulling the graphic off with it. Don’t rip away application tape too quickly or you’ll cause bubbles. Instead, soften the tape with application fluid.
- When using a wet application, ensure that you completely dry the substrate. Residual fluid is another common cause of vinyl bubbling. Use firm pressure with your squeegee to press any leftover fluid out from under the vinyl, and keep a towel handy for extra clean-up.
Salvaging Your Sign – How to Remove Bubbles and Wrinkles
If your vinyl signage is bubbly despite your best effort, you can pop those air pockets with an air release tool (or a needle if you’re in a pinch!). Quality Signworld vinyl has “self-healing” properties, which means that the vinyl will “cave in” in such a way as to hide any trace of a pinhole or air pocket. The trick is to keep your “entry wound” as small as possible, and to minimize your puncture points. If you have two or three bubbles, try push the air into a single pocket so that you can fix all three with a single puncture.
Occasionally, small wrinkles can be taken care of with nothing more than your fingernail. Simply push the wrinkle towards the edge of the graphic to smooth out the bunched-up material. For bigger wrinkles, you’ll have to slit the vinyl and overlap it. Alternately, you may have success using a small amount of heat to soften the film so you can lift and stretch out the material. In either case, these solutions aren’t ideal. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure…
You can learn more about our self-adhesive vinyl signage by visiting https://www.signworld.org.
Signworld is a national organization with more than 300 independently owned sign companies, which provide commercial custom signage and graphics. It’s personable, creative, rewarding and ideal for people-oriented individuals who have the desire to learn how to manage a sales and production business. Signworld has been a part of the industry’s profit and fun since 1988. With over 28 years in the business, Signworld has established itself as the leader in the no-royalties and no-rules sign business concept. The ongoing support and training along with state-of-the-art equipment helps leave the competition behind. For more details visit – https://signworld.org/