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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm attempting to make signage for my business. The signage will be outside and illuminated through the mounted business sign. Below I've attached some images so forum users can see what I'm talking about. I was wondering how many users here have tried this and what was your success rate? As well as what is the best type of vinyl to use for outdoor signage? The sign will be about 3ft by 5ft. What will be a good size vinyl cutter to use? If someone can list step by step instructions that would be great.

I was thinking I should be okay by purchasing the acrylic/plexiglass and applying vinyl graphics and wording to it.

(Also curious as to for the moose design attached below, how did the company get a full vinyl design as I'm under the impression you can only have 1-3 color vinyl designs by layering them. If someone can give me some insight on that, that'll be great too.)

Couple more things, what tools will I need to complete this? For the tools I'm thinking I should be okay with vinyl cutter, squeegee, and tape. If I'm missing something please let me know. If you have experience with this, don't be afraid to drop your $.02 in. Any suggestions based on experience will help!

Look forward to hearing your suggestions!


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A 5'x3' sign probably doesn't need a cutter to be 3' wide, as you probably won't have graphics going all the way to the edge. If you did, then the cutter would need to be that wide, (maybe a bit wider for margins.) But likely the graphics are smaller than the full width of the substrate. Length is less a problem, especially as 5' is in the tracking range of most cutters. Don't count on most cutters tracking for twenty feet.

I am not sure many of those signs you pointed to are cut vinyl. A few are clearly some other process. Some are 3d, maybe Gatorfoam. Fatorfoam or something. They could be carved wood. Others maybe are perhaps spray painted acrylic. It is hard to say without having a close up look.

As to which cutter, its not like they are a pair of jeans you can try on. People use only a few models in their life. It makes recommendations hard. I'll leave that to your research.

But, the big thing, if you expect to stick a cutter in your garage and start competing with sign shops that have been doing this for years, your expectations are stratospheric.

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We have done a lot of lighted signage over the years.

The moose one is printed.
You posted a variety of different types of signs and each has its own process.

Outdoor lighted signs are not the hardest thing to do, but if you have no experience at all and do not even own a plotter you may be biting off more then you are expecting.

This is a great time to look for someone local that can give you a hand.

Also as far as vinyl...you want translucent film.
We prefer Oracal vinyl here.
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