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sign quality vinyl

1961 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  nutmonkey
I am looking at buying some Oracal vinyl to try some basic sign stuff. Specifically 651 and 751 anyway I dont know what the differance is between "Perf" and "NP"

thanks for your help

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"perf" is short for perforated. NP stands for non-perf or non-punched. Perforated vinyl has holes along the edges fpr sprocket fed plotters. If you have a friction fed plotter, NP is what you want to use.
Thanks for answering a Newbee question
I appreciate it
But if you have a friction fed plotter, you can use perf vinyl without a worry. Most 15" and 30" vinyl only comes punched.
I just got in 4 rolls of Oracal 651 Pref (15") and it works fine in my friction feed cutter. I think he also wanted to know what would be the best vinyl for signs. I would also like to know if 651 would last long enough outside to use on a sign.
Perforated vinyl will absolutely work with a friction fed plotter, it's just unnecessary if you can get unpunched. For a sprocket fed plotter, you can only use punched vinyl.

Oracal 651 is good for short term use outdoors. I personally only use it for interior projects. You really should always spend a little more money for a premium cast vinyl - Oracal 751 or 851, FDC 2100, 3M 7725,
Gregory TrendFilm, etc.

It's worth the extra money you spend on the right vinyl to insure you give your client the best they can get. You hurt yourself if you use cheaper vinyl based solely on cost to you.
Use it for the right situations for example 651 on a banner or yard sign these are considered short term for outdoors. Also say you have a company that has a fleet of vehicles that are leased and they trade them every 3 years you could use 651 on these vehicles. Always just communicate this with the customer and use the best material for the job.
Those are very good points. My concern is when people start into the sign business, they think of their cost on materials and not the price they can charge. There are many jobs where intermediate vinyl is the best way to go. But, as a rule, I firmly believe that only high performance cast vinyl should be used. It puts every signmakers' reputation on the line if people put out inferior products. It drives down the price you can charge for quality work if the guy down the street just bought a plotter and decides to make a few signs. It takes years to build up a customer base that will come to you again and again because of your quality and professionalism. I have been in the sign business for 14 years and I have seen so many people coma and go because they wanted to make a quick dollar. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but it's very important to use the right material for the right job - and that only comes with experience.
Like I said the material depends on the app and all of the conditions to be considered that is why it is important to communicate with the customer about all details. Do quality work and don't worry about the overnight sign guy down the street you will have better customers and less headaches doing good work at a fair price. The guy down the street can have the price shoppers.
It took a while, but I finally ordered my first two rolls of calendered vinyl a few weeks ago.

Until then, everything was cast. Things you think are temporary, the customer keeps for 10 years. Plus, it gives the customer confidence when you mention it's "cast vinyl rated for UP TO 7 years."
As always thanks guys all these are VERY good points! You all more than answered my question. From just reading the description "short to medium term" it doesn't really explain it enough. Vinyl that I have purchased in the past has never lasted longer than 2 or 3 years, once when I was in a car club I kept my club logo on my back glass for less than 2 years and it was getting dry and starting to crack.

I kinda figured 751 or above was the way to go w/ perm. signs and such I just wanted to make sure. Thanks again guys...I really mean it.
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