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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone, this isn't quite T-shirt related however it is for my apparel company.

I've been looking into doing vinyl stickers for vehicle windows / outdoor application. Basically it would just be the logo, on white vinyl, die-cut.

Turns out I have absolutely no clue on the process of making these...I thought it was as simple as feeding vinyl with the adhesive backing already on it in a machine, which would die cut the logo and crop the sticker according to its size. I posted this question to a wholesale cutter online and he said that I'd have to weed off any excess vinyl then apply application tape to the back ...

My question... if i wanted to crank out, say, 300 10inch x 3inch vinyl stickers of my logo, what would be the best way to do this? Outsource or buy a cutter? And, is this as difficult as I'm picturing it to be? hah. Thanks for your time.
 

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Hi Everyone, this isn't quite T-shirt related however it is for my apparel company.

I've been looking into doing vinyl stickers for vehicle windows / outdoor application. Basically it would just be the logo, on white vinyl, die-cut.

Turns out I have absolutely no clue on the process of making these...I thought it was as simple as feeding vinyl with the adhesive backing already on it in a machine, which would die cut the logo and crop the sticker according to its size. I posted this question to a wholesale cutter online and he said that I'd have to weed off any excess vinyl then apply application tape to the back ...

My question... if i wanted to crank out, say, 300 10inch x 3inch vinyl stickers of my logo, what would be the best way to do this? Outsource or buy a cutter? And, is this as difficult as I'm picturing it to be? hah. Thanks for your time.
Do you just want a 3 x 10 bumper sticker with your logo on it or do you want just the logo showing as a decal cut around your logo?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you just want a 3 x 10 bumper sticker with your logo on it or do you want just the logo showing as a decal cut around your logo?
I just want my logo showing...So, the size would be around 3x10 but the logo "Clover Black" would be the only thing left on the windshield when applied (and not a square bumper sticker).
 

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Cutting and applying vinyl is quite a learning process.

First off, Vinyl cutters are not the same as die cutters, dies actually cut straight through the entire material all at one time. A vinyl cutter uses motors to cut, it feeds the material up and down while cutting right to left. Vinyl cutters do not cut straight through material, instead it only cuts the vinyl, leaving the backing material in place (otherwise when it is feeding, the items that are cut out would jam in the machine, cause it goes back and forth). Since you are cutting just the vinyl, the gaps in between letters like the small triangle in an "A" needs to be removed manually, this is part of "weeding", which is removing all the extra vinyl leaving only the vinyl/decal you want to apply. The nice thing about vinyl cutting is that you don't need to create dies, so you just send the cut path whatever size/shape you want it and it will cut (you specify the size, not the machine). Letters that are way too small will be a pain to weed though, and may not be able to be cut (wanna say like 1/16" or smaller).


Application tape is actually applied to the front of the sticker. It's purpose is to pull the sticker from its backing paper so that you can apply the decal as whole to your substrate. There are many different ways to apply, and it is its own art. If you are going to be doig your own application, order some extra stickers so that you get it down. The most popular methods for application are the "Wet" method, where you use liquids and a squeegee to put the vinyl where you want it. The "hinge" method is a dry method, there are a few different ways to do a hinge method, but there should be some youtube videos that show you better than I can explain.

You could see about getting your design outsourced to either a signmaker, or a company that deals with die cut stickers. I imagine the order will be too small for most die cut sticker places. Signmakers will vary greatly on price, and what they can do, so do some shopping around. A good signmaker can take care of all the weeding and applying application tape for you. You probably won't need app tape if you're just doing a bumper sticker though. Instead you might want to ask if they do "back slitting", which is where they cut the backing material at about halfway so that it's easy to apply the sticker. If your logo has lots of color, you'll need an eco solvent printer (I use a Roland SP300) which adds greatly to your cost to get started ($5000+ I'm sure if buying used, $10,000+ new), which is more incentive to have someone else do it.

There may be some bumper sticker things that you can inkjet print yourself, but unsure of their durability. I seem to recall seeing a site selling something like that and you basically print 3 on a sheet.

I'd charge about $500 for a job that size, since it probably wouldn't need application tape, but I do not back slit either. I wouldn't be surprised if you got quotes up to $1250 though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cutting and applying vinyl is quite a learning process.

First off, Vinyl cutters are not the same as die cutters, dies actually cut straight through the entire material all at one time. A vinyl cutter uses motors to cut, it feeds the material up and down while cutting right to left. Vinyl cutters do not cut straight through material, instead it only cuts the vinyl, leaving the backing material in place (otherwise when it is feeding, the items that are cut out would jam in the machine, cause it goes back and forth). Since you are cutting just the vinyl, the gaps in between letters like the small triangle in an "A" needs to be removed manually, this is part of "weeding", which is removing all the extra vinyl leaving only the vinyl/decal you want to apply. The nice thing about vinyl cutting is that you don't need to create dies, so you just send the cut path whatever size/shape you want it and it will cut (you specify the size, not the machine). Letters that are way too small will be a pain to weed though, and may not be able to be cut (wanna say like 1/16" or smaller).


Application tape is actually applied to the front of the sticker. It's purpose is to pull the sticker from its backing paper so that you can apply the decal as whole to your substrate. There are many different ways to apply, and it is its own art. If you are going to be doig your own application, order some extra stickers so that you get it down. The most popular methods for application are the "Wet" method, where you use liquids and a squeegee to put the vinyl where you want it. The "hinge" method is a dry method, there are a few different ways to do a hinge method, but there should be some youtube videos that show you better than I can explain.

You could see about getting your design outsourced to either a signmaker, or a company that deals with die cut stickers. I imagine the order will be too small for most die cut sticker places. Signmakers will vary greatly on price, and what they can do, so do some shopping around. A good signmaker can take care of all the weeding and applying application tape for you. You probably won't need app tape if you're just doing a bumper sticker though. Instead you might want to ask if they do "back slitting", which is where they cut the backing material at about halfway so that it's easy to apply the sticker. If your logo has lots of color, you'll need an eco solvent printer (I use a Roland SP300) which adds greatly to your cost to get started ($5000+ I'm sure if buying used, $10,000+ new), which is more incentive to have someone else do it.

There may be some bumper sticker things that you can inkjet print yourself, but unsure of their durability. I seem to recall seeing a site selling something like that and you basically print 3 on a sheet.

I'd charge about $500 for a job that size, since it probably wouldn't need application tape, but I do not back slit either. I wouldn't be surprised if you got quotes up to $1250 though.
Thanks for your post. Very informative.

This sheds some light on the whole process. I wouldn't be using color (I'd just use the white of the vinyl) but this process sounds like it's a tad too much for handing out as freebies... Maybe lean more towards actual bumper stickers as promotion with a purchased t shirt.
 

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I've been looking into doing vinyl stickers for vehicle windows / outdoor application. Basically it would just be the logo, on white vinyl, die-cut.
If it's just a one color logo...it basically takes a vinyl cutter, sign vinyl, and application tape.

There are some good videos on youtube that "show" the process. Here's one:

[MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zUGUk_cLwM[/MEDIA]

Here are some good threads in the forum that describe it:
decals related topics at T-Shirt Forums
 

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I sell these 1 color stickers al the time and nobody has ever complained about the application process. I would go with the vinyl cutter and vinyl. The cost may be more upfront, but the vinyl product will cost less in the long run. Plus you will have a new toy to play with and help design other products. .... JB
 

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for 300 sticker you could actually buy the machine and play with it.... for 10 x 3inche sticker i make them for $12 for retail... but for 300 pieces could be done for $4 each.. so you end up better buy the machine... i could get you a brand new cutter for around $2000
 

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is applying the application vinyl the same thing that you get when you buy a band sticker? These stickers usually have a clear front, a white back, and the black lettering. You peel the white back off, press the black lettering and clear front to the car, then you peel away the clear front leaving the black lettering. Is that the application tape, or is that something entirely different?

These stickers come in squares, so I would think someone prints say 20 on a sheet, applies the application tape, and then cuts the 20 squares out. Correct me if I'm wrong, because I would also like to know the process
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for everyone's responses.

I was looking at several machines at uscutterdirect.com and another website.

Man..i thought that this process would be easy as importing the logo, the machine cutting the vinyl lettering and cropping the sticker at, say 10x3 or whatever size I wanted...and..bingo bango done.

Seems like there is a pretty exhausting process that would not work for "freebie" stickers for promotion for each apparel that would be purchased....is that pretty much the consensus?
 

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it is not that easy... well it is easy for standard lettering.. but for logo need more work.. you can't copy a logo and cut it... you have to vectorized it and fixing all line before cut it..... At least for me I could make 100 sticker in 1 hour...
 

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it is not that easy... well it is easy for standard lettering.. but for logo need more work.. you can't copy a logo and cut it... you have to vectorized it and fixing all line before cut it..... At least for me I could make 100 sticker in 1 hour...

I do have the logo in a vector format..built in illustrator... 100 stickers in 1 hour is very do-able for me..maybe I'm just naive to the process?
 
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