There are plenty of reasons to want designs on your vinyl decals, stickers, or wrappings, according to The Best Vinyl Cutters. They help you create something unique and purposeful, and if you’re running a business, something eye-catching that draws attention to your product or service.
The good thing about accomplishing such goals in this day and age is that you can trust technology to be on your side.
How Far Vinyl Printing Technology Has Come
Looking back, there was a time when vinyl graphics used to be very expensive to produce. One needed a special machine called a decal printer machine to engage in the venture. Aside from being too big, this machine also came with a hefty price tag.
Technological advancements have now laid waste to the barriers that kept us from exploring other aspects of vinyl printing. Now, we can select from a bevy of options compatible with our laptop and desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
The type of print and its size, as well as the method in which you want to create it, usually determines the type of printer needed for the job. More often than not, a vinyl graphics printer should be able to cope with most specifications, not to mention, easily connect with the existing equipment in your office.
Creating Printable Vinyl
Printable vinyl has never been as popular as it is today, with the current market catering to pretty much everyone from the occasional hobbyist to the renowned signage shop.
When selecting output materials, it is important to ensure their compatibility with your existing machine. You can also do it the other way around, and choose a printer that works with the materials you already have.
If your mind is fixed on a particular application method for installing vinyl, the materials you pick should allow for the best possible results.
For instance, vinyl that goes on the window fronting your store should have light-resistant properties. For vinyl that’s mostly used outdoors, it should have properties that hold strong against tough weather conditions.
Printers You Can Use on Vinyl
As mentioned, there’s an array of printers that can be used to print designs on vinyl. In this section, we’ll be discussing the most common ones you can use in the office.
1. Desktop Inkjet Printer
If you’re handling a small-scale office project, consider getting a desktop inkjet printer to get the job done efficiently. You should also make it a point to select printable vinyl that’s specifically made for this type of printer. They come in sheets that are letter-sized, making them easier to print on.
Inkjet-printer-specific vinyl won’t require you to purchase specialized ink in order to print, which means that costs are minimal. With that said, this material also makes prints dry as quickly as the inkjet’s regular output.
Despite having a fairly quick drying process, you may still need to let the print on the vinyl set for an entire 24 hours to make it fully water-resistant. As far as outdoor use is concerned, it won’t be necessary to engage in any special procedure for the surface once the ink on the printed vinyl has set completely.
2. Inkjet Printer (Large Format)
This type of printer is ideal for large-scale projects, such as the ones professional sign makers engage in. If you’re looking to produce numerous professional vinyl prints, then you’ll find the large format version of the inkjet printer incredibly useful.
These printers are pre-configured to operate on roll-fed media. Most of them also come with LED lamps to speed up the curing process and ensure printed vinyl outputs that can be used immediately after they’re ejected, allowing you to save time.
Large-format models also come with white ink, which enables the user to create a sort of foundational canvas to print graphics on for transparent stock. When using vinyl media with these kinds of printers, remember to use substrates that are compatible with the specific ink being used. Among these types of inks are pigment, UV, and dye.
The large-format inkjet printer also works well with perforated vinyl. This is great for creating complex graphics that can be used on the windows of cars, vans, and other vehicles without compromising visibility.
While technology affords us a host of printers that can print on vinyl, they aren’t all created equally. Choosing one ultimately depends on how you want to go about vinyl printing, and whether you’re taking on a large-scale or a small-scale project.
Some of the most commonly used printers that fit a variety of general specifications are the inkjet printer and large-format inkjet printer. The former is more practical for occasional hobbyists, while the latter is ideal for large enterprises and popular sign shops.
Heat press machines are also excellent tools for laying your designs and artwork on vinyl and other types of materials, so go ahead and try them out, as well.