Introduction: How to Apply Vinal Decals, Some Useful Tips, Cheats and Tricks.
Step 1: The Subject to Be Uglified. Where to Put Your Graphics.
I was handed a cycle helmet and was asked to do a Eddy Merckx logo on it.
I was given free range to do what I though would look good which helped as for this job the graphics would have to be quite small due to the limited area available.
I was not familiar with any of the Eddy Merckx logo's (Miguel Indurain was more my era) but 5 mins on Google and I several to work with.
I decided that plane old simple black would look best.
Step 2: Design Your Decals to Fit the Area You Have to Work With.
If you don't have your own plotter you can get a sign maker to cut your design for you, but be warned it could be expensive so get a price first.
Find out what type of files they can use then do your own designs, this will save you the most expense. Another way to save money is to ask them to cut the design only so that you have to weed it out.
Some places will not want the hassle of your little job and may quote you a large price just to get you to sod off. This is normal as these small jobs can take up more time than a huge job that makes them way more money.
You can also cut your own decals if you have a steady hand and some patience.
-----------------------------Back to the plot ------------------------------------------
5 mins on Google and I had a few of the Eddy Merckx logos to work with.
Bug had mentioned a rainbow logo and said he would like it if i could do it. But due to the limited space i would have had to make the decal so small it would have pushed the capabilities of the plotter and be a pain in the ass to weed and apply. I try not to do multi colour graphics smaller then about 3-4" square as they are just to fiddly and are to easy damaged once applied.
I only used the bottom part of the rainbow logo for this as it was just the right size for the 2" square area.
I always cut a few extra of small stuff as they sometimes destroy them selves when you are doing the weeding.
The decals where arranged on the sheet as to use the least amount of vinal. This lot used about 5" from the the end of a 220 x 600mm sheet that about 10p's worth if even that.
A general rule is that if your detail is less than 1mm its going to be a pain in the ass to work with and will lift so easy its not worth doing.
Step 3: Preping Your Decals With Application Tape.
If you don't have application tape, use masking tape but shop around for one that is reasonably low tack.
For this i used a roll of 2" masking tape, if you roll of tape has been sitting about for a while remove a few laps of tape from the roll and bin it as the glue will be a bit to tacky, all will be explained in the pics later.
Check the pics for the details, as I cant be bothered typing it all twice.
Step 4: Applying Your Grapics.
All the details for this part is on the pics, its easier to understand from looking at the pics.
Make sure the surface you are applying the vinal to is dry and dust and grease free etc.
The adhesive on the vinal will reach its full hold after about 24 hours so handle very small and fine graphics with care until then, you can lacquer over vinal if you wish , this will help small decals from lifting off.
Step 5: Job Well Done, Shame Its a Freebie.
Turned out nice again.
Shame its one of those mates rates job. lol. Its a good job I'm not a money hungry capitalist as these enjoyable little jobs for friends are very rarely charged for.
Step 6: The Left Over Bits.
When doing small scale stuff its best to do some extra of the smallest or things with very fine lines or numerous parts as sooner or later you will mess something small up, its best to have extra as sometimes its a pain in the ass if you shrank a design down to size and didn't save a copy of the small size.
Step 7: Think Big.
Even though the max size of sheet the Craft ROBO can handle is 210 x 1000mm, if you think it out and plot the largest part of your design at the max aspect the plotter can handle you would be surprised at what you can achieve.
I use 600mm wide rolls of vinal and cut strips 22mm wide to give me 220 x 600mm sheets.