Digital Printing vs. Coloured Vinyl Signage

Window Sticker Cut Lettering

Digital Printing vs. Coloured Vinyl

When it comes to creating window or building signage, all of our work falls predominantly into one of two categories: vinyl and digital print.  Like the image above demonstrates we currently primarily digitally print all of our signage except White and Black Vinyls. We don't stock or can provide a range of 1 coloured vinyls. 

Each of the signage solutions has it's advantages and disadvantages so it’s really important to understand the differences between the two.  

Here’s how they compare:

Signage produced with Coloured Vinyl?

Coloured Signage Vinyl

Basically a substrate / material that can be digitally profile cut (not laser cut) into shapes and letters with adhesive on one side that adheres to the front of windows, walls, floors, signs and other surfaces.  It can also be reverse cut to adhere on the inside of glass or clear material to be seen from the outside. 

When using quality sign vinyl substrates and materials, there is essentially one main advantage: its lifespan.  

While like with us as humans the sun takes it's toll and the vinyl will eventually start to fade and degrade. 

That said you can expect at least 5-10 years of life expectancy depending on the quality of vinyl chosen.   It can last longer it really depends on the signage exposures to the sun!

That said it's not all good vinyl does have some limitations.  For starters, there are only a finite number of colours produced.  

While there are signage shops that carry a much broader range of 1 colour vinyl at Same Day Printing we only carry 2 colours in our inventory being white and black out of about 70+ different colours of vinyl.

There are times when the colours available won’t exactly match the specific PMS colour of your logo and or design.  

Also it can be cost prohibitive to produce in more than 3 colours and often you will find digitally printed signage in full colour process is more cost effective than produce signage in 3 colours.  

Then there is the design limitation as you can not have “shades or fades” in vinyl colours.  As a result your logos/lettering that use blended colours, shadows, or fading cannot be done using standard vinyl colours.

Digitally Printed Signage?

Colour Vinyl’s disadvantages are printed signage's advantages.  

Digitally printed signs prints in full colour process and can produce a large range of colours and includes all the shades and fades of your  more complex designs.  

You potentially can create much more colourful window signage to grab attention and more short term bang for your marketing buck

There is a trade-off however, and it is two-part.

Digitally-printed signs will not last as long as vinyl.  Digitally-printed signs tend to last about three years before the effects from the elements can take affect, you can extend this lifespan by adding a UV Laminate which can add another 2  years taking it up to around 5 years.

The next challenge is that while technology has come along way and the inks use to print are water proof, UV and scratch resistant, printed signs are more susceptible to scratches but this can be mitigated with a lamination.  

We would say if your design is for your logo for your building and it can be produce in 1-3 colours, coloured vinyl is the way to go unless of course you are planning to change your logo and or move locations anytime soon, as your building signage will have a much longer life span.

When it comes to seasonal signage and shorter term marketing signage, digitally printed signage may be the way to go.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss.

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