Vinyl is a remarkably versatile and cost-effective substrate. Most people are familiar with vinyl as the material used to make shower curtains. In truth, that is a pretty good indication of the qualities vinyl brings to any printing project — affordability, versatility, water resistance, and relative durability. This article has a fantastic and simple guide to printing vinyl stickers. Let’s consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of using vinyl for your custom label printing:
Advantages of Using Vinyl for your Sticker or Label Substrate:
- Affordability: Among synthetic materials, vinyl is often the lowest cost substrate, and it can do so much more than a paper substrate.
- Size: Vinyl comes in enormous rolls, so you can get everything from tiny vinyl stickers to full length custom banners
- Weatherproof: Vinyl substrates are weatherproof, able to withstand rain, snow, the hottest summer days and the coldest winter nights.
- UV Resistant: Vinyl itself resists breaking down through UV exposure. It is possible to use UV inks and/or coat your vinyl in a protective UV laminate to protect your vinyl stickers and labels.
- Takes a Beating: No one is going to mistake vinyl for anodized aluminum or steel, but it does hold up well to the day to day wear and tear that labels, signs and banners can be expected to take. For a flexible substrate, (as opposed to rigid metals) vinyl is quite tough.
- Print Quality: Vinyl stickers and signs have come a long way in improving print quality. Printing houses can now treat the substrate to enable better adhesion from traditional screen inks, UV inks, and digital inks. Make sure that the printing house you contract pre-treats their vinyls before printing
- Fabrication: Because it is flexible and easy to work with, vinyl labels and signs can be die cut to nearly any size or shape.
Disadvantages of Using Vinyl for your Sticker or Label Substrate:
- Extreme Heat: Extreme heat destroys the structural integrity of vinyl. Perhaps the greatest weakness of vinyl, this means that your vinyl stickers and labels cannot be placed in areas that generate heat, such as on or near motors, engines, ovens, furnaces, many small appliances, etc.
- Embossing: It isn’t possible to dome custom vinyl labels.
- Punctures and Abrasions: While vinyl signage is durable, it is possible to puncture vinyl and to scratch through the surface, and ink which is surface printed.
- Chemicals: While many chemicals wash right off vinyl without effect, others destroy its structural integrity. If your project is likely to be exposed to any harsh chemicals, be sure to discuss the specifics with your custom printing house.