We understand that not everything is black & white, and that a few simple guidelines can go a long way to minimizing delays and fuss. With that in mind we set up this section with the view to providing information that we hope makes your life easier.
Read advice on forwarding your artwork to us in the correct formats for digital print and vinyl cutting. Along with a few guidelines on applying and removing vinyl, as well as a few considerations when it comes to designing graphics for your vehicle.
Please ensure that artwork submitted for print is in one of the following formats:
PSD : (Adobe Photoshop)
AI : (Adobe Illustrator)
PDF : (Adobe Acrobat)
TIFF : (Adobe Photoshop)
If you opt to set up your own artwork, please adhere to the following for best results:
Set up artwork to 100% scale (the actual size it should be printed) and at a minimum of 300dpi/ppi.
Artwork going to print should always be set up in CMYK colour mode.
Embed or convert all fonts to outlines to avoid font substitution.
Please ensure that artwork submitted for vinyl cutting is in one of the following formats:
EPS : (Encapsulated Post Script)
AI : (Adobe Illustrator)
CDR : (Corel Draw)
PLT : (Plotter File)
EMF : (Enhanced Metafile)
WMF : (Windows Metafile)
Ensure all elements of artwork are vectored and outlined and any/all fonts have been converted to outlines or curves to avoid font substitution.
In the event you feel confident enough to apply your own vinyl graphics, these simple guidelines should make life a little easier.
There are many ways to apply vinyl and it is best to conduct a few experiments to find the method or technique that suits you. For this exercise you are going to need the following:
A) The vinyl graphics
B) Masking tape (preferably a quality high tack tape that will survive this exercise)
C) An applicator (Squeegee or vinyl applicator). In the absence of either, a credit card may suffice
D) A measuring instrument (Ruler or tape measure)
E) A squirt/trigger bottle (Filled with a very light soap and water solution)
F) Spirit level
It is recommended to work with an assistant to pass tools as and when required, or to ensure all tools are within easy reach if working alone - because once you start, it is not always easy to let go of what you are doing to go in search of tools.
1 CLEAN & DE-GREASE the surface onto which the vinyl is to be applied. Now there are many products and solutions readily available for surface cleaning and preparation. What you decide to use is entirely at your discretion and own risk. The cleaning solutions suggested here are based on our past experiences and have been found to produce the best results for us. For vinyl application you may obtain a specially formulated surface cleaner from vinyl stockists. Alternatively, methylated spirits will degrease and clean most surfaces beautifully without any residue or unwanted effects. BUT, always conduct a test on a small area (preferably out of sight) to ensure the cleaning solution you are using is suitable for the surface you are working on.
Also be careful to remove any loose particles on the application surface such as dust or lint, which will impair the adhesive quality of the vinyl. Make sure the surface is sound - vinyl will not stick well to unclean, dusty or rusty surfaces, or any surface with loose particles. For best results avoid applying vinyl to porous or textured surfaces.
Concerning vehicles: it is STRONGLY advised not to polish or wax the vehicle prior to a vinyl application to the bodywork - it makes the process very difficult to near-impossible and the application is bound to produce issues later (if you can get the vinyl to stick in the first place)! Don't Wax On & Certainly Wax Off.
2 TEAR off a few short strips of masking tape and tack around application area.
3 MEASURE and get your positioning right. Take the vinyl graphics as supplied to you (on backing paper and usually covered in application tape) and place roughly in the area where these graphics are to be affixed. Anchor the left and right top corners of the graphic with the masking tape strips prepared earlier. Then using a ruler or tape measure, work out your horizontal and vertical positioning. Use the spirit level in the absence of level lines to measure from (e.g. on certain types of vehicles).
4 HINGE the graphic along one edge (left, right or top - not bottom, as it is best to have gravity work with you and not against you when applying vinyl). Hinging is done so as to allow for the release of the backing paper so that the graphic can be transferred to the application surface. Hinging along one edge is ideal for small graphics that can be applied comfortably in one fluid application. For larger applications, it is better to hinge across the middle (from top to bottom or left to right) and to apply one half of the overall graphic at a time. These are techniques that may require a practice run in order to find what works best for you. For the benefit of ease and simplicity we shall assume our application is rather small and hinged on one edge.
5 FLIP the graphic over completely (180 degrees) along the hinged edge until the backing paper is exposed to you. Lift a corner on the backing paper whilst holding the entire graphic flat up against the background surface and begin pulling the backing paper away as gently as possible. Pay extreme attention during this process as parts of the vinyl graphic may not come away from the backing paper at the same time, which could result in tears in the vinyl if you continue removing the backing paper and the vinyl has not come away completely.
6 SPRAY an even, very light mist onto the exposed adhesive surface of the vinyl graphic to assist in the application process. DO NOT COMPLETELY DRENCH THE GRAPHIC - THIS IS LIKELY TO CAUSE THE VINYL TO FALL OFF THE APPLICATION TAPE AND DESTROY YOUR HINGE AS WELL. If you feel confident about applying the vinyl graphic perfectly well without water, then please omit this step. The light soap water solution is there to allow for repositioning should the vinyl possibly slip from your grip and fall in an incorrect position, or should the vinyl inadvertently fold over making contact with itself (which can prove to be a nightmare to undo without the soapy water).
7 SMOOTH the vinyl down gently using a vinyl applicator - from the hinged edge toward the directly opposite unhinged edge, which should be supported in your free hand (which should be held taking up the slack of the application tape, without pulling on it and at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to the surface as you apply). Do not pull hard on the application tape as you apply the graphic, as you may dislodge the masking tape anchoring the application tape to the surface you wish to apply on - meaning you will have to start all over again, once the graphic and application has dried out! Your hand motion during the smoothing process should be similar to using a paintbrush (up/down or left to right) in a direction parallel to the hinge.Once the entire application is down (with the tranfer application tape still in place), you may want to run your applicator over the graphic again several times until you are satisfied any bubbles or air pockets have been smoothed out. During this phase, always try to work from the center of the graphic radiating outwards.
8 REMOVAL of the application tape is down to several factors: How much soap you added to the water you used (More soap = longer settling time). As well as how quickly the vinyl adheres to the application surface. If the vinyl takes to the surface almost immediately, then removing the application tape is dead simple, as it should also have been softened by the water solution and almost fall away. If the converse occurs and any attempt to lift the application tape results in the vinyl coming up as well - it is best to wait until the lot has dried, then carefully lift one corner and pull the application tape away in a diagonal direction.
9 BUBBLES? not to worry - air sometimes becomes trapped during the application process but should seep out or dissipate over a few days to a week. Of course if you haven't the patience and have a rather steady hand, try removing or reducing the amount of bubbles with a fine-pointed pin or blade (a scalpel will do just fine, but please take extra caution as they are EXTREMELY sharp)
Several factors play a part when deciding the best approach in tackling the removal of applied vinyl. Here are some tips:
This process can prove to be extremely simple or unbelievably hard – depending on several factors that have a direct effect on the integrity of vinyl. These factors are mainly age, temperature and the type of surface the vinyl is currently applied to.
Depending on the age of the vinyl being removed and the surface temperature of the area being stripped are just about the two key elements to take into account when removing unwanted vinyl. If the vinyl is a "fresh" to fairly-recent application (less than 3 months), gently lifting a corner with a fine pointed blade or even your fingernails and slowly pulling away the vinyl should work reasonably well. If the vinyl appears to be coming away rather easily, the trick here is patience: pull on the vinyl very slowly and let it come away from the surface at its own pace. Rapid tugs and pulls with only cause the vinyl to snap off in tiny fragments.
In the event the vinyl application has been around for a good number of years, it would have had enough time to form a very solid bond with the application surface: possibly making removal a lengthy exercise and also a test of the patience. Natural weather elements as well as the natural degradation of the vinyl could further compound issues when attempting to remove extremely old vinyl. The ultra violet rays of the sun will in most cases have rendered the vinyl quite brittle and flakey. In this instance, it would be best to seek out professional assistance in removing the vinyl.
Apart from age, temperature is a very crucial factor to consider when stripping away old vinyl. Depending on time of year and time of day when the vinyl is being stripped are also key to the ease of removal. Winter months and low temperatures will automatically make the vinyl removal process extremely frustrating and lengthy as the vinyl will be very brittle and snap at every lift or pull. Warmer daytime temperatures as well as warmer months are more suitable for the purpose of vinyl removal as the adhesive and actual vinyl tend to become softened by the heat of the sun, which is the ideal situation to be in. With the lack of a natural heat source (as temperature is relative to ease of removal), a standard hair dryer or heat gun is recommended.
With regards to the use of a heat gun, we cannot stress enough the amount of care and caution that should be exercised when using a heat gun to remove vinyl. If you do not feel confident working with a heat gun or have a low concentration threshold, please refrain from using a heat gun and seek professional assistance. Generally vinyl applications that need removing are on surfaces we would love to keep in as pristine a condition as possible, during and after the vinyl removal. Hence it is imperative to adhere to two vital rules when using any heat source other than natural sunshine to assist with vinyl removal:
#1 ALWAYS KEEP THE HEAT GUN A SAFE AND REASONABLE DISTANCE FROM THE SURFACE ON WHICH YOU ARE WORKING.
The idea is to warm up and soften the applied vinyl until it is easy enough to remove by hand, not incinerate or melt the vinyl – as the intense amount of heat generated will probably have the same effect on the background as well.
#2 ALWAYS KEEP THE HEAT GUN IN MOTION UNTIL THE AREA YOU ARE WORKING ON IS SUFFICIENTLY WARMED ENOUGH TO FACILITATE EASIER REMOVAL OF THE APPLIED VINYL.
DO NOT concentrate the heat gun on any one particular area when removing vinyl. Always keep the heat gun in motion so that a general area is warmed up evenly to work with. Any concentration of an active heat gun on one particular area could almost certainly result in damage that may be either irreversible or expensive to repair.
N.B. Please do not overheat the area on which you are working. The surface should only be warm to the touch and not impossible to handle or causing pain when touched. The use of heat to remove applied vinyl is a practice best performed by a seasoned professional or attempted under professional supervision.
Revolution F/X accepts no responsibility or liability for any damage, injury or death resulting from following the guidelines set out in this document. This document has been produced and provided purely as a guide to removing applied vinyl and is based on years of professional experience. It is always best to have a professional vinyl technician carry out the procedure of vinyl removal for you.
Here are a few suggestions that may be of use when working out exactly what you would like to see on your vehicle, as well as a few Do's & Don'ts..
Experience has proven that less is more - and this rule of thumb does not apply more than when designing a vehicle layout. Many seem to believe that the more information crammed onto a vehicle:
1) The greater value-for-money
2) Reaching your target audience is an absolute guarantee.
Totally the opposite! Too much information and any reader tunes out almost immediately. The key is to attract and maintain POSITIVE attention and interest. Engage the viewer/reader with short, simple easy-to-read-and-understand text. Use images relevant to your business that will further enhance and support the text information on the vehicle.
Do not use vague, unrelated imagery and certainly avoid using images of poor quality. It would be better to omit the use of an image altogether than to use one of inferior quality, which would probably communicate a negative message to prospective clients - no matter how good your products or services.
1) Wash the exterior of your vehicle with just soap and water prior to graphic installation.
2) Draft a brief/outline of all that you would like to appear on the vehicle.
If you wish to incorporate logos or graphics into the vehicle design, please ensure you read the SUBMITTING ARTWORK sections on the ideal formats for us to work with..
1) Wax or polish the vehicle exterior prior to vinyl graphic installation.
2) Jet/Power wash the vehicle exterior after vinyl graphic installation.
3) Use harsh or abrasive chemicals to clean the applied graphics - a wipe over with a soft, damp cloth is normally sufficient.
We produce vinyl decals: For whatever purpose you can imagine... Shops, cars, boats, buses, boardrooms & bedrooms - the list is quite extensive.
These decals can be produced as solid, digitally printed images; or as fret-cut vinyl graphics. We're happy to produce one-offs or volume.Minimum Price
In this arena, consider us your white label: we will undertake site fittings and installations on behalf of your company if or when required.
We handle installations for the events and exhibitions industries - delivering a service of the highest standard.
Graphic design is simply about making the right first impression. Our job is to ensure you succeed!
... Just to name a few.
If it needs a professional image - we'll give it one!Prices
Being rather "Old School", we do believe that not EVERYTHING should be done by computer. Sometimes it is great to pick up a pencil or paintbrush and produce a work of art the traditional way. We take on commissions for original artworks executed in a variety of media; including pencil, gouache, acrylic, watercolour and airbrushPrices
We will break this down into two categories: Photographic... and everything else!
We can handle video that has either been shot by you - or we have filmed on your behalf.
We can develop cool titles, transitions and other effects to land you with a really slick production.
Please view examples of our work further down this page.
EXPERIENCE has brought about this little contingency. While we strive for perfection in service delivery and installation, and usually can recover with grace if the odd blip occurs - we have in the past encountered a range of unexpected or unforeseen realities via external production and on-site which has led us to create this little back-up.Sometimes, circumstances do not allow for a re-cut and sending-to-site of a missing, incorrect or damaged graphic..
ARE you looking for unique graphics to customize your car, van, boat or any other kind of vehicle or personal item?
At present our online shop is in mid-development, soon bringing you a vast range of cut vinyl graphics and images to suit just about every taste.
Or, if you don't fancy anything from our ever-growing pool of decals and signs, you are more than welcome to supply your own design for us to create something special for you.
WE are very much into saving: saving the environment, saving you headaches, saving you money. Before you discard a range of general items or commodoties: give us a shout to assess the item and establish if it is worth saving, repairing or restoring.
More specifics on some of the categories covered are detailed below.
Time has not been kind to the VHS format, and increasingly, we are having to convert precious recordings from analogue to digital formats.
Sometimes, due to a series of factors but predominantly the conditions under which a VHS recording has been stored, it is imperative to act very fast before further damage is suffered.
If the VHS source is still playable, we will undertake the transfer from analogue to digital with the utmost of care. Rest assured in the knowledge that your media is in very capable hands.
Similar to video cassettes, photographic prints also suffer from the ravages of time. Sunlight, damp, blemishes, tears and creases - along with carelessness and the odd accident - eventually ruin old (and most times precious) photographic prints. Usually all is not lost - and with diligence and due care the damage can be undone.
Be it one image or a thousand ... we'd be very happy to view and assess the extent of the damage, and provide you with advice and cost options. It is seldom a case of "All Is Lost!" and you can be assured we will do our very best under all circumstances.
Sometimes a sign just needs a little TLC - a little sprucing up. Sometimes all the components that make up a sign system simply need a clean, polish - and perhaps a few missing bits and pieces ... to get it back to it's former glory.
We're all for helping save our environment, and would sooner suggest renovating your old sign system than investing in a new one - if viable.