If you’re looking to more effectively build your brand, save space or increase customer awareness to the services you provide, decals may be the perfect solution. Otherwise known as adhesive-backed graphics, pressure-sensitive decals are customizable forms of signage that are printed on a thin plastic film, which is typically PVC vinyl. One side of the film is tacky, which makes it possible for it to adhere to a number of different flat surfaces.

They call these decals “pressure sensitive” for obvious reasons: The harder you press down on them, the more snuggly they bond with the adherent. Ideally, decals made from PVC vinyl should be used in locations where’s it’s as close to room temperature as possible, as their tackiness may be compromised slightly in environments where it’s too hot or too cold.

Is your company trying to enhance brand recognition? Do your store-front windows look like they’re missing a certain something? Are some of the items you sell missing labels that can better inform customers about their price or where they were fabricated? Do the store walls, floors or display fixtures look stale and in need of color? The versatility of pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed PVC decals makes all of these issues solvable.

“Part of what makes decals so ‘flexible’ is they’re highly customizable.”

Part of what makes decals so flexible – both in composition and application – is they’re highly customizable. By this we mean that while decals are usually made with permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive – for purposes like safety labels, as an example – NGS Printing can also construct vinyl decals with a variety of adhesive options, such as low-tack adhesives for easy and clean removal, thick coat adhesives for use on rough or textured surfaces like concrete, or air regress adhesives for making smoothing out bubble easier after installation. In addition to modifying the adhesive for usage, there are a variety of thin vinyl film options as well that affect the performance of the decal.

Aside from their versatility, here are some of the other qualities of decals that make them an excellent way to establish brand recognition and draw attention to fun slogans or general “need to know” statements:

Highly scratch-resistant
The last thing you want from your signage is a media that doesn’t hold up well to wear and tear. If the decal needs protection, applying a clear scratch resistant laminate over the top of the printed graphic will prolong the life of the signage. Protective laminates can have gloss, matte, or luster finishes. Our scratch-resistant laminate is slightly textured, which hides the scratches and long-term wear of the graphic.

Glossy or matte
How do you want your decals to reflect light from the sun or when you turn on the lights? If you want the material to have a more muted appearance, a matte finish is the better option. Alternatively, if you’d rather the decals be glimmering, glossy gets the job done. There’s no right or wrong answer to either. It all depends on your tastes and the color scheme you use.

These finishes don’t always have to come at an extreme cost or added operation because NGS Printing’s Inca Onset X is able to print in a range of gloss and satin modes to make every image pop! A new feature that our Inca Onset X is capable of is adding a gloss finish in select areas of the design which grabs attention in a whole new way when the design mixes matte and gloss finishes in one printed image.

Rigid or flexible
Generally speaking, most adhesive-backed graphics are manufactured out of a flexible thin vinyl film ranging in 0.003″ (3 mil) to 0.008″ (8 mil) in thickness. This vinyl film is a very durable plastic that offers stretch, tear resistance, and weather resistance. However, there are many unique applications in the point of purchase display/store fixture industry. As such, vinyl decals can be constructed out of thicker rigid materials as well. NGS Printing has made decals using 0.020″ rigid vinyl, 3mm expanded PVC, and 0.060 hi-impact polystyrene.

First-surface or second-surface
Printing first-surface and second-surface printing only matters when printing onto a clear material substrate. First-surface printing is when the ink is added to the top of the material.  Second-surface printing is done on the back of the clear material with the image mirrored so you see it correctly through the material surface. First-surface printing tends to be more color vibrant and less expensive because the adhesive glue is sometimes not a secondary application. Second-surface printing requires printing the color and white first then applying the glue on top of the ink as a secondary process. The advantages of second-surface printing is the inks are protected without a laminate, and the print itself has an added layer of depth to the image that provides definition, richness and texture. NGS Printing does second-surface printing for a variety of our products, including decals.

“Kiss-cut is where the perimeter of the decal is punctured but not all the way through the liner film.”

Kiss-cut or die-cut
You see kiss-cut or die-cut printing materials and decals every day without even noticing it. Die cutting is the manufacturing process of cutting the vinyl decal to a particular shape (e.g. rectangle, circle, letters, or extremely intricate). Kiss cutting is a form of die cutting so the perimeter of the decal is punctured but not all the way through the liner film (hence the term “kiss”). Kiss cutting is very important for intricate cutting applications or where you have a series of letters and spacing between the shapes is important. Just about every shape you can imagine is possible with die-cut fabrication.

Big or small, we handle it all. For color, cut, quality and experience you can trust, “stick” with NGS Printing for decals that adhere to your business’ marketing goals. Please contact us for your next signage project.