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Vinyl Technical Terms

Cutting Plotters
Cutting plotters use knives to cut into a piece of vinyl that is lying on the flat surface area of the plotter. It is achieved because the cutting plotter is connected to a computer, which is equipped with specialized cutting software programs. Those computer software programs are responsible for sending the necessary cutting dimensions or designs in order to command the cutting knife to produce the correct project cutting needs.

Cold Roll Laminators
Cold roll laminators use a plastic film which is coated with an adhesive and glossy backing which does not adhere to the glue. When the glossy backing is removed, the adhesive is exposed, which then sticks directly onto the item which needs to be laminated. This method, apart from having the obvious benefit of not requiring expensive equipment, is also suitable for those items which would be damaged by heat. Cold laminators range from simple two roller, hand crank machines up to large and complex motor driven machines with high precision rollers, adjustable roller pressure and other advanced features.

Vinyl Decal / Sticker
Vinyl is a durable and weather-resistant material, ideal for custom-printed decals. Vinyl decals can be made in almost any shape, size or quantity.  A sticker is a type of Vinyl With adhesive on one side, and usually with a design on the other. They can be used for decoration, depending on the situation. They can come in many different shapes, sizes and colors and are put on things such as lunchboxes, in children's rooms, on paper, lockers, notebooks, and vehicles and so on. Some people collect and trade stickers with other collectors.  Most Decals are created from vinyl with an adhesive backing that is applied in a peel-and-stick manner. Vinyl comes in large rolls that are fed through a plotter (cutter) or large-format printer/cutter. The designs are created in specialized computer software and sent to the machines via cable link for production. Once the design is cut into the vinyl, the excess vinyl on the sheet is removed in a process called weeding. Finally, a paper pre-mask is applied to the top of the vinyl design to allow easy application of multiple letters and shapes at one time.

Vector Graphics
Vector graphics are based on vectors (also called paths, or strokes) which lead through locations called control points. Each of these points has a definite position on the x and y axes of the work plan. Each point, as well, is a variety of database, including the location of the point in the work space and the direction of the vector (which is what defines the direction of the track). Each track can be assigned a color, a shape, a thickness and also a fill. This does not affect the size of the files in a substantial way because all information resides in the structure; it describes how to draw the vector. Vector art is ideal for printing. Since the art is made from a series of mathematical curves it will print very crisply even when resized. For instance, one can print a vector logo on a small sheet of copy paper, and then enlarge the same vector logo to billboard size and keep the same crisp quality. A low-resolution raster graphic would blur or pixelate excessively if it were enlarged from business card size to billboard size.

Raster Graphics
A raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats.  A bitmap corresponds bit-for-bit with an image displayed on a screen, generally in the same format used for storage in the display's video memory, or maybe as a device-independent bitmap. A bitmap is technically characterized by the width and height of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel (a color depth, which determines the number of colors it can represent).  The printing and prepress industries know raster graphics as contones (from "continuous tones"). The opposite to contones is "line work", usually implemented as vector graphics in digital systems.

In typography, a typeface (also known as font family) is a set of characters that share common design features. A single typeface is represented by a specific weight, style, condensation, width, slant, italicization, ornamentation, and designer or foundry, but not by size. There are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly. The art and craft of designing typefaces is called type design. Designers of typefaces are called type designers. In digital typography, type designers are sometimes also called font developers or font designers. Every typeface is a collection of glyphs, each of which represents an individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or other symbol.

Wrap Advertising
Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery. This result of this process is essentially a mobile billboard. Wrap advertising can be achieved by the use of large vinyl sheets as "decals." The vinyl sheets can be removed with relative ease, thus they drastically reduce the costs associated with changing advertisements. While vehicles with large, flat surfaces (such as buses and light-rail carriages) are often utilized due to ease, cars can also serve as hosts for wrap advertising, despite consisting of more curved surfaces.

Color Change Car Wraps
Anything but ordinary. Create a cool and distinctive look for your vehicle. These wrap films come in high gloss colors, matte colors, brushed metal and carbon fiber looks.

Printed Car Wraps
Any vehicle can be wrapped! Any car, truck, bus, trailer and fleet can give you a better way to be seen and recognized.  From large corporate fleet to every day personal vehicles you can find the best performing solution to your needs.

Application Tape
Application Tape is a high tack tape optimized to provide trouble-free pre-masking and graphic application.  Wet or dry applications, Lays flat to resist wrinkling, tunneling, and edge curl.

Spray Mask Stencil
This highly flexible, transparent grey film has been formulated for use in stencil applications, especially spray and paint techniques. It is ideal for complex water-based paint applications, low-saturation solvent-based paint applications and conformable applications such as complex curves, uneven or semi-flexible substrates and surfaces.

Reflective Vinyl
6 Mil White Reflective  Up to 7 year outdoor durability, White removable adhesive, Polyethylene lay flat paper, Designed for cut letters, vehicle striping and graphics  Meets ASTM D-4956 07, type 1, and NFPA 1901 Offers exceptional value for permanent traffic signage applications

Etched Glass Film
Designed for use in window and mirror graphics. Provides the look of real etched glass at a
fraction of the cost by eliminating the need for sandblasting. Designed for flat applications

The SEALITPEN is a fast and easy way to seal the edges of your graphics that protects them from lifting, peeling, edge curling and contamination. Quick dry acrylic clear with UV Blockers. Ensures an extended life for all your lettering and graphics. Recommended for all vehicle graphics. Use mineral spirits to remove any excess.

The X-Acto knife may be called a utility knife, but it is actually a short, sharp blade mounted on a pen-like aluminum body, used for crafting and hobbies, such as sticker making. Before the availability of digital image and text processing tools, preparing camera-ready art for use in printing (literal cut and paste or paste up) depended heavily on the use of knives like the X-Acto for trimming and manipulating slips of paper.

Small, hand-held plastic and rubber wedges with an edge formed as a blade are used in the sticker industry for the application of vinyl sheeting to decrease the possibility of air pockets. Squeegees come in different models, some of which do not have handles, but are approximately the size and shape of a credit card.

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