Ever wonder how decals are made? Surprisingly enough, machines play a pretty small role! It’s completely normal to think that machines do the whole thing; our customers are always surprised to learn about the man-(*and woman!) work involved in the process. As you will learn below, 3 of the 5 steps required to make a decal don’t utilize a machine at all! It is actually a pretty satisfying hand-made process for the Production Team here at Crux.
1. Design: The first step is deciding what you want your decal to look like. If you have a pre-existing logo or have a design in mind, great! If not, our team of highly-experienced designers will help turn your vision into a reality!
2. Print/Plot: If your decal is one solid color, we grab a material called 3M 220, and load it onto the plotter. The plotter is connected to the computer that your decal was designed on, and it cuts your decal into the vinyl using a very small, very precise blade. If your decal is multi-color, then it is printed on a material called 3M 180c. It is then laminated with your choice of laminate, and then loaded onto a plotter where the process mentioned above repeats.
3. Weed: Weeding is what we call removing the excess vinyl to reveal the final decal. For this step, our Production Team uses exacto blades, and incredibly detailed eyes.
4. Mask: After our team has weeded the vinyl, it is time to prepare the decal for installation. To do this, we put a low-tac masking tape over the decal, and press it down carefully, making sure there are no air bubbles, and it’s all even. This allows our Install Team to remove the backing paper, while leaving the decal on the mask.
5. Apply: First, it is very important to make sure the surface that we are putting the decal on is clean and dry. Our installers then peel off the backing paper from the mask (the decal should now be completely on the mask), and then line the decal up where the customer wants it, stick it on like a sticker! It is important to take a squeegee and squeegee all the bubbles out. Finally, pull the mask off of the decal.
If you or your company needs any decals made, and would like to see a design proof and a quote, please don’t hesitate to call us today! 859-689-4666