Digital Media Translucent Referral

craigwojo

New Member
Hi everyone,
I'm looking for a cheap alternative for digital media (eco-solvent) for my customers that want a cheaper price on their backlit signage. What would recommend and which vendor would you buy from. Currently, I'm using Solvex-TV from Fellers for about 330.00 a roll 56" x 150' for my cheaper translucent brand.

Thank you and God bless,
Craig
 

2B

New Member
It is more about what is available from vendors

In a pinch, you can print to Lamination, can't say this suggested.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
There are ways to save your customer money, other than going with an inferior product. The life expectancy of a backlit now is about 4 or 5 years. That's with a laminate. According to which way the sign faces could possibly shorten that further. If you wanna cheap out for your customer, lessen your installation costs or your production costs or something YOU have control over, not use a cheaper product. If this is an indoor backlit, then there are other alternatives.
 

CanuckSigns

Active Member
$330 a roll for translucent is a really good price! For backlit projects, the cost of the vinyl is a vey small expense, it's all labour!
 
  • Agree
Reactions: 2B

JBurton

Signtologist
I use arlon 4500G CLEAR, clear is part of the name, otherwise you'll get white not translucent. Something like $220-250/roll. Pairs well with arlon 3420 satin, and sign faces with 2" trim as the edges will eventually give way. You can use it on trim capped letter face, but only if you apply it before trimcapping so the film is tucked under the trimcap.
I'd argue for a face replacement, cost of poly is about a quarter of the job, labor is another quarter, and the rest is equipment overhead to print, route and slide it in.
 

gnubler

New Member
The life expectancy of a backlit now is about 4 or 5 years. That's with a laminate. According to which way the sign faces could possibly shorten that further. If you wanna cheap out for your customer, lessen your installation costs or your production costs or something YOU have control over, not use a cheaper product.
Perfect timing, I was about to post a similar new thread. I have a customer balking about a quote I gave him on a backlit sign. It's 6 x 4 ft and about 20 ft high on a building, east facing. It was last done in 2013 and looks like crap, burned and peeling vinyl. I told him the lifespan of these signs is about 5-7 years, was I correct? Are there any options I can offer him to extend the lifespan of the sign to help justify the cost?
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Perfect timing, I was about to post a similar new thread. I have a customer balking about a quote I gave him on a backlit sign. It's 6 x 4 ft and about 20 ft high on a building, east facing. It was last done in 2013 and looks like crap, burned and peeling vinyl. I told him the lifespan of these signs is about 5-7 years, was I correct? Are there any options I can offer him to extend the lifespan of the sign to help justify the cost?
Order in a painted embossed face. Life is a crapshoot, some look good for ages, some for just 10 years, but they far surpass anything printed. Cost is only about 25-50% over a print on new lexan if I'm not mistaken...
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Any recommendations on suppliers/shops who do this?
Facecrafters here in Little Rock does some great work. Faces does good work (signfaces.com), commercial plastics is one I think we've used before as well. Undoubtedly you'll want to find one closer to you, freight on these is obviously a killer.
 

Z SIGNS

New Member
Don't worry about or search for cheaper materials to make your signs because cheap materials are harder to work with and the the cost of the materials should only be a fraction of what the sign sells for.
Why would you not want to make your signs from the best material available?
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Don't worry about or search for cheaper materials to make your signs because cheap materials are harder to work with and the the cost of the materials should only be a fraction of what the sign sells for.
Why would you not want to make your signs from the best material available?
I'm all for this. If I don't like working with crappy vinyl, then why in the hell would I bring my price down to meet your expectations and use vinyl that I just plain don't like. In fact, I'd be more apt to slightly discount an upgrade to a material I really want to use rather than discount a price to use materials I can't stand.
 

gnubler

New Member
The backlit sign I'm quoting is several elements of printed vinyl. Would it lengthen the lifespan if I put a laminate over the vinyl? It would at least helping with peeling edges, right?
 

JBurton

Signtologist
The backlit sign I'm quoting is several elements of printed vinyl. Would it lengthen the lifespan if I put a laminate over the vinyl? It would at least helping with peeling edges, right?
That's a loaded question! If you are using a fine cast film, you will have no real issues with lifting, until the color starts to go, at which point the vinyl is very much baked into the surface. I'm a fan of 3m 3630 trans series, but there are plenty of others.

Rereading your post, if it's printed, it most definitely needs a laminate, ideally cast on everything if you're going to drive home life of the vinyl. If you were planning on printing on white, plotting, and then installing, I'd just substitute the white with clear and go for a full coverage of the whole panel. It keeps the white elements of the graphics from being darker than the white substrate, and saves the labor of plotting. Plus it essentially eliminates the potential for lifting, even with a calendared film as long as the edges are behind a piece of trim.
 

gnubler

New Member
That's a great idea, I'll look into that. I outsource my printing and was going to run this through S365, who uses Oracal/Orajet Clear.
 
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