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vinyl vs. foil


New Member
I have a question for you experience people. For exterior metal look does the metal looking vinyl last longer than printing the metal look with the foils. To clarify see examples

1.) clear/color 3M 220 vinyl or some other HP vinyl then printer with GerberColor Metal.

2.) Delux silver or gold vinyl then printer on with Gerber foils.

Also do you put the UV protection on before the abrasion guard?

Does anyone make a protection coat that is both UV and abrasion?


Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
As a 99% of the time set of rules:

  • Vinyl will always outlast foil.
  • Metallic foils are considerably more expensive than other foils and most non-Gerber metallic foils are not recommended for outdoor use.
  • Gerber Medal foils are not rated for outdoor use.
  • Deluxe Silver and Gold are rated at 3 years and are mirror finish while HP cast silver or gold are rated the same or higher, have a non-mirror finish and cost less. You are comparing apples and oranges.
  • The durability of the foil is directly related to the type of film you print on and will fail sooner on calendared film than on cast film even though neither film has reached its failure point.
  • Both Duracoat and Zeronine make a clear printable foil that provides both UV and abrasion resistance. Gerber makes only an abrasion guard foil. Your question, therefore, indicates a lack of understanding of your options. Combined UV/Abrasion Guard foil, if needed, is applied as the final printing step. It is usually accessed in the 123 dialog - see examples.


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Mike Paul

Super Active Member
Here a shot of some Coburn ODS Florentine/gold printed with Gerber Gold Medal foil to create a prismatic effect. The "Medal series" foil is recommended for indoor use but this has been out and about for a year and still looks ok.
I cleared it with a coat of Frog Juice. I wouldn't recommend offering this to your customers but it's my personal truck and if it fails in 1.5 years I'll just replace it.