Vinyl Install Techniques & Letter Visibility

Bubbles Note: 
Occasionally you will notice bubbles in your project. Static-induced bubbles will disappear within a few days to several weeks. Bubbles that appear days or weeks later , well after the application ,are symptomatic of outgassing, a condition within the substrate caused by moisture or solvents coming out. Uncured paint jobs on vehicles, composite materials, polycarbonate and certain acrylic sign-face materials, are notorious for this. Paint has to be totally cured and plastic faces have to be pre-sealed on both sides to avoid these problems entirely.

If you still have bubbles that are really bothering you after several weeks, you might try the following: Simply puncture the bubbles and press the air out the hole. Wrinkles should be pressed firmly with the back of a fingernail, from the center and out to the edge. Try to spread it out and redistribute the vinyl. 

When installing vinyl, it is important that you apply the product to an adequate surface, one to which it will readily adhere. The following lists contain a brief summary of acceptable surfaces ..

As a general rule of thumb, vinyl will stick to almost any surface that is clean and either smooth or nonporous.

Acceptable surfaces

  • Glass
  • Metals (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel.)
  • Vehicles (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel.)
  • Vinyl (Such as Banners, Canopies, flags, etc.)
  • Plastic
  • Fiberglass (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel.)
  • Wood (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel.)
  • Other Painted Surfaces (Paint must be smooth and glossy, vinyl will not stick to oxidized, faded, or peeling paint)

Not recommended surfaces

  • Cement
  • Raw Lumber
  • Oxidized or faded paint
  • Peeling paint
  • Rubber
  • Raw Metals
  • Oily Surfaces
IF APPLYING ON GLASS:  Prepare the Glass
Clean the outside glass surface which you will be applying the image to thoroughly with soap & water or Windex well.... Make sure that the glass surface is dry and residue free before applying your decal . The decal works best if mounted on VERY CLEAN GLASS.


*1. Rub thin side to help adhere art, then peal slowly.

2. Flip Art so it is seen through thin paper correctly read.

3. Align art without touching surface.

4. Smooth out using squeegee (take your time, work from the center out).

 5. Peal of thin paper slowly.


To remove the application tape from the graphic, pull the tape against itself at a 180-degree angle. (See FIG E.)  Do this slowly.  

Figure 5


1)Fill your spray bottle with water (preferably distilled) and add a few drops of dish soap. (do not use too much soap)
2)Clean the windshield where the graphics will be placed. Alcohol works great. The cleaner the better.
3)Pre-fit the graphics to know how it will fit and where you want to place it. You can mark where the graphic will go with tape or a grease pencil to aid in proper placement of the graphic.
4)Using the soapy water solution thoroughly wet down the area of the windshield were the graphic will be applied.
5)Peel the backing paper off the graphic as you spray the sticky side of the graphic.
6)Place the graphic on the vehicle making sure that there is still plenty of the soapy water solution on the windshield and the graphic.
7)Squeegee the water out by using strokes from the center to the outside of the graphic.
8) Remove the top tape after patting down the decal with a cloth or paper towel/Insure it is dry
9)Pop any bubbles that are left with a pin.


Take the decal as you received it. Measure center of decal itself (not the paper) than measure your surface area for proper aligning. Place a small piece of tape on each end of decal and completely through the center as shown in this picture. This crates a (Hindge)

Now take your proper aligned decal and remove the small piece of tape from one end. Note: Have your scissors and squeege within reach. Start separating the decal from the backing paper slowly making sure all of the decal stays on the application paper. Lay the decal back making sure not to stick it to anything. Cut the backing paper off as close to the center tap as you can. As shown in this picture.

We use 3M "cast" High performance vinyl , usually  220, and Neschen High Performance Vinyl. They both are rated from a minimum of 7 years to 10 year exterior grade

For Banners and Temp purpose signage, we use Intermediate 3-5 year vinyl in most cases..


Banners are generally made of a plastic vinyl material. They have a grain similar to cloth.  We generally make your banner out of mid/heavyweight 10 oz material. They are generally seamed along the top and bottom sides and have grommets (Metal brass or aluminum rings) every  24” to enable easy hanging. We  generally stock 24” , 36 " and 48 " banner material but can have banners custom made most any size.


Banners can either be digitally printed or be lettered with cut vinyl or a bit of both. We have specials on both styles, see store offerings.

Our banner material can last 3-6  months outdoors or even longer depending on the conditions. Generally in part time useage, most of our clients get 3-5 Seasons of use .


Banners are sometimes being taken up and down, stored,  transported and re-hung, it is possible for the material or the graphics to become damaged. 

To extend the life of your Olysigns Banner please follow these instructions:

  • When storing a banner, roll it up with the lettering and graphics on the outside. If possible roll the banner on a cardboard core ,but not to tightly.
  • The banner should be stored on it’s side in a dry, warm area. If it is stored upright (without a cardboard core), it may bend over on itself damaging the lettering.(Store If possible in the container it was shipped in )
  • Vinyl banners may be cleaned with soapy water and a rag. 
  • Wait 3 to 4 days after you have received your banner before attempting to wash it. This will allow the pressure sensitive graphics to adhere fully to the banner material.
  • Ensure the banner is properly secured. It is recommended to use ‘bungee’ cords to secure the bottom of the banner in high wind areas. The ‘bungees’ will absorb much of the shock created by the wind.



Cast films, also known in the industry as premium, high-performance or 2 mil are considered to be a premium product with excellent durability and conformability characteristics. The term "cast" refers to the manufacturing process of this type of vinyl. Making a cast vinyl film is a lot like baking a cake. The vinyl begins with a "recipe" calling for a list of ingredients known as the formulation. These materials are added to a "bowl" or mixing churn in a predetermined order while mixing at specific speed and for a set amount of time to ensure a complete and consistent mixture. This liquid mixture, known as organosol, is then "poured" or cast onto a moving web known as the casting sheet and is then processed through a series of ovens which allows for the evaporation of solvents. When the solvents are evaporated, a solid "film" is left behind. The film is then wound up in large-diameter rolls for subsequent adhesive coating. The casting sheet determines the texture of the film.

Because the vinyl is cast on the casting sheet in a relaxed state, this material offers very good dimensional stability. This process also allows the film to be very thin (most cast films are 2 mil), which helps with the conformability of the product. Material manufacturers recommend the use of cast films on substrates such as fleets, vehicles, recreational vehicles or boats where the customer wants a "paint-like" finish that will last a long ti

Like cast, calendered film also gets its name from the manufacturing process. These films may also be referred to as intermediate, 4 mil, short-term or economy. Calendered vinyl is formulated with similar raw materials as cast, except that no solvents are used. The batch is mixed and heated to a molten state that resembles pizza dough. Once the film reaches this molten state it is extruded through a die and is then fed through a series of calendering rolls. These polished steel rolls progressively squeeze and stretch the vinyl into a flat sheet (similar to flattening out dough with a rolling pin). Because the film is stretched into shape, it has some degree of memory and therefore is less dimensionally stable than cast vinyl films. This means that when a calendered film is exposed to heat the film will have a tendency to shrink or pull back towards its original form. Calendered films also tend to be thicker (usually 3.2 to 3.4 mils) than cast films because of the limitations of the calendering process. Unlike casting where a textured or smooth casting sheet is used to produce the film finish, calendering implements a special finish cylinder at the end of the process while the film is still warm. This process is extremely fast and is ideal for bulk production runs. Therefore, color matching is very unattractive on these machines. However, due to its bulk production with high yields, calendered films are relatively inexpensive.

The quality of calendered films can range from economy to intermediate with durability of one to five years. These films generally are not recommended for vehicle applications because they are thicker, less conformable and less durable than cast films.

The chart below lists several attributes of cast and calendered films and how they compare to one another.










3 in.

30 ft.

100 ft.

4 in.

40 ft.

150 ft.

6 in.

60 ft.

200 ft.

8 in.

80 ft.

350 ft

9 in.

90 ft.

400 ft.

10 in.

100 ft.

450 ft.

12 in.

120 ft.

525 ft.

15 in.

150 ft.

630 ft.

18 in.

180 ft.

750 ft.

24 in.

240 ft.

1,000 ft.

30 in.

300 ft.

1,250 ft.

36 in.

360 ft.

1,500 ft.

42 in.

420 ft.

1,750 ft.

48 in.

480 ft.

2,000 ft.

54 in.

540 ft.

2,250 ft.

60 in.

600 ft.

2,500 ft.


Color Visibility Chart


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