What is a Decal?
Decals are very simple in terms of the manufacturing process. A custom design is printed onto a roll of vinyl, polyester, or plastic material. The design is cut with a plotter, so that it can be easily peeled off for application. If you choose a laminated product, it is applied over the printing.
The simplicity of this process allows for no lengthy setup for production. No custom stamps or dies need to be produced. You get the best of both worlds: a made-to-order customized product, without the setup time (and cost) of other processes.
Ease of Use
A great reason to utilize decals is their ease of use. You simply remove the decal from the roll and place them on the surface.
They can be applied by anyone in a manner of a few seconds. No expertise or tools needed. If you can place a sticker you can place a decal.
There are no holes to mess with, no fasteners, and no rings. Peel and stick – it doesn’t get much easier than that. If you require affixing large quantities of tags on a frequent basis, you can save a ton of time by using decals.
Decals can be used for a variety of purposes and applications. They can work almost anywhere you need to place information, a logo, or a warning label.
One restriction with decals is they must use adhesive backing. It isn’t feasible to use holes in the plastic material to place them. If you absolutely must utilize holes for placement, you should lean toward metal tag options.
Keep in mind that decals are not the most durable tag solution. They can hold up in certain usage situations, but they are not nearly as resilient as metal tags.
Another potential issue that can arise – attempting to adhere the decal to a rough or non-flat surface. This is a situational issue, and needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. It depends on the surface, material, adhesive, size and shape, etc. Your manufacturer can work with you to determine if decals will work on the surface you need.
Vinyl decals and labels have many uses across various industries. For example, they can be used as safety decals to follow government or OSHA guidelines. This can be an effective way to save on costs without cutting corners on important standards.
There is also the option to integrate bar codes or a UID code into the decal. This opens up the ability for use in asset tagging, as well as other applications.
By using decals instead of metal for your inventory management solutions you could end up saving time and money.
Industries That Use Decals
How long will my decals last? It really depends on three factors: material, laminate, and usage.
You will typically get somewhere between 1 –6 years of use, dependent on those factors.
The material and laminate you choose will have a significant impact on the level of durability. Some materials are stronger than others. For example, a thick roll of Lexan is much more durable than your standard polyester. When running through the pros and cons for materials make sure to keep durability in mind.
When deciding what type of tag is right for you, you should consider the type of environment it will be in. Is it going to be exposed to harsh weather or chemicals?
Decals are not made to be frequently smashed, scraped, and damaged. They can withstand some every day usage, but are not as durable as metal labels.
If you want your decals to be more durable, you have the option for lamination. By adding a layer of laminate on top, the design is able to sustain greater amounts of wear and tear before showing signs of usage.
There are different types of laminate for different situations as well. For example, if you are looking for a glossy finish, you can get a laminate that adds a layer of gloss while also protecting the design. Security laminates can leave a “VOID” marking upon a surface if they are removed (perfect for asset tags or warranty stickers). Certain laminates are better suited for weather, chemicals, or even paint. In short, it comes down to your situation and what you need.
Laminate will also be at an additional cost – something to have in the back of your mind when figuring out your tag solutions. However, this can be a fair trade-off for the extra durability it provides.
You have many options in terms of materials for decal printing. Each material has different features and are suited for certain applications. If you are unsure what material to choose, your manufacturer can send samples or help you figure out exactly which is the best for you.
If you need total customization, decals are a fantastic option. They can be created using any image, cut to any shape, and use a variety of colors. Cut decals can be made to fit into specific placements as well. They can even include serialized (sequential) information and barcodes if necessary.
Printed decals can be die cut to any shape you need. Most decals are standard shapes such as rectangles or ovals. If you want a decal to be special cut to the outlines of a logo for example, it can be done. If you need a clear section in part of the decal while the rest in color, that’s doable as well.
The printing process allows for sequential data, but variable data can be very costly.
This is where decals really stand out from other tags.
Think of decals like custom stickers, but for industrial use. There a variety of vinyl sticker adhesives available, with different levels of strength. They range from general purpose all the way up to incredibly strong industrial grade adhesive.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know if an adhesive will work for you unless you are able to test it out yourself. Your manufacturer can send sample products to you for you to try and see if it’s the right one. If you do receive a sample, make sure you are patient – adhesives can take 24 to 48 hours before they are fully settled.
Again, the manufacturer you choose can guide you to which adhesive works best for you based on application and conditions in which you plan to use the decal.
What really makes decals stand out from other solutions is the ability for full color designs.
With other solutions, you are often confined to a single color. For example, anodized aluminum tags are typically confined to one solid hue.
The opposite is the case for decals. You can have as many colors as you want. You have the freedom to create a decal with vivid colors, which can not only look great but serve practical functions as well. Need a bold colored warning label that people won’t miss? A multi-color company logo?
It’s all possible with custom decals. Any image, any color, any design. Some applications require signs with color, such as GHS labels.
What is a decal?
When you need total customization of your product, decals can be an excellent choice. The sky is the limit in terms of what your design can be. If you want full color, high resolution designs or images, decals are likely the best choice for you.
They are incredibly simple to apply, and can be used on many surfaces. With lamination options, they can be more durable than you might expect.
By avoiding a lengthy setup, you are able to save time and potentially money as well.
Custom decals can be the right solution for you.