Vinyl Decals Vs Vinyl Stickers

What are vinyl decals? This is something we get asked a lot at Vinyl Revolution. Decals are very different from vinyl stickers. Once people find out exactly what a vinyl decal is the next question on their mind is how are they made? In this post, we explain the production process of the vinyl wizards at Vinyl Revolution. Each step needs great attention to detail to create the perfect vinyl decal.

Designing Vinyl Decals

To get the ball rolling, the vinyl decal is designed as vector file on the computer. Each line of the decal needs to be perfect. The size and outline must be exact to produce the vinyl decal. Once all of the lines are perfect it’s time to send the design to the plotter to be cut.

Design stage of vinyl decal

Cutting Vinyl Decals

The plotter cuts out the decal from the roll of vinyl loaded into it. The vector artwork is sent from the computer to the plotter through a production plugin. Vinyl plotters are different from printers. They don’t have a complicated print head with lots of nozzles. They have a very fine blade loaded into a special head. This reads the lines in the vector file and is rotated as the roll of vinyl moves back and forth. This very precise movement creates cuts into the roll of vinyl that reflect the design on the vector file. The cutting on the plotter can take a few seconds to cut a simple shape. It can take several hours when cutting more complex vinyl decal designs.

Vinyl decal on plotter

Weeding Vinyl Decals

The decals are now fresh off the plotter. It’s time for them to be weeded. Weeding is a signmaking term that means carefully removing all the excess vinyl from the decals. This process must be done by hand. It’s a tricky time-consuming process and can be very fiddly due to the complexity of some designs. Good thing the vinyl wizards here at Vinyl Revolution have a lot of experience! Once you remove the excess vinyl you can finally start to see your design.

Vinyl decal being weeded

Taping Vinyl Decals

Now that your vinyl decal is weeded, it’s it’s ready for the next step. The decal must be taped. We use high-quality tape that comes on big rolls at Vinyl Revolution. The tape is loaded onto a taping machine with a heavy rubber roller. We feed the weeded vinyl sheets through the taping machine. It’s important to keep the pressure perfectly even across the sheet. The decal is taped so you can stick it anywhere you want.

Vinyl decal being taped
Decal in taping process

Admiring Vinyl Decals

The vinyl decal has made it through each stage. It’s ready to be shipped. At Vinyl Revolution, your decal is packed in board-backed envelopes to protect it. This ensures the decal arrives to you as it left us, in perfect condition. Applying a decal can be tricky compared to your vinyl stickers. Don’t panic. That’s why we have how to videos. Make sure to watch these before applying your decals. Now sit back and enjoy!

Banksy vinyl decal lifestyle shot
Vinyl Macbook decal

Browse Our Vinyl Decals

Now you have seen how vinyl decals are produced isn’t it about time you found your favourite one? Below is a small selection of our vinyl Macbook decals.