Printing

In 2010 we purchased the HP Designjet L25500 Printer, which is a wide format printer which uses non-toxic, non solvent inks to produce top quality images. The images are printed on to high quality self-adhesive vinyl ready for application to various substrates. One of the best features of the machine, forgetting for a moment the environmental benefits, is the fact that the print comes off the machine dry and ready for application, or for immediate lamination – this is a significant benefit over and above solvent alternatives that have to be left to one side for a period of time for the solvents to fully evaporate.

Smaller printing work, and especially small label work, is executed on our faithful Gerber Edge 2 printer which has been a part of our business now for many, many years. The Gerber Edge is a graph- ics output device that permanently fuses high resolution images to 381mm precision punched vinyl. This printer is best suited to our short run, small sized labels such as Emergency Exit signs for buildings and vehicles.

Laminator

To ensure an image or label is able to withstand wear and tear or exposure to environmental pollutants for longer periods of time, the printing process may be followed by lamination of the print. This is done on our Polar 1600H+ Laminator which heat fuses a clear vinyl layer over the print. This clear layer protects the print from scratch- ing, rubbing or UV damage for a greater period of time than if the print was left uncovered. The lamination process also puts a gloss over the print giving it a smooth surface, which is completely washable.

Plotters

Following the printing process many of our vinyl images require to be ‘die-cut’ to a specified profile. This profile will have been ‘built-in’ to the design before the file was sent through to the printer so the image and its outline are one process. These die-cuts are executed on either our Gerber Envision, which works well with the Gerber Edge printer and our Mimaki Cutting Plotter. The plotter cuts the unnecessary vinyl away from the digital image or the labels so only the required material remains. Some types of signs do not require the images to be printed onto the vinyl but rather they are cut from the vinyl itself. This is done on the Mimaki Plotter, which cuts the lettering or logos out of the vinyl.

Whether the graphics are printed or whether they are cut straight from the vinyl, the graphics are then applied to the substrate as required. This could be straight onto a vehicle, an illuminated sign, an ACM sign or any of the almost unlimited surfaces to which the graphics can be applied.

Good, Old-Fashioned Paint.

Even though the sign industry has moved almost entirely towards the use of printers and plotters for the execution of graphics, there is still the occasional situation where the graphics need to be hand sign written to a surface. This normally occurs when the surface is very rough, for instance in a concrete block or stucco wall. We have staff that have mastered the art of hand sign writing and are still able to offer this option when producing a client’s sign.

When deciding what size to make a sign, it is important to keep in mind the sizes of the material you may use as a substrate. Making use of the maximum area of a sheet and keeping the sizes within the sheet dimension can make for a more economical sign. When producing a sign, which will use more than one sheet of material, it is important to visualise where the join in the sheets will occur.

To assist you in deciding on the size of sign you may like, see below some of the common substrates we use in the manufacture of our signs. Other substrates are also available upon inquiry.

Material Name
Material thickness
Material Size
Colors
ACM 3mm/4mm/6mm 1220 x 2440 mm White, black, red, blue, green, yellow, metallic silver. Other colors on request.
4mm 3050 x 1500 mm
3600 x 1500 mm
4800 x 1500 mm
6150 x 1500 mm
SignPly 9 mm / 10 mm / 12 mm / 17 mm 1220 x 2440 mm White, black
Acrylic 2 mm / 3 mm / 4.5 mm / 6 mm / 8 mm / 10 mm 1220 x 2440 mm Clear
3 mm / 4.5 mm / 6 mm / 10 mm 1220 x 2440 mm Opal White / Black
Coreflute 3.3 mm / 5 mm / 8 mm 1220 x 2440 mm White
5 mm 1220 x 2440 mm Black

Acceptable Programmes

Files may be provided on

USB Stick
Email files (up to 9Mb)
CD-Rom
Formats accepted: PDF, EPS, AI, PSD, Tiff, and High Resolution Jpeg. Convert ALL fonts to outlines/curves. All files to be in CMYK. Depending on what media we are printing on to there may be a slight colour change as we can only match to the process equivalent of Pantone colours.
If possible, please supply a colour Jpeg with your file. Due to the inconsistent nature of inkjet or laser prints we prefer not to match to such print samples. If you want the colours to be accurate, please supply us PMS Pantone colours we can match to.
Please do not supply Internet files as the resolution is too low – the result will be too pixilated.
Please convert all text to paths/curves.
Set up layout files in the correct proportion and advise us what scale you have used. Use 300 – 350 DPI particularly for larger files. If supplying a PDF file, please supply at 400DPI, CMYK, set up to the correct scale as it is not easy to adjust such files. Allow a 50 – 100mm bleed on the background colour only.
If you require a bleed, please clearly indicate this on your artwork – we recommend a 10mm bleed on each side.
Scan from the best artwork possible. Scanning from newspapers, magazines, etc are not recommended as these give a low quality print.