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Vehicle Lettering with Reflective Vinyl

Lettering a Vehicle with Reflective Vinyl

Using reflective vinyl to letter a vehicle.

A custom logo project.

Advertising with a car logo is a great marketing strategy.  It’s pretty much a moving billboard with a one-time payment.

This particular project was so much fun for us.  We created the shaded appearance you see in the photo with the use of reflective vinyl.  Looking to make a sort of ghost effect of the image, we applied a black reflective vinyl onto a black car.  Depending on the time of day and the angle at which the lettering is being seen, the logo will appear differently.

Once the design was created, cut, weeded and masked, we set out to letter the car with the decal.  With our supplies in tow, we began the install process applying the text first, then the stars.  Tape, measure, move, measure, move, measure and measure once more to be sure.  When we had it where we wanted it, we peeled off the backing paper, carefully squeegeed it into place, and removed the transfer tape.  We repeated the same process on the other side, as well as the back, and also added a small text image on the front.       

Choosing reflective lettering for this project not only makes it look awesome, but also increases the amount of visibility of the design at night.

Check out some of our reflective decals and pieces that are available for purchase!

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Decals – A Definition

Decals - A Definition

All about decals.

The what, the who, the where, and the why of a decal.

What is a decal exactly?

A decal is a design or image that is created on or cut out of a specific type of paper, commonly vinyl.  Decals are able to transfer onto a variety of surfaces including glass, metal, porcelain, and more.

So, it sounds like decals are stickers. 

Are decals and stickers the same?

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, decals and stickers are not the same.  Decals are very similar to stickers, but there are differences.  The main distinction between a decal and a sticker is that a decal must be transferred.  It is not peel and stick like a sticker.  In order to install a decal, one must remove the decal from what is called backing paper, apply to the desired surface, and then remove the transfer paper.  Decals also tend to be more durable and last longer than a sticker.

Who would choose a decal?

Decals are a popular preference among many types of people for a variety of reasons. 

Business owners frequently use decals as a way to help establish and maintain a company’s name and imprint.  Being able to design custom logos in custom sizes allows a professional to stand out and be seen.  It takes advertising to a whole new level. 

Being so readily available at the moment, the use of decals has also peaked the interest of the everyday consumer.  From personalizing just about anything to creating vinyl works of art, a decal may just be the way to go for that unique style!

Where can decals be placed?

Decals are commonly used outdoors because of their durability, but they can actually be placed just about anywhere.  As long as the surface that the decal is being applied to is clean, dry, and smooth, a decal can usually adhere to it.  From windows to walls, inside to outside, there are not many spots a decal can’t go!

Why use a decal?

Professionals typically choose decals when looking for a way to establish and promote their company and ideas.  Decals are an ideal option for use on outdoor logo signs and window designs as they come in a wide variety of colors, are very durable, and are affordable to boot!  In addition, using vinyl on banners, lawn signs, and other promotional items make a great marketing tool.

Decals are a wonderful way to add a touch of personalization to a favorite piece, as well.  Whether it’s a custom made design for a project, license plate for a vehicle or an address for a mailbox, vinyl decals are extremely versatile. 

Where can decals be purchased?

Check out our eBay store, Green Hill Graphics, to purchase awesome decals!  We’re always excited to try new things, so feel free to contact us for a special request!

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Decorating with Decals – Kitchen Edition

Decorating the Kitchen with Decals

Unique decorating ideas using decals in the kitchen.

Customize your kitchen appliances with decals and stickers!

Decals and stickers are a great way to add a little personality to the possibly the greatest room in the house – the kitchen!  With constantly changing concepts and ideas, dressing up those regular pieces is a snap!  Simple to put on and easy to take off, decals are an amazing option when you want to make ordinary pieces extraordinary.

Check out these awesome ideas for sprucing up your everyday items in the kitchen! 

A few of our favorite decals for the refrigerator are fridge faces!  Bringing a little personality to the most used appliance in the kitchen, fridge faces are so much fun.  Make a happy fridge, a hungry fridge, or even a super cool fridge with these amazing face decals.  Not only do these faces look awesome on the refrigerator, they are also great on other items such as the stove, trash can, or even the dishwasher!

Speaking of the dishwasher, stickers are a wonderful way to indicate what’s going on inside of that thing!   Choosing fun and unique decals for the front of your dishwasher will help keep everyone in the house aware of what’s going on.   Stickers such as vacant – no vacancy, load – unload, clean – dirty, and wash – put away are all wonderful decals for the dishwasher. 

Another great way to spruce up those boring kitchen appliances is with fun designs and patterns.  Decorate the toaster with lovely wildflowers.  Add some colorful polka dots to that countertop mixer.  Even the oven and microwave would look wonderful with a few decals and stickers! 

Be creative with all kinds of kitchen decals and stickers!

With the use of decals and stickers, there are endless options when it comes to making the everyday items in your kitchen fabulous.  Available in a variety of colors and fonts to match any color scheme or kitchen décor, there is a decal for everyone!

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Vinyl Decals on Canvas Totes

Decals on Canvas Totes?

Design tote bags with vinyl art.

Looking for a way to dress up that plain old tote?  Why not go for a decal! 

With a little imagination, you can transform a boring old tote bag into a truly unique masterpiece.  Whether you choose to do it yourself with an iron-on, or you go another route and order a custom made tote, consider the basic bag no more!

Iron-on decals or transfers are a quick and easy way to spruce up an otherwise dull tote bag.  Commonly, iron-ons can be found at your local craft store.  Offering a wide variety of premade images that are relatively inexpensive, iron-on transfers are a wonderful way to personalize your ordinary tote.  Iron-on decals also have quite a few advantages, which is why they might be the right choice for you.  They can be applied rather effortlessly to most types of fabrics.  They are also almost always washer and dryer safe, and tend to last quite a while as long as they are properly applied and continuously taken care of.

Another way to go would be to purchase a tote that can be made to order just for you.  Whether you find a bag with a specific design you like or you want to bring your own idea to life, ordering a custom tote is another option available that can turn a simple tote into an amazing tote.  Generally, store bought or custom ordered tote bags are made with a specific type of vinyl that is used with a heat press.  Heat press vinyl or cad-cut material also has its advantages.  Heat press vinyl is extremely durable and will typically last the life of the fabric that its applied to.   It is also available in a broad range of colors, patterns, and textures, making personalization a snap.  In addition, a heat press vinyl image is custom cut, leaving no background like an iron-on does.

With these awesome decal options, you can add your personality to any ordinary tote!  How would you customize your tote bag? 

Looking for some inspiration?  Find a few of our totes here.

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The Advantages of Vehicle Lettering

The Advantages of Lettering a Vehicle - Get Noticed!

Lettering your vehicle as a marketing tool.

To letter, or not to letter…

Whether adding a brand to the company van or your everyday personal car, mobile marketing looks like a good way to go.  It is a brilliant tactic to increase business exposure without breaking the bank.

Hear are a few reasons why we like vehicle lettering:

It’s Noticeable.

A lettered vehicle is always being seen whether the car is parked in a lot, sitting in traffic, or driving out on the road.  As its range of travel gets wider, the number of people that see it gets greater.

It’s Affordable.

Vinyl decals as a whole are relatively inexpensive.  These days, even custom designs are fairly easy on the pocket.  When compared to other styles of marketing, vehicle lettering is definitely a budget friendly option.

It’s Modest.

Lettering a vehicle can make for a more subtle way to publicize a business.  People can look, or not look, the choice is theirs.   Because this type of exposure is not overpowering, it may be more appealing to a viewer.

It’s Durable.

Vinyl lettering can withstand extreme temperatures and changing weather conditions so it’s made for outdoor use.  With a long vinyl life of about six to eight years, lettering a vehicle can be a strong advertising choice.

It’s Versatile.

From color to content, personal preferences can be selected making each vinyl image unique.  With so many options available, vehicle lettering can bring an idea to life. 

And furthermore…

For those who like the idea of vehicle lettering but are finding it hard to commit to actually doing it, there is an alternative.  Choose a magnet instead!  Have the benefits of vehicle lettering while also having the option to remove it.  A custom magnet allows the freedom to advertise your way.  Put it on.  Take it off.  You decide.  

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Wooden Toy Car for Children

Wooden Toy Car for Kids

For these kids, wooden, toy cars I used a combination of Maple and Mahogany, laminated together.
The blank I made measured roughly 5.25″ x 8.25″ and over 2″ thick.
I used Adobe Illustrator to come up with a template. As you can see I wasn’t satisfied with the first design so I switched it completely. It sorta has the Chevy Bel Air feel with the wings. Or the Batmobile.
I used the bandsaw to cut them out after I glued the template on. I used a 3/8″ round over on all the edges. Since these will be for children I didn’t want anything sharp.
I drilled the holes for the wheels and pegs that I purchased online. Much nicer than what I would have come up with. I drilled a 3/4″ hole for a window/finger grab.
There was a lot of sanding involved. A lot of sanding. But after they were sanded down with 220 grit I used some beeswax on everything for protection and all-natural.

Download the template here!

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How to Install a Decal

How to Install a Decal or Sticker

How do I apply this decal?

So, you got your new sticker in the mail or you picked it up from your local shop, and you just want to make sure you are putting it on right.  We all remember the sticker packs we got as children.  The small sheet with about 15 to 20 different stickers printed on.  

I know, they were great. You would just simply use your nail to grab the corner of the sticker and peel it off. Then you had haphazardly put them all over your furniture, tv, brother, or mom’s car windows.  So, why do you need to know how to install a sticker?

Vinyl decals are similar in most respects to those stickers we knew as kids. The same basic principle is there, one side is sticky and the other is not. However, most single-color vinyl decals are what is called “die cut”.  Die-cut just means the image is cut out of a solid roll of vinyl, using a machine that has a small blade attached.  The design is sent from the computer using design software and the vinyl cutter cuts it out.  Then the excess or waste vinyl is removed leaving behind the cut design.

Since there are usually smaller pieces within the design, simply trying to apply them individually would be next to impossible.  This is where masking application tape comes into play.  The tape is like typical masking tape but with much less adhesive and specifically made for vinyl.  It is applied to the entire design then trimmed to cover just a little more.

Now your decal is sandwiched between the masking application tape and the backing paper.  This is usually how you will receive a die cut vinyl decal.  So, to install from this point, just follow these simple instructions!

Single Color Die Cut Decal Installation

1. You are going to want to test fit the placement of your new decal before continuing.  After you have picked the spot, you’re going to place it, clean it thoroughly of any grease, grime, dirt, salt, or wax.  You can use some solvents but be sure to clean those off with regular soap and water afterward.

2. Depending on the vinyl used your backing paper will most likely be a white or blue shiny paper material.  You will want to slowly peel that away from the decal.  Go slowly and be mindful of any smaller pieces that may not be sticking properly.  (If you notice the decal isn’t sticking to the application tape, stop.  Flip it over, and using a credit card or squeegee, apply firm even pressure to the entire decal working from the inside out.  This should help re-stick the vinyl to the tape.)

3. Now you should be holding the decal that is stuck to the application tape.  Carefully place the decal where you have just cleaned and prepped.  I find it easier to place one edge down first in the correct spot, then slowly work my way to the other edge using a squeegee or credit card.  Once it is completely down and in place, use your squeegee or credit card to again apply pressure to the entire decal.  This will work out any air bubbles that may be trapped between the decal the surface.  (Do not be overly concerned with smaller air bubbles that may be present.  Exposure to the sun will help dissipate and shrink the vinyl into place.)

4. Last step.  Slowly peel back the application tape leaving the decal to stick on whatever surface you chose.  I try to peel the tape back over itself, keeping it as close to the surface as possible.  This really helps keep the vinyl from coming off with the tape.  Once the tape is completely off just using your finger to push down all edges and corners to secure them.  That is it!