Literally it was like train tracks on my vinyl. The blue painters tape held my graphic together like a train track and then applying it… train wreck…

Let’s start from the beginning, I design graphics, print the vinyl and apply the majority of my design to poster boards, plastic backings or walls and surfaces… easy! Screw them up or use industrial double sided tape, good! Square shaped vinyl prints, tear and separated the backing and apply – done!

Now… the project was to apply a logo, die cut to a ride… using the Summa DC5 printer, this print and kiss cut was easy. Cut the logo out into a square and remove the excess vinyl. Now, I saw somewhere that you can use tape, a low adhesive tape to stick to the vinyl. So I placed a few strips of blue painters tape on top to help with the shape of the die cut and when ready – separate from the backing and apply…

Did I mention 🚂 wreck!? My vinyl bended over itself, I couldn’t hold it up straight, it was horrible. I knew the process was in the right direction but I was using the wrong tools.

I got with my printer’s customer service, looked up YouTube videos and started to learn this process.

Here is what’s needed when getting ready to apply plotted/die cut shape vinyl to any substrate:

  • Print
  • Clear application tape
  • Easy tack application fluid
  • Squeegee
  • Snap blade knife
  • Rubber roller and river brush (optional)

Again, my first time, I only had the vinyl and blue painters tape…. this project required more tools than I had initially imagined.

It was an experience and failure that made it possible to design, print and prep vinyls like a pro! I became a student of the process to print, prep and apply to small and large projects.

Sign up to my newsletter and get the latest info!

Published by Orlando Ayala

Orlando Ayala is a Los Angeles-based Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Digital Marketer and Experience Strategist. Currently Orlando is the Creative Director with Pacific Park on the World Famous Santa Monica Pier leading the creative and strategic teams working in visual, traditional and digital mediums.