Wall Applications

Basic Guide to Registering Vinyl Graphics

Registering vinyl graphics can make applying multiple panels across a large graphic laborious. The good news is, we’re here to make your life easier! Today, we’re covering the fundamentals for registering vinyl graphics from creating the perfect registration mark to removing the liner. Here is it, our Basic Guide to Registering Vinyl Graphics.

Key Terms

We have outlined key terms that you will need to know to better understand how to register vinyl graphics.

  • Bleed – excess print that is trimmed away when the film is cut to final size.
  • Substrate Size – the size of the area to be applied on a substrate.
  • Skew – the wall or substrate, is level, square, etc.
  • Overlap – the amount of film that covers the next panel.
  • Registration Point – Easily identifiable, unique shape/line along the edge of a print in the overlap.
  • Key Panel – starting panel, usually determined by key graphic element or edge of the panel.
  • Tack Point – tape or exposed adhesive that will hold the panel to the wall or substrate during registration.

Registering Vinyl Graphics 101

Registering vinyl graphics, when used in wide format printing means, to adjust to secure exact correspondence. Printed graphics are designed to fit a specific substrate, but large graphics will have multiple printed panels requiring you to register/align your graphic to a substrate before installation.  But, why is registering appropriately critical to a successful installation? If not appropriately navigated, registering panels will take longer, then applying the panel or require removal and reinstallation. Knowing how to register your graphic properly will lower application time and increase quality and efficiency.

How to Register Vinyl Graphics

Step One – Layout and lineup your graphic by each panel on a clean table or flat surface, or two panels at a time, space allowing.

Step Two – Identify three registration points on each overlapping edge of the panels, a high, middle, and a low on the panel and fit them together.

Step Three – Use tape or a Stabilo pencil to make marks near the registration point. Tape works best and can be cut with a squeegee to release and maintain marks. The tape now becomes your general registration point.

Step Four – Using a liner knife, make a single cut in the liner 3″ – 5″ (7 cm – 13 cm) below your high registration point. This should be done prior to mounting to the substrate.

Step Five – Using tape or exposed adhesive, fit your key panel to the wall or substrate right above or below your registration marks. If you use the area of the registration marks, you run the risk of removing the mark or distorting the film with the registration mark on it.

Step Six – Once the panel is fitted with no tension, release any lower tack points of the panel and pull the liner from the liner slit just under the first registration or tack point. Pull the liner tight against itself with even tension.

Step Seven – Once you have exposed 8″ – 10″ (20 cm – 25 cm) of adhesive while pulling the liner, begin application at the point of the liner slit. Work down the panel and then remove the liner and apply the upper 15-20% of the panel.

Step Eight – Remove the visible registration marks and repeat the process for each remaining panel.

As you can see, the proper registration of vinyl graphics can save you time, frustration, and increase your productivity.

Are you installing wall graphics? Before you take the above steps on vinyl graphic registration, make sure you watch our video on how to test your wall for media compatibility.

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Corporate Digital Printing Signage

COVID-19: Free Downloadable Signs

As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, signage is playing a crucial role in keeping communities safe and informed. We understand the challenges businesses are facing, and we are committed to doing our part in assisting in any way we can. Our team has come together to create downloadable signs for you to use that communicate essential information to the public, your customers, or your employees.

All signs are available in high visibility and low ink options as well as English and Spanish. To download the files, click the link below each image group.

COVID-19 Prevention Signage

Physical Distancing Signage

Prevention Posters

Healthcare Signage

Restaurant Signage

General Open and Closed Signage

Curbside Pickup Signage

Covid-19 Orange Curbside Pick-up Here Sign
Click to Download English
Click to Download Spanish

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Staying Vigilant During COVID-19


The world is facing an issue of enormous scale and importance. With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the incredible speed at which things are changing around us, Arlon’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, partners, and community. Guided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials, we are preparing and taking action for all possible scenarios to ensure we have the right plans and resources in place. Proactively, we are focused on the following:

Health and Safety

Our dedicated task force has put in place immediate risk reduction protocols for our employees such as social distancing, halting all non-essential business travel, canceling events and attendance at upcoming trade shows, offering flexible work from home policies and extended paid sick leave, and implementing a stringent office cleaning and hygiene procedures. We are communicating regularly with our employees to keep them informed as the situation continues to develop.

Partner Support

As we temporarily halt business travel to reduce exposure to our employees, we remain connected and productive during this challenging time. We can support you and your customers using phone, email, and live chat.

Continuity of Supply

Our Placentia, CA and Weifang, China factories remain active as we keep the safety of our operational employees top of mind. Additionally, our suppliers are working with us to mitigate any delays that might occur with the evolving situation. To date, we have not experienced any delays in our production.

We’re committed to being both responsive and responsible, navigating these times with everyone’s safety in mind.


Chad Russell – President, Americas

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Vehicle Applications

Boat & Watercraft Wrap Applications

Vinyl wraps have become increasingly popular on boats and watercraft’s, making them the everyday option over paint.  When comparing the cost of painting, a boat wrap will save you time, are long-lasting, and a fraction of the price.

With no surprise installing on a boat or watercraft is very different from installing on a vehicle. If you’re planning on wrapping one of these, take a moment to read our current list of best practices ensure you’re on the right track.

Boat wrapped in DPF 6100XLP
Wrapped by Paul Oliver of Anchored Designs using DPF 6100XLP

Before we jump into the best practices, let’s break down the benefits.

Benefits of a Boat Wrap

Customization: Whether you’re promoting your business or looking to stand out, the customization options are endless.

Ease: Unlike paint, if your vinyl wrap gets scratched, you can replace the wrap reasonably quickly. 

Eco-Friendly:  Marine paints are toxic to marine life; making vinyl boat wraps the effective eco-friendly alternative.

Value: If the time comes of reselling your boat that has a custom wrap, the wrap can be easily changed when sold.  Your wrap will add value by saving the future owner a costly paint job.

Boat Wrapped in SLX Cast Wrap
Wrapped by Nukem Graphics using SLX® Cast Wrap

Best Practices

Measure Twice:  Unlike vehicles, boats and watercraft’s don’t have easy to find templates and have sharp edges. If you can’t find a template for your boat, be sure to take accurate measurements. 

Clean, Clean, Clean: Always clean and prep any surface before installing vinyl. Clean your boat or watercraft by following the steps found here on Perfecting Your Vehicle Prep.

Thick Overlaminate : Use a 2-mil (50 micron) cast overlaminate for max abrasion resistance; a thicker overlaminate will protect the vinyl from being torn on small items found in the water. 

Over-lap Seams:  At the front of the watercraft or boat, over-lap the two seams of the vinyl by one inch. Overlapping the seam that gets the most wear and tear will help prolong your wrap and leave less room for lifting.  

Waterline: Vinyl is relatively resilient, but it can be damaged if kept in water 24/7, ensure the longevity of your boat wrap by keeping it one inch above the waterline.

Boat wrapped with SLX Cast Wrap
Wrapped by Nukem Graphics using SLX® Cast Wrap

From boats to jet-skis, stand out on the water this summer with an eye-catching vinyl wrap. 

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Digital Printing Wall Applications

7 Easy Tips & Tricks for Weeding Small Letters & Decals

7 Tips and Tricks - Weeding Letters and Decals

Do you know the hardest part of making small decals and letters? Weeding!

If you are not familiar with weeding, it is removing all excess material from any decal or graphics that are cut-to-shape. Weeding small letters and decals can be a difficult task, but learning how to weed small letters and decals is crucial knowledge to have in the sign industry.

Here’s a rundown of our best tips whether you’re looking to take a design to the next level or need a refresher on weeding small letter and decals follow these tips and tricks below.

1. You need the proper tools, having the right tools will make your weeding a breeze. Our technical experts agreed that the YelloHook from YelloTools is the perfect addition to any tool kit.

Man weeding letters

2. Choose the correct vinyl with a tight liner release. A firm liner release ensures that small decals stay down during weeding, and allows you to weed with greater confidence and speed. Arlon recommends all of our cut graphics, and for print, we recommend DPF 6000RP White.

3. Check on your machine; confirm that your blade is in pristine condition. Using a dull blade will lead to poorly cut decals and make the weeding process very difficult.

4. Before starting your job, perform a depth cut test. Running a cut test ensures that the vinyl cuts thoroughly and that the decal is not attached to the excess material.

Pressing a button on a weeding machine

5. Weed directly after cutting, waiting too long to weed after cutting will allow the adhesive to flow back, causing the design to lift with the excess vinyl.

6. Try your best to keep your fonts simple; try using Sans Serif fonts. The sharper the edges on a font, the longer your weeding process will be.

Hands weeding a white vinyl

7. All of these tips are important to the weeding process, but it all comes back to one thing, patience. Take your time when weeding small decals and letters, essential but straightforward, weeding is a time-consuming task that is done best when you’re taking your time.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for weeding small letters? Let us know in the comments below.

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Wall Applications

Pre-Installation Steps for Wall Vinyl Applications

With ease of application and the ability to turn a plain wall into a memorable display, digital printable vinyl has become the new decorating trend for interior and exterior walls. Wall installation may seem straight forward, but wall graphics come with a unique set of challenges. Take the below pre-installation steps into account to help ensure your next wall installation is a success.

Surface Preparation

Before using a vinyl to wall compatibility test it’s important to guarantee that the surface is free of loose dirt and particles; brush off all spider webs, remove aggregate or dirt from the grout lines and wall with a broom. For interior walls, clean off all the loose dirt with a wet low-lint towel and use Isopropyl alcohol to wipe the wall down. Taking this step will make for a clean slate to conduct a compatibility test.

Pre-installation tip: Brush off all spider webs, remove aggregate or dirt from the grout lines and wall with a broom.

The Importance of a Wall/Paint Compatibility Test

There isn’t a one size fits all for wall vinyl. With hundreds of different surfaces, it’s important to conduct a site survey before deciding if the wall can be wrapped and what vinyl you need to use.

After determining that the integrity of the wall is solid, the next step is to identify the type of paint on the wall. Details to consider for this step are: Is the paint on the wall compatible with the vinyl that will be applied? How long has the paint been on the wall? How many layers of paint are there? During the application, will the vinyl peel off any paint if repositioning is needed? These are all important points to consider since most of the low or zero VOC paints or all-in-one paint and are no longer compatible with most PSA films due to the additives that are added in the paint formulation.

After the wall compatibility test you'll be ready to install.

Out Gassing the Printed Film Prior to Lamination

If the film is printed with solvent or eco-solvent based inks, allow the film to outgas for 24 hours prior to lamination and installation. Trapped solvent in the film will make the vinyl film soft making it more difficult to install. Trapped solvent will also impact the adhesive bond strength to the wall.

Using the Right Tools

For installing wall wraps we recommended using a heat gun, extension cords, cutting blades, RollePros, and an IR thermometer.

Pre-installation tip: We recommended using a heat gun, extension cords, cutting blades, RollePros, and an IR thermometer

No matter what the deadline is for a project, don’t rush; take all the pre-installation steps to ensure your next wall installation will be a success.

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Digital Printing

Print Profile FAQ’s

Printer profiles are used daily in a print shop to achieve the highest quality color prints, and they play a significant role in the success of your project. Each vinyl manufacturer has different gloss levels and white points that affect the color of your graphics, meaning that even with the best print profile it’s important to make sure you are working with the best product.  With companies like Arlon providing profiles for most printers, you would think you have all your bases covered, right? Not exactly! To help when you run into any roadblocks when creating print profile we’ve answered some of our frequently asked questions.

1. Why is an ICC profile important for printing?

ICC profiles provide accurate color, optimized ink linearization, and printer heat settings. Without the correct media profile, the media may get overloaded with ink, head strikes may occur during printing from temperature being too high or large of a gradient between the heat zones, or an unnatural color may arise.

Printer Profiles: Configuration

2. Why is ink configuration important?

Printer manufacturers design their printers to be able to run 4 colors (CMYK), 6 colors (CMYKLcLm), 7 colors (CMYKLcLmLk) or more and because of this, each ink configuration requires its own unique profile on the printer.

3. What is the difference between 6, 8, and 12 pass?

A 6 pass profile will require the print head to laterally travel 6 times to print 1 linear inch. Lower pass numbers tend to lead to lower resolution and faster printing speed. This means that a higher pass number, like a 12 pass, will provide higher resolution but slower print speed.

Printer Profiles: Checking PassesArlon’s Tech Service Engineer Chi Chan checking the pass of the printer

4. What pass should I choose when printing?

– 4-6 passes are best used when printing a banner.
– 8-12 passes can be used when printing for a car wrap and canvas printing.
– 12 passes and higher are great for backlit signage as it needs a high ink load.

5. What is the general temperature for vinyl regardless of what printer?

In general pre-heat: 96.8°F -104°F (36°C-40°C), Printer: 100.4°F – 104°F (38°C-40°C), Post heat: 122°F- 131°F (50°C-55°C).

6. What happens when the heater setting on a printer is too high?

Latex: Blisters can develop on the vinyl surface; print quality can also be reduced.
Solvent: Waffling can cause risky print head strikes and damage.

Printer Profiles Problem: Blistering under High HeatBlistering occurs when a heater setting on a printer is too high.

If you’re ever questioning what print profile to use check out Arlon’s ICC Profile Page and if you need help unloading a profile, wrapitright.com has videos for several RIP softwares and printers.

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Digital Printing Events Manufacturing Vehicle Applications

Arlon Provides an Interactive Experience at SGIA 2018

A huge thank you to all that visited our booth at SGIA 2018 Las Vegas, NV! This year the show had more than 25,000 registered attendees with a sold-out Expo floor. The aisles were filled continuously with attendees excited to see the latest sign and graphics technology.  Arlon had a very successful show, and in case you couldn’t make it here is what you missed.

Attendees flocked to the Arlon booth to get hands-on experience with the newest FLITE Technology™ products, SLX™ Cast Wrap and IllumiNITE Wrap™. During the show, the booth was busy with people participating and watching the Wrap Dash. Installers raced against the clock installing SLX Cast Wrap on a truck tailgate and with no surprise the ease of installation that FLITE Technology provides had participants wrapping at an average time of 6:45.

The fastest Wrap Dash time was set by Eric Peixoto of Incognito Wraps

Arlon’s Marketing Director of the Americas, Nicole Witt noted the wrap dash was a great success saying, “We wanted to create a competitive, yet exciting challenge that would attract talented installers of all levels to get hands-on with SLX Cast Wrap.” She went on to say, “We were thrilled with the engagement and buzz this created at the SGIA Show.”

Attendees gathering to watch the Wrap Dash Challenge

In addition to the Wrap Dash, attendees were lined up to get their chance to take a quick tour in the Dark Room Showcase. Visitors were able to experience the vibrant nighttime effects that IllumiNITE Wrap and R108 Conspicuity Tape can have together in adding impressions to corporate branding while keeping safety top of mind.

Other highlights included our wrap experts Matt Braswell and Louie Calma holding daily wrap demonstrations showcasing best practices for a successful installation using Arlon products. Arlon Sales Representatives we’re seen throughout the booth providing knowledge and details on all Arlon products.

Technical Sales team member Matt Braswell showing the benefits of IllumiNITE Wrap™

Overall, this show had fantastic energy. Arlon’s booth was a success in providing attendees with an interactive experience. From the Wrap Dash and the Dark Room Showcase to in-booth demonstrations, Arlon brought a fresh feel to the SGIA tradeshow.

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Vehicle Applications

Perfecting Your Vehicle Prep

Perfecting Your Vehicle Prep

One of the most common mistakes when installing vinyl on a vehicle is not taking the time to prep your surface. A vehicle that isn’t properly prepped can compromise the adhesive bond and ultimately cause failure in your application. We’ve outlined some tips to help you through the important process of vehicle prep!

While it can be time-consuming, following the steps below will help create a perfect vinyl wrap on your vehicle. This will take your wrapping game to the next level and also help prevent damage.

Vehicle Prep Perfection


The first step in prepping for the perfect vehicle wrap is washing your vehicle to remove any wax and debris. Wax will affect the adhesive bond on vinyl and not allow the vinyl to properly stay down. Handwashing is the most thorough way to ensure all areas and surfaces of the vehicle have been properly cleaned.

Vehicle Prep - Washing the Car

To start the process we recommend using water and a simple degreaser, like dawn dish soap; 1 TBS for every two gallons of water should do the trick. Using a microfiber towel wash the entire vehicle properly.

Trouble Spots

Corners, cracks, and weather trims are all areas that can be tricky to get to and require extra attention. Using the rough side of a sponge on these areas will help remove hidden debris and wax.

Vehicle Prep - Trouble Spots

Cleaning Solution

Even after a hand wash, the surface is not completely cleaned.  The last step will be going over the vehicle surfaces with a clean lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Using a spray bottle, fill this with equal parts IPA and water. Spray the mixture directly on your substrate and wipe down immediately with your lint-free cloth. Wiping the vehicle down with this mixture will completely clean the surface of any leftover soap and wax.

Vehicle Prep - Cleaning Solution

Last Steps

After the wash, dry every part of the vehicle with a microfiber cloth. Once your vehicle is 100% dry, you can start your install with confidence.

Rushing through the vehicle prep can have implications on the success of your wrap so it’s important to never skip through this process!

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Digital Printing Manufacturing Vehicle Applications

Caring for Your Vehicle Wrap in Hot Weather

Hot weather wraps need extra care

Summer months are known for having the longest and hottest days of the year. During this time, the amount of UV exposure increases significantly. An extended amount of UV exposure is the greatest enemy to your vehicle wrap. In these hot weather months, your vehicle is going to be susceptible to damage caused by environmental factors. Protect your investment from damage by following the steps below:

What does Arlon do for Weather Testing?

When developing a product, Arlon tests products in extreme climates.  We test new products in hot weather climates like Florida, California, and Arizona. During the testing process, we are constantly checking for browning, shrinking, and cracking. This is done to ensure that when you use our film your application will withstand the high temperatures.

What can you do to Protect Your Vehicle Wrap?

  1. Keep Your vehicle Out of Direct Sunlight
  • After a period of time, the rays of the sun can take their toll on your vehicle. When you’re not driving your car, it’s best to keep it inside and away from harmful UV Rays. With this in mind, always try to park in a shaded area whenever available.
  1. Use A Recommended Protective Overlaminate
  • Protective overlaminates are formulated to provide your vehicle wrap with UV protection. Overlaminates act as an additional barrier from the sun. Read more about the importance of overlaminates HERE.
  1. Brush Off Dirt and Debris in Between Washes
  • In the summer months, dirt and airborne particles can be baked into the film, leaving a stain on the vehicle. This is most common in high volume traffic areas. The stain may appear as black dust or overspray but you will not be able to remove it from your vehicle. Always make sure to take a few minutes each day and brush off any particles that may have fallen on to your vehicle.
  1. Hand Wash Weekly
  • How often you need to wash your vehicle will vary based on your location. You’ll know it’s time to wash your vehicle when you start to see a build up that cannot be wiped off by hand. On hot days, we recommend hand washing with cold-water, preferably in a shaded area. Wash with automotive grade car wash soap and follow the recommended dilution.

When temperatures hit triple digits, your wraps need a little extra care. By following the steps listed above, you can keep your vehicle wrap looking brand new.

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