A Letterville Step By Step
Installing Vinyl On Banner
Chris Lovelady

Well to install bubble free vinyl on any surface there are very important thing you must do first. Surface prep is very important. If there is any possibility that there can be any grease or wax on your material I recommended a good degreaser I use Rapid Prep for this. After the degreasing I re clean use the Rapid TacII. when you do this cleaning you should use a unprinted white paper towels and do not go over the area that you already cleaned with the already used paper towel as you can contaminate. The surface should be lint and dust free as any of this lint/dust can create bubbles and the vinyl can trap the dust under it and cannot be removed.

A good squeegee free of nicks as vitally important. I used the 3M gold squeegees and on one end I place the fuzzy side of velcro for installing digital printed graphics and this eliminates the scratching of the printed graphics or even eliminating the little scratches on the cut graphics then you re squeegee.

A sharp squeegee free of nicks is very important as these nicks can be the biggest culprit of bubbles. The edge must be smooth and the best way I have found is to sharpen your squeegee. You can do this by rubbing the edge at an angle on another squeegee in a back and forth motion. Working both sides of the edge till you get a smooth nick free edge.

To do a banner the first thing I do after the cleaning it to tape the banner down to the table so that is does not move under the graphics, that would create installation problems. Measure and place the graphics to the banner according to your layout. I will be showing you how to do two kinds of hinges, a top hinge and a side hinge. Also I will show you how to register a 2 color graphic using registration marks.


After the graphics have been taped into place along the top edge we can now begin to install the graphics.

On a long line of copy with large letters I cut apart the letters for more manageable pieces.

To begin you start by removing the backer from the transfer tape, pulling it only half way down creating a kind of bridge to hold and keep the vinyl from touching the banner until you are ready to squeegee. Remember that the vinyl is pressure sensitive and will bond with and pressure that includes if it touches the banner and you try and pull it off.

OK now when you begin to squeegee start of course at the top and squeegee into the graphics holding the pulling horizontal but holding the squeegee at an angle so when you are pushing or pulling the squeegee you will be pushing the air to the bottom of the graphic not towards the area that you already applied. This is very important motion as this is one of the ways to trap the air having the wrong squeegee angle. I firm pressure is very important...a wimpy squeegee pressure will cause trapped air as well.


Side hinge is another way to install long graphics that you cannot or do not want to cut apart into smaller pieces. Now a way to help with the placement of the graphics we use a registration mark.

I use a piece of tape and mark a line across the graphics onto the tape. So when you lift the graphic to begin removing the backer you have a reference to reposition the graphic straight. Also notice the triangle in the circle logo...I will talk more about this registration mark.

Again the backer becomes the bridge to keep the graphics held off the banner until you squeegee them.


When you have a 2 color job and have a tight registration try using triangle to help in the placement of the multiple graphics. The first color you lay down should have the triangles in place on the material when you apply the graphics. The second layer you carefully cut the triangles to reveal the triangles below like a window to align the triangle up. Tape into place and install with a top hinge.

So there you go bubble free install of pressure sensitive graphics on a banner.


Chris Lovelady
Vital Signs
Tallahassee, Florida
Email Chris

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