This is my first adventure into store signage and much thanks goes to Noel Couch and Judy Keating, who assisted me. Noel is actually the store manager of my Bernina sewing store, Sew From The Heart. He was great help with installation and was a quick learner in great vinyl application. With him being on the ladder and Judy and I handing him the next thing needed, I think we ended up with a very professional looking job.
All total there were 14 signs measuring 34″ wide by 5.5″ high. Since the vinyl measured 15″ wide, I wanted to cut them with the vinyl only having to pass through the cutter once. Sandy was kind enough to make a video for me, explaining how to accomplish it. Her video is at the end of this posting. If you look at the words on my computer screen, you will see little white dots on each letter. These dots are actually numbers telling me the sequence that the letters will be cut. The “B’s” were one and two; the “E’s” were three and four, and so forth to the end, with the cutting blade ending at the end, in lieu of returning to the origin.
Once the vinyl was cut, it was split lengthwise for weeding. In this picture Judy is doing the weeding, while I am cutting more signs.
Next a mask was applied to each sign, with the top and ends cut to match with the ends of the actual signage.
Then the mask was marked down the center of each sign horizontally and vertically to assist in centering them on the windows.
This completed my home preparation. The rest was done on site. The following pictures detail our process. We began by cleaning the window. Although we were using outdoor vinyl with a 7 year life, I knew that our installation was dependent on the window being as clean as possible. We used lint-free rags purchased at the hardware store and a cleaning mixture that Chad gave me consisting of a drop or two of alcohol and a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water. Thanks, Chad!
We next identified the center of the window horizontally and vertically and marked them with a grease pencil.
These marks were then matched with the center marks on the sign masking and a small piece of blue painter’s tape was placed on each end of the sign to temporarily hold it in place. At this time we could verify the placement for accuracy and visual appearance. (The blue background is our Arizona blue sky, reflected in the window.) When satisfied with the placement, a piece of blue painter’s tape was placed along the top, partly on the masked sign and partly on the window. This tape created a hinge for applying the vinyl letters individually.
With the sign centered and hinged, next each letter was handled individually, by cutting between them, lifting the letter up on its hinge, and then removing the backing sheet.
With the backing sheet removed, the letter could be put in place with a squeegee applied to the mask at a 45° angle.
The final step to each letter was to remove the mask, and squeegee one last time with a slip-on, felt-like covering on the squeegee. This covering on the squeegee prevented the vinyl from being damaged.
From the inside:
…and the outside, from the corner:
This venture into store signage was a fun and rewarding one…yet another reason why I love my 15″ Maxx, Klic-N-Kut cutter. I give a special thanks to all along the way that encouraged and helped me. I was stretched, as I know Noel was, but I would do it again, if given the opportunity.
Video: Tips on Cutting Vinyl from KNK Studio