The many faces of Calendared adhesive vinyls

Calendered vinyls are the most commonly used adhesive vinyls in your typical sign shop. The majority of the projects I work on, use calendered vinyls as the printing surface. These cost effective, versatile vinyls have many uses.

Within the category of calendered vinyls, the products vary dramatically in quality and longevity, from promotional to high performance vinyls. Lets look at the different products available.

High Performance Adhesive Vinyls as the names suggests, are a group of adhesive vinyls designed to last a long time, have minimal shrinkage, and can be used on curved surfaces. These adhesive vinyls are typically used on vehicles, with relatively flat surfaces, or signage that is designed for long term use. Another common use is cut letters for vehicles.

Intermediate Grade Adhesive Vinyls are the most commonly used. Generally these are designed to last up to 5 years outdoors. I use these grades for most of my indoor signage, and some outdoor signage. These products have a higher shrinkage rate, and are thicker (in caliper) than high performance adhesive vinyls, so have limited use on curved surfaces. Common uses are decals, magnetic signs, industrial signs, way finding signage, and real estate signage.

Economy or promotional adhesive vinyls are the least expensive calendared adhesive vinyls available, and are so for a reason. These typically shrink the most, and at best, have an outdoor life of one year. I only use this product on what we call throw away signage, short term plastic corrugated signs that are not expected to last more than 6 months.

About Dario Trampus

Dario Trampus is a large format print industry expert with over 20 years of experience. Specializing in customer relations, production, and technical knowledge, Dario is always ready to help when needed. Send your questions to

DNA Signs + Graphics Specializes in Large format printing including, banner stands, tradeshow displays, sidewalk signage, decals, window graphics, vehicle wraps, and cut vinyl lettering. Your source for genetically superior signage!

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