Recently we were asked what adhesive vinyl is best and well the answer is it depends. Yes, there are higher and lower qualities of adhesive vinyl, but there are also different types of adhesive vinyl designed for specific applications. So, the answer is two-fold. First, quality does matter when choosing an adhesive vinyl for your fleet graphics or signage. Secondly, you want the adhesive vinyl best suited to your graphic needs.

Air Release

Air release adhesive vinyl does exactly what its name implies – release air. Minute channels are formed in the adhesive on the back of the vinyl, squeezing out the air when squeegeed. The air release channels remove bubbles. This is critical because bubbles in an adhesive vinyl graphic not only look bad but can also lead to the failure of the adhesive. Air release is particularly adapted for all types of fleet graphics and vehicle wraps.

Clings 

“With static clings, when the vinyl is pressed to the surface, it adheres through suction. It’s as if the cling had thousands of tiny suction cups attached to the substrate.

If the installation is semi-permanent, the better choice is adhesive vinyl, it will last longer and has less chance of separation. If it’s a temporary installation or you plan to reuse the graphic, a cling is the way to go, although eventually, wear and tear will limit reuse. Static clings function better indoors. Because heat, humidity, and weather will adversely affect the graphic. If outdoors placement is the only option, use adhesive.” — FAQ: how do static window clings work? 

Removable

Removable adhesive vinyl uses a low tack adhesive compound, which can be removed without damaging the substrate. I didn’t say removed and reused. Although there are repositionable adhesive vinyl’s available, which are primarily used for wall graphics.

Most quality adhesive vinyls can be removed. Having said that, you need to know what you’re doing, and in most cases, it may be wise to have an experienced vehicle graphics team DID (De-identify) the vehicle. It costs less to hire a professional than repairing a vehicle damaged during graphic removal. However, if it’s a small partial wrap or decals, that may be something you can DIY. This video walks you through How To Remove a Decal.

Permanent

Permanent adhesive vinyl uses a higher tack adhesive, usually an acrylic.Most adhesive-backed plotter films are designed for medium to long term outdoor use, so even the acrylic adhesives are generally permanent. But some have a removable adhesive. It’s a low tack compound designed to come off with relative ease. The ease of removability is determined in its resistance to pull force, which is measured in pounds per inch.” —  Vinyl Adhesive – How It Affects the Durability of Your Signs

So, What’s Best for You?

The best vinyl for you is the one that best fits your graphic needs. For example, are you full wrapping a fleet of box trucks that will stay in the fleet for five years? If so, a high-quality air release may be your best bet. Do you want wall graphics applied to your interior entryway? Permanent might be what you want. Do you want to advertise a short-term offer at your brick and mortar retail store? Then a window cling might be the way to go. The best way to know the best vinyl for you is to talk to your best source. That would be an experienced provider. Let us know if we can help you with this “sticky” subject, Contact Us.