Hi everyone,

  I have a  large job coming up next week where I am going to be printing several hundred large format decals that have a predominantly solid black background with the company's logo and information printed in the middle in a contrasting color.  My question is if I use Roland BK 21 100% black  for the background will that pull soley from the black ink cartridge as opposed to using other colors to create a process color black?  Due to the volume of black ink I am going to be printing I'd hate to be depleting other color cartridges unnecessarily if I can just use the black cartridge alone and focus on having a few extra on hand.  Any info or input is greatly appreciated.  THanks!


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Personally, when it comes to full coverage of darker colours, i always opt to go for the black pigmented vinyl. You'll save a ton of money, the colour will be more true and it will last MUCH longer than a printed black. Also, you won't have your edges curling as some vinyls will do with dark colours. As for the small logos, just print them and cut them out individually and stick on top of the black background. 

Thanks for the reply.  I had suggested that  to the customer as an option and explained the longevity factor but he wants them printed as he prefers that look.  He has no problem paying the price and since they are larger rectangular decals weeding and overlaying the black vinyl would actually end up being quite a bit more labor than doing the straight print.  I just wanted to avoid going through extra ink unnecessarily in creating the black if possible.  Thanks again for the input.

If that is the way you are going - the bk21 is the way to go. I seen a message yesterday and I hope it was about this. I am in Mexico and this is the best way to always get me.

Ok great, the customer is set on the full print look and he's happy to pay so that's what he's going to get, I just figured that if my thinking was right i'd save on ink by not wasting other colors if that did in fact just pull straight black.  Better to use a few black carts than to run down numerous other colors!  What is your thought on full printing to the edge with no border?, The other fellows comment about edge curling now has me wondering if I should try and talk the customer into a white border around the edge or if that's not necessary.  I was planning on using 3.5 mil durasol permanent from imprintables.

If you print with registration marks, air out at least 24hours in a well ventilated area and then cut afterwards, that will mitigate the edge curling problem. 

After all, it's the solvent base that affects the integrity of the vinyl polymers and the tack of the glue backing. If all the solvent gets time to evaporate the tack will be much better. 

From experience, do this at your own discretion - i would try to convince the customer otherwise. Even if you leave a border of 3-5mm you probably will still have problems with warping of the vinyl, i would add a white contour of at least 10mm to be safe. This will likely not be something that your customer will like, depending on the background colour of the surface it's going to be applied to.

Don't want to sound like a bummer - but if it's a big job, you have much to lose if you need to reprint everything. Maybe do a mock up first and test with the printing option.

That said, i have absolutely no experience with 3.5mil Durasol vinyl. It might be much better than the stuff i'm using.   

Thanks again for the reply.  I actually printed a few full size proofs of the decals for the customer to approve a few days ago and as of today there is zero curling or lifting around the edges from the backing paper.  When would curling happen if it was going to be an issue?  I have done allot of decals but 99% of them have had white borders at the edges so I can't say I've ever experienced the edge curling you have described hence my uncertainty of when i'd potentially see any curling.

Well, if they don't curl after a few days, you might not have a problem at all - did you print the proofs with the same bk21 colour preset and using the same pre-heating and drying settings? If edge curling will be a problem you will see it within the first few hours after printing, or the first day or so after applying. 

From what i can gather from your comment, you haven't actually applied the vinyl - try that first on a surface similar to your customers' and let it sit for a day or two under similar conditions (sun exposure / temperature fluctuations - calendared vinyls don't like this very much). Just to be sure. 

Are you laminating your prints at all? 

Proofs were not BK 21 which is what prompted my post as I knew the black I used was using other colors to make the shade.  You are correct in that we haven't applied any vinyl yet, they are going on the outside of those large residential dumpsters that contractors use, its a new start up business and the cans are being built and painted now so the decals will be applied to a fresh new surface once the customer receives them.  The decals are not going to have lamination, I suggested it for abrasion resistance etc but the customer declined saying he will just order more decals when these need replacing.

Sounds like a very good prospect - Doesn't mind paying a premium for the printed product and doesn't mind replacing them every so often when they get scratched etc. 

If it were my customer they would haggle about price - complain about the finished product and demand reprinting indefinitely. :) 

In any case - best of luck and congratulations on the big order. 

Oh I feel you there!  He wont have the cans for another week or two so I'm going to do some smaller scale testing before I do the full run just to make sure there aren't any issues.  Thanks again for your input.

Stating up front I do not disagree with anything Fred has said. I just would not go about working for free, because you would be working for free with all of that extra work. I also agree if you have curling and have to reprint you will work for free. I do have a supplier that I use in a pinch and even with permanent media, I get curling. I just do not use it anylonger and willing to waste the remainder. I do use durosol from IW 3.5 and 6 mil and have not got the curling. I may be bias, but I have used Oracal and Arlon products also without curling. However Steve I think your approach is all wrong. Even if you need a 3' design, there is nothing stopping you from in VW reducing the image down to 3" printing a row of them and sticking everywhere to see how they respond; to include inside the refrigerator. Depending your relationship to the vendor most will send you samples to test once you state to them what you are trying to do. They have no interest in your failure.  Also this is the best way to reach me. No chats and no PMs folks. Thanks - those who have me on retainer - feel free to continue to use chats and PMs.

Since your last visit I have trashed that garbage vinyl I had and have gone back to the durasol 3.5 which is what I have on hand.  Since I have a week or two before I have to run the job I will heed your advice and create some small samples and place them in different locations and see how they fare.  My post was initially about ink usage regarding the black, the potential issue if edge curling wasn't even something I had even thought of until Fred mentioned it as a possibility.  Thanks as always!!


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