As you step into some restaurants or pubs, you could see the glass door at the entrance displaying the restaurant timing. This is an example of signage created by using a clear window decal, or it might be vinyl lettering pasted on the glass door. Both options look great as it appears as if the letters are painted on glass, but these are quite different in application.
Difference between clear window decals and vinyl lettering
As the name indicates, clear window decals are like stickers in which the entire text is printed on a transparent sheet of PVC or vinyl material, which means that during installation, you must stick the whole sheet of vinyl on the glass to display the text. Since the complete text is a composite unit to change any single letter, it will require replacing the entire sheet. This problem does not occur if you use vinyl lettering because each letter is an individual unit that serves as a sticker. You can change any one letter while leaving the other letters intact.
The vinyl lettering production process is different from creating clear window decals as it uses a special adhesive vinyl sheet to cut the individual letters. The color of the letters will be the same as that of the vinyl sheet, and it is not possible to print it differently. However, if you use clear window decals, you can print the letters in different colors.
Applying vinyl lettering
Whether you use clear window decals or vinyl letters, you can apply it on the desired surface on your own. It does not require any special technique because it is as simple as pasting a sticker. However, you must be careful to carry out the exercise at room temperature. If the environment is too cold, it can create problems with sticking because it might either not stick at all or will not stick well and lift off easily.
But the temperature of the environment is just one of the two factors that ensure good sticking. The other factor which is perhaps more important is to ensure that you stick the lettering on a clean surface. Before applying the lettering, clean the surface thoroughly with a fresh piece of cloth and 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove all dust and dirt as well as traces of oil and grease. Wipe it dry and then proceed to apply the lettering at that place.
Vinyl lettering comes with a paper backing which you must remove and position the letter correctly with the help of the transfer tape. Secure the top of the transfer tape to the surface and use a level for proper alignment of the letters in a straight line. In case you want an asymmetrical display of letters scattered haphazardly, then you will not need a level. Use the masking tape as a hinge and remove the backing paper from the letter that you want to fix.
In the last step, carefully lower the lettering and the transfer tape on the surface and start smoothing the letters to remove air bubbles by applying pressure with a squeegee.