Awnings and Canopys are a great place for graphics. They can let people know who you are or what your address is, and provide eye catching backdrops for branding. There are several different ways to apply graphics in this industry and be sure to explore each type so we can determine what type suits your needs.
Artwork: Tropical J’s accepts both PC and Mac files. To cut graphics Tropical J’s needs a vector file. If you do not have a vector file of your artwork or logo we can provide graphic services to turn a bitmaps into vectors when possible. A vector file is .ai .eps .cdr .dxf .dwg .skf. This is different than bitmap files like .jpg .png .gif or .tiff . .PDFs may or may not work depending on how they’re saved. If you are unfamiliar of the difference between vector and bitmap, here is a short video explaining the two.
The mathematical nature of a vector outline of your logo acts as the guide for our digital cutter. Because of this we can cut practically any shape provided. We can layer these vinyls for multi colored application. If the design has many colors or really thin components we can look into digital printing and cutting, in which we print up a big “sticker” and apply it as one graphic. This type of graphic can be a bitmap type as it will be printed and not used a path. In the picture below, the text around the outside was cut from solid white while the inside graphic was printed and applied as one piece.
Fonts: We can accommodate most fonts. If you have a specialty font you’d like to provide please let us know.
Proofs: We will provide you with a .PDF proof to show the relationship of the graphic to the product before moving into production. Colors should be reviewed with the specific fabric color card and graphic color cards as reference.
ii Adhesive Vinyls
Tropical J’s uses 3M graphic films. There are opaque films and translucent films and both types have unique color options. Translucent films are used for backlit applications, see eradication below for more. Heavier white vinyls can be printed on.
Adhesive vinyls have an adhesive on the back that provides excellent adhesion to vinyl fabrics if applied properly. For fabrics with a weave construction, Sunbrella and Sunbrella Firesist, there isn’t as much surface area for the vinyl to attach. To give the best attachment as possible in this situation we have a machine that pulls heated air through the fabric and the vinyl gets into the weave.
3M offers a wide range of colors and many of them have matching Pantone numbers. See the .pdf here or at the top of the page for more information.
iii Printed Graphics
Printed graphics are the route of choice for graphics that contain many colors, or very small components. Tropical J’s works with local printers that offer large format printing for exterior applications. Check with your salesman for the latest warranty information. We can do our best to color match. The graphic below has a background color matched to the awning fabric so that we could have a design with thin elements. These can be full color images, not just single colors graphics.
Eradication is the name of the technique in which a graphic is eradicated, or removed from the fabric coating. This process is only possible with special coated fabrics, which have a very limited color palette and are very expensive compared to standard vinyls.
Eradicable fabrics are a translucent vinyl. The vinyl is then coated with a special ink coated. The awning cover is manufactured out this material. Once the fabric is tensioned, a mask is placed over the fabric exposing the design you wish to eradicate. A chemical agent removes the upper ink coating exposing the translucent fabric underneath. When a light source is then placed behind the awning, the eradicated section glows. Translucent vinyls can be applied over the exposed fabric that also glow when backlit.