Custom font bumper numbers

Hey all,

Team 1648 is looking into having a custom font for the numbering on our bumpers. We have a professional letterhead font that we use, would like to use the same font on our bumpers. The company that does our bumper numbers uses a steam press, and needs heat-transfer vinyl numbers. Does anyone know where I could get some custom-printed numbers with a font I provide for a reasonable price? Thanks!

First I would check to see if the school has a vinyl cutter, if they don’t I would check with the Athletic Director (or secretary) to see if they can point you in the direction of a local embroidery shop that can likely do it. I asked our activities secretary who the school used and they did our numbers for a few years, as the school now owns the cutter the graphics class does ours.

You should be able to get it from most sign companies pretty reasonably. I’d go to one of the small guys and explain what you want it for. We got lucky, this year one of the new mentors owns a sign shop so he is blinging us up for cost. :slight_smile:

R28 blue box: “The intent is that the Team’s number is clearly visible and unambiguous so that Judges, Referees, Announcers, and other Teams can easily identify competing ROBOTS.”

While there is no specific specifications on fonts, other than the height and stroke width, please have mercy on the people sitting in the top row of the stands and watching the competitions on the internet, and don’t get carried away with what you think is a cool font. Keep it plain and readable to the audience.

The place for fancyness is in the signage/decorations elsewhere on your robot other than the bumpers.

Our team is using some iron-on sheets from michael’s. We can easily print out our numbers outlined in black and cut them out and just iron them onto our bumper material. This is incredibly easy and cheap and requires no extra machinery, and all you need is word processing software…

Keep It Super Simple

Right, and all of those are being kept in mind. Trust me, as one of the scouting coordinators on our team, I hate it more than anything if I can’t see a team’s bumper numbers on their robot. The intention for this is kind of aesthetic, but also to keep a consistent image of our team in the robot. We have an official font, and it should have a wide enough stroke to be seen from far away.

We could do iron-on bumpers, but we’d prefer to get our numbers done via steampress. The high school actually has a vinyl cutter that can take any font and cut the pattern out of vinyl, but we need to find a material that is heat transferrable. Does anyone know of any material that is heat transferrable and can be cut with a vinyl cutter?

I spent some time researching the same idea for our bumpers - a custom font in heat-transfer vinyl, and found the best price was at Stahl’s (nice people) http://www.stahls.com/heat-transfer-material for a custom cut design in their Gorilla Grip II. If you send them vectored art it minimizes the set-up fee. We found a local T-shirt shop willing to do the heat transfer for 8 sets of numbers for $20. A bit more all together than ready-made numbers, but not by much. Gorilla Grip II can be ordered by the sheet - about $12 worth will do - contact Stahl’s to see what kind of cutters work.

For us, the issue came down to the idea that the team members are supposed to do the work, and iron-ons haven’t fared too well. So we are going with painted on numbers. We’ve had trouble in the past with paint chipping and rubbing off, but after some research into painting canvas, we’re hoping for good results from the following procedure: Cut stencils of our custom font. Use one coat of spray contact cement gone tacky on back of stencil to hold stencil to fabric. Seal the edges of the stencil numbers with ModPodge matte to minimize bleeding. Use a high density pigment acrylic paint (like artists’ tube paint), 2-3 coats with a stiff-bristle artists brush, seal with 2 coats of ModPodge matte. The tests have been promising.

We have ours silkscreened at a local T-Shirt company. You can’t beat the quality and you can have colored numbers. We’ll never go back! Here’s last years’ robot.

It costs us around $80 per year once the screen is done. You just do the screen once (around $40.). Some teams have been able to find a vendor who will donate the service.

I get all of my vinyl from coastal business supply. Siser Easy Weed is great stuff and comes in a lot of different lengths. 5 yards is enough to last you several years. 1 yard is more than enough for eight sets of numbers. We do 15" wide rolls too.

They ship super fast and have decent prices. If I order on Monday, I’ll have my vinyl by Wednesday or Thursday in Michigan.

how do you get the vinyl to stick to the bumper material?

UPDATE:
never mind just followed you link and found it was heat stick.
We’ve got some vinyl and access to a die cut, but can’t seem to get the numbers to stick to the fabric.
May have to go another way.

Excellent choice.

I use the best heat transfer vinyl for the teams who have contracted me to make bumper numbers.

My product will not come off like some of the other numbers from other companies in the previous years.

If you would to learn more, see my signature.