Team 1836 is looking for a new way to do sponsor logos. Before we have done polycarb with clear stickers, but it really looks ugly. We have seen much better ways of doing the same, such as what the Poofs, the Holy Cows, and many other teams do. What type of sticker is used on their polycarb. Or does anybody have better ideas that they would like to share?
Find a used or new small vinyl cutting plotter and make your own graphics. Same machines that sign companies use. You can find small ones (24"-30" roll width) new for a couple hundred dollars.
Our team glues paper onto the polycarb side panels, but integrates them into the paint scheme so they look better. Some “ugliness” might stem from implementation, not the quality of your logos, but not having see your robot, I really have no idea.
x2 for vinyl cut. We got ours from USCutter and it works great.
IMO, if you’re doing decals on polycarb and you want them to look good, die cut vinyl (also called Kiss Cut by some) is the ONLY way to go. Depending on your budget, you can invest in your own cutter or find a local shop to do them for you or look into someone like Two Pencil Designs.
Another route so you don’t have to buy a machine:
You can print or have this printed on photo paper the more graphical logos then have them laminated. This provides a reasonable priced high quality look. We typically use 600dpi so even when enlarged the logos are crisp. Vector graphic work well also.
Some print shops have the ability to print large photos or graphics from a computer file, then do laminating up to 48" wide. Finding the folks that can do the laminating is the trick. Warehouse clubs with photo services have large sizes including poster prints available at pretty resonable prices.
These may then be attached to the polycarb with sticky velcro. This is great if you want to use an area for graphics you still need access to for repairs, upgrades, etc. Look for square tube, angle pieces or surfaces to attach the velcro and it will work well for you.
This year, 1515 ran out of time for vinyls, so we bought 8.5x11" Clear Label paper from Staples and printed them on our laser printer. We cut them out by hand.
Of course, this is less than ideal, and really didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. Your sponsor logos looked better than ours (IMO), so either stick with what you are doing or go to die-cut vinyl prints. I also suggest you contact TPD for this, they seem worth supporting with business.
148 has also used vinyl cut logos for a few years now - we know someone locally that has one in their home shop. It’s a little tedious getting all the little pieces to stick and not lose pieces (the center of the “A” in the Innovation First logo always seems to be an issue…) but they look really sharp. We’ll even stack multiple colors to get our red-on-white 148 number decals.
Thank you so much everybody. It seems like vinyl is the way to go, and we will most likely be able to get our head mentor to invest in the machine.
Our vinyl cutter was about $300 and has easily paid for itself in this season alone.
We had a local printer that does car wraps & signs print our sponsor boards on stock sign material that is kinda like sturdy foam board. Just gave him a adobe illustrator file.
Team 1511 got ours designed and manufactured by Two Pencil Designs! http://twopencildesigns.com/wp/ They are beautiful and so much more professional then our normal way of transparent stickers on lexan! And the company is a dream to work with!