Computer cut vinyl & die cut vinyl is adhesive vinyl cut to shape.
The method of which the vinyl is cut is either referred to as computer cut vinyl, which is cut using a knife blade plotter, or die cut vinyl which is "punched" using a die. Both computer cut vinyl and die-cut vinyl produce the same custom cut-to-shape effect. The difference lies in how the custom cut decal is made. Computer cut vinyl lettering is exactly that....a sticker, decal or lettering cut out of adhesive vinyl, in the shape of a letter or in the shape of a graphic image, by a blade that is housed in the printer. An example of vinyl cut lettering/graphics would be the store hours on a retail store window or the Nike swoosh that you might see on a vinyl banner, or the lettering that you might see on the side of a service truck or van.
Computer cut vinyl lettering (or vinyl decals) are vectored artwork that a digital printer, or cut vinyl plotter, can trace around to be able to cut to shape with a computer driven knife blade. The vinyl is cut to the shape of the image that appears on the computer screen. The cut vinyl can be cut to virtually any size or shape. The vinyl is then prepared for installation, to any smooth non-porous surface, with a thin piece of transfer tape over the top to keep the lettering or lettering and decal combination in place during application.There are many different types of vinyl with certain vinyls being used for certain applications.
Die-cut vinyl lettering and die-cut decals will look exactly the same as a computer custom cut decal but have a completely different production method. Instead of being completely computerized a die-cut vinyl has to have a "dye" made to be able to cut the vinyl to shape. An easy way to describe a "dye" is to think of a cookie cutter. Once the custom die-cut shape is created the vinyl is printed and then technically "punched" out of the adhesive vinyl material unlike computer cutting where a blade cuts the vinyl decals, graphics or lettering to shape.
Another different in the two custom cut options of computer cut vinyl or die-cut vinyl is the price. Since a "dye" costs money to make there is an initial set up cost, unless your decal has a common shape like a circle, rectangle, square, etc. Computer cut vinyl requires no "dye" set-up because the computer cutting blade cuts the vinyl to shape after it is print.
Not all adhesive vinyls are the same. Some cut vinyl materials are for made temporary, short term use 1-2 years; and yet some cut vinyl materials are made for long term use of 6-8 years. Some vinyls are made for indoors, while some vinyls are made for outdoor use. But no matter your vinyl type choice just about any decal or lettering can be computer cut or die-cut through programming or "dye" making.
To consult with our vinyl professionals for help with custom cut decals and lettering, give us a call.