Cut vinyl lettering is comprised of three pieces.
Vinyl lettering is sold pre-spaced and ready to apply. So essentially as soon as your cut vinyl lettering arrives you'll be able to install it immediately. When cut vinyl lettering is applied to the intended surface, there will be no background color, just the lettering itself.
This is all made possible by special machines that are programmed to read specific vector files instructing the printer to cut out letters, numbers or simple shapes. After the vinyl has been cut-to-shape the remaining vinyl is pulled away just leaving the lettering intact. But to be able to transfer the cut vinyl lettering onto a surface easily it needs to be packaged in a specific way, otherwise you'd end up having to peel off each letter and stick it to the surface one by one, which defeats the whole purpose of an easy vinyl installation.
To achieve this your vinyl lettering will consist of three different layers: top, middle and bottom. The top layer consists of a semi-translucent low-tack application tape (transfer tape), which holds the lettering in place, making installation easy and quick. The transfer tape also protects your vinyl lettering during installation when you'll need to squeegee the lettering down to a non-porous solid surface.
The middle layer is the actual cut vinyl lettering itself. The cut vinyl lettering is sandwiched in between the top and bottom layer. You'll sometimes notice that the color of the vinyl might look a bit different because of the the color of the transfer tape holding the lettering in place. The lettering will be perfectly spaced and ready to apply as one piece (or different pieces depending on your order.) This is the adhesive portion of your order and once installed will be there permanently until it is removed.
And the last and final layer is the bottom wax paper-type backing. This layer, once peeled away from the lettering, exposes the adhesive nature of cut vinyl lettering. That is the actual layer that plays host to the vinyl lettering by protect the adhesive side of the material until installation.
For a quick lesson in vinyl application, you can view our "How to Install Vinyl Video" in our Help Center that will walk you through the process of a do-it-yourself vinyl installation. For those who like to read, please see our "How to Install Vinyl Page" for written directions on vinyl application.