Vinyl Sign versus Custom Stencil

Custom stencils allow you to make an unlimited number of signs that meet or exceed the specs of a custom vinyl sign, for less money.

A custom stencil costs no more than a one-time vinyl sign

Vinyl signs are expensive! With vinyl sign construction, you have to do the same things you have to do to make a stencil: namely, design the color separation, and cut the vinyl out. The difference is that, with your vinyl sign, you apply the vinyl to the sign and that’s all you get: just one sign. But when you make a stencil, you do the same work (only, except for cutting the vinyl, you’re cutting a reusable stencil) and what you have when you’re finished is something you can use over and over again.

Custom stencils include images and logos as well as text

With a custom stencil, you can include images and text. With vinyl signs it’s difficult to include images because there just aren’t enough color options in vinyl to make any image look good.

Paint comes in more colors than vinyl, is just as durable, and can be re-applied as needed

Spray paint comes in hundreds or thousands of colors, where vinyl from a typical vinyl shop is only available in a few primary and day-glo colors. With spray paint you can choose from matte or glossy finish, metallic or non-metallic. You can even choose from more day-glo options than with vinyl.

You can further customize your message with unique arrangements, combinations and colors

When you make a sign one time, you have to think about how your message will strike your customers. For example, is your location or your hours more important for your viewers to see? With stencils, you can make a stencil that indicates your location and a different stencil that shows your store hours. Then you can make different signs where you position those two elements independently, and see which one(s) result in better traffic at the times you want the traffic. This also allows you to update just one element of your sign (by making a new stencil) when that part changes. With vinyl signs, you’re going to have to have an entirely new sign made each time you want to try a different combination.

Suppose you have this great graphic from the likes of Tyler Hawotte. You can convert it into a sign for your pop-up that advertises your hours. Or your location. Or today’s special deal. Mix and match as you like.

You can convert that to a stencil, and use it on a sign along with custom stencil lettering to make your message relevant for multiple occasions.

Are there any times it makes sense to make a custom vinyl sign?

In some cases, you want to have a vinyl surface so that you can write in (for example) dry erase marker on the sign itself. Or when you want to put the sign in a place where you can’t access it for years at a time (vinyl will probably hold its bright color longer than the painted surface).