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Decals with a clear/transparent background
The terms “clear” and “transparent” are used interchangeably. They both mean that the backgrounds of the vinyl decals are completely “see through”. Careful: when you order “clear vinyl decals”, you will receive a clear square or rectangular shaped decal with with your design printed on it. If you were to put that decal on a colored surface, you could clearly see the surface through the square or rectangle around the design. If you’d like a decal with no background at all, clear is not the best choice – contour cut would be.
To achieve decals with no frame, order “contour cut” vinyl decals. These decals are custom cut into the unique shape of your design – not a square or rectangle. Whether it’s a logo, graphic or photograph, the decals are mechanically cut, or “plotted”, to the precise outline of the artwork, leaving no trace of a background at all. Contour cut decals are a bit more expensive because of the labor involved, but they are quite attractive…and very impressive.
Decals with a translucent background
“Clear” and “transparent” may be interchangeable, but “translucent” means something else entirely! Translucent vinyl allows light to shine through, giving the design a glow, but the surface below it is not clearly visible through the vinyl. In other words, decals printed on translucent vinyl are not completely “see through” – the rectangular background around your design will have a hazy, frosted effect that light can shine through. This application is perfect for lighted signs. Putting a translucent decal over a backlit sign face allows the light beneath it to illuminate the design and make it more visible, particularly at night.
Decals with a solid/opaque background
Vinyl that is not “transparent” or “translucent” is opaque – meaning no light is permitted through at all. If you place the square or rectangular decal on a solid color surface, you would not be able to see the underlying surface, only the solid color background of the decal itself.