Have you ever looked closely at the large explanatory text that you sometimes see on art gallery and museum walls? The letters are always perfectly crisp and the lines are perfectly aligned. These letters are produced using die cut vinyl transfers (also called decals). They are created by a plotter that precisely cuts the letters out of a wide roll of self-adhesive vinyl on a removable backing paper. The excess vinyl, i.e. the space between the letters, is removed (this is called weeding). The clever part is that the backing paper holds the letters in place, ensuring that their positions relative to each other stay perfectly fixed. Another sheet of backing paper is added on top of the vinyl, creating a paper-vinyl-paper sandwich.
You might have seen the wall graphics sold by Blik – these are vinyl transfers.
Vinyl transfers are a great opportunity to subtly brand your laptop, iPad or phone. The transfers don't have to be as large as a musuem wall by any means: you can go down to just a few centimetres across. In fact, the smaller they are, the easier they are to install: you'll be able to simply remove the backing paper and throw them down on your surface without problem. Rub down the top paper and carefully peel it off, leaving the vinyl on your surface.
They are also very cheap (we're talking single digits), and are commonly produced. A lot of digital or signage printers local to you will be able to produce them for you or point you in the direction of someone who can.
A limitation is that you must supply vector artwork to your printer. This is pretty easy though; it just means supplying real text or a vector logo rather than a raster image. They don't have to be a single colour, either; you can print in full colour on white vinyl and then die cut that, although that is a little more expensive. The plotters are so accurate that you don't even need bleed. You can also use frosted, semi-transparent vinyl that looks great on glass, or gold and metallic finishes.
A vinyl transfer on your laptop or iPad really adds a professional touch and is really easy. Give it a try.
If you are in Dublin, check out Select Digital Print Group for decals and loads more. They weren't involved in this post in anyway way – I just recommend them highly.