As for any specialist sector, our members are always sharing information, learning and finding new ways to achieve best practice and deliver exceptional results to their customers.

A recent topic that’s come up concerns the application of vinyl as part of the manufacture of signs.

We asked former ISA-UK president, and experienced ‘signman’ Craig Brown, for his comments on this matter and how to ensure a flawless finish.

“A customer reported that the vinyl on their sign was failing,” explains Craig, former managing director of the Signs Express network and now consultant to the industry.

“The sign, a lightbox with push-through acrylic letters, had been wrapped in vinyl to provide a background colour.  However, the vinyl had begun to lift, spoiling the look of the sign.

“The problem was caused by the vinyl butting up to and touching the acrylic letters during the manufacturing process,” continues Craig.

“In normal atmospheric environments, the acrylic, backing tray and vinyl will expand and contract at different rates, and this movement can cause the vinyl to fail.  In some instances, the vinyl edge will lift away from the surface, allowing water and dirt ingress, causing the adhesive to fail. When this happens, the material peels more and more, resulting in a product failure and an, understandably, unhappy customer.

“The simple solution to avoid such a failure is to leave a gap of a few millimetres around the acrylic so it can move without affecting the vinyl. By building just a little more space into the design to allow for this movement, the problem should not occur,” concludes Craig Brown.

If you have any insider tips that you’d be happy to share with fellow ISA-UK members, please get in touch by emailing

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