Magnetic signs are an effective and affordable alternative to vehicle wraps and vinyl lettering applied directly to a vehicle. Since magnetic signs can be placed and removed quickly, they’re a popular choice for small businesses.
If you own a sign making business and you don’t offer magnetic signs, you’re missing out. They draw in new customers and offer high margins, and they should be a staple of your business offerings.
Making magnetic signs is a fairly straightforward process, but there are still a few things you need to know. Keep reading to learn more about magnetic substrates and how to care for and maintain magnetic signs.
Magnetic Signs: A Basic Guide
Magnetic Substrates and Paper
Magnetic signs are made by applying vinyl graphics to a flexible magnetic substrate, or by printing directly to magnetic media. These substrates are available in two varieties: magnetized paper and magnetized vinyl. Magnetized paper is a small format inkjet substrate intended for use in desktop printers. It’s appropriate for crafters and hobbyists, but it isn’t the most durable material and should not be used for professional auto magnetic signs.
Magnetic vinyl, on the other hand, generally ranges in thickness from 12 to 30 millimeters, and it’s designed for wide-format digital printing or for use with self-adhesive vinyl. Magnetized vinyl comes in a limited range of colors with a matte for glossy finish. The thicker the vinyl, the greater its magnetic strength. 10 to 20 mil magnets work well on filing cabinets, as temporary signs on buildings and for decorative purposes, but they aren’t suitable for vehicle graphics. To prevent peeling at highway speeds, you need 30 mil tick magnetic material.
Magnetic Sign Care and Maintenance
Before applying for the first time, the area underneath should be thoroughly cleaned, dried and waxed to prevent damaged paint and keep the sign from sticking permanently. Also, make sure to apply the magnetic signs to a completely smooth metal surface of your vehicle. If part of a magnetic sign is over a plastic sidebar or other non-magnetic surface, wind can get underneath while driving and pull it off. If a magnetic ever gets stuck to a vehicle, steam is the best way to remove it with minimal damage.
Be sure and inform your customers to follow these same cleaning steps when removing and re-applying the car magnet. Car magnets vibrate slightly as the vehicle moves, so if one applies the magnet with dirt or dust underneath, over time this can cause abrasion that can damages the vehicle finish and paint. One of the great things about car magnets is that they are easy to maintain. They are durable and strong, but they do require a little TLC. Remove and clean both sides of them regularly to keep them looking like new and to prevent damage to the vehicle. Customers should always remove magnetic signs before entering a car wash and then wipe the vehicle area and magnetic side of the signs clean before re-applying them.
SAi Flexi for Magnetic Signs
Flexi sign making software from SA International is a powerful tool for designing and printing magnetic signs. At SAi, our goal is to make our software as easy to learn as possible to help sign makers of all skill levels build and grow their businesses and offer the products their customers want. To learn more about using SAi Flexi for magnetic signs or to purchase Flexi for your sign making business, contact us today by calling 801-478-1900.