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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be safe ordering online?

Yes. Our ordering page uses a secure server (PayPal) so you can feel perfectly safe entering your info/payment online. Or you can email in your orders sales@customonlinesigns.com

Am I limited in the number of words or letters?

No you are not. But keep in mind the more wording on the sign...the smaller the type size will be.

Will the printed product look exactly like the design proof displayed on my monitor?

Due to the different monitor calibrations, some printed colors may not match the colors displayed on the monitor. There may be a slight change.
1.    Everyone uses different computer monitors and settings.
2.    A computer screen is illuminated, so the colors will appear different on the screen than they do in real life.
3.    Viewing the Vinyl Decals in different lighting conditions, the colors appear to change colors.

How fast can I have my custom sign, vinyl decal or vinyl banner order?

We give ourselves three days time for the entire process after you have approved the proof (from printing to the actual shipping of the order received by noon Eastern Standard Time. More than 75% of the orders get shipped within 36 hours of acceptance of proof.) Orders received after noon EST will be counted as next day. Large orders (10 or more prints) may require extra time. We pride ourselves on providing the fastest on-demand printing at the best price. Most Decal orders are shipped the Next Day! Please email us to determine turnaround times for your large jobs; we will work with you to accommodate your needs!

How do I mount my sign when I get it?

Complete instructions will be mailed to you or included with your sign along with your receipt.

What type of guarantee do you offer?

Limited one year warranty:
We want you to be 100% satisfied with your purchase. If you notice a problem with your sign (shipment damage, etc.), please contact us within 5 days after receipt of your sign. If the material used in the sign products we offer should peel, fail or fade within one year of invoice date, under normal usage, we will repair or replace the product (at our option). Customer should call our service desk to discuss issue. Customer will be required to return defective product at their expense. We will then repair or replace the product and ship back to customer at our expense. Thank-you.

What if I decide to cancel my order after you have sent me the sign proofs?

Payment must be made prior to us starting the building phase of your sign(s). After you receive sign proofs from us, they can be altered by us to suit your needs. We want you to be happy with the sign layout before we build it.

What forms of payment do you take?

We accept VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER and AMERICAN EXPRESS. You can also mail us your business or personal check. Production work will not begin on your sign until your payment is received and processed.

Do you offer RUSH service?

Yes, A $40 charge is added per order or shipping address

How much is shipping?

Shipping is calculated in the ordering process. The final shipping cost depending on the Quantity, Size, Weight and the Shipping Location.

My product contains a defect or is damaged, what can be done?

If the product is damaged and / or contains manufacturing defects when you receive your order, please contact our customer service department. You can also check our Guarantee/Refund policy.

Do you ship internationally?

We ship internationally. But, we are not responsible for customs holds, returns or duties imposed by the receiving country. Certain types of printed material may not be allowed entry under the laws of some countries. It is the buyer's responsibility to insure their order complies with local law. Refunds are not possible for orders detained or damaged as a result of inspection by customs officials. Special handling charges may apply due to documentation requirements which will be dependent on destination, in addition to actual carrier rates. Please request for a shipping quote before placing orders to any destinations outside the US.

When will I get a proof?

Your proof will be posted within 24 hours. Most of the time, we post the proof in less than 12 hours.

What if I don't like the design on the proof?

We're happy to take suggestions and make changes to your design and post another proof; we want you to be totally happy with your banner. However, significant alterations may require art charges which can take a little extra time than normal.

How can I start placing my order?

We have made it easy for you. Just go to the products page and click on ‘Order’ button for the product you would like to order.

How do I start with the right size and resolution of an image?

The most important thing is: KNOW THE SIZE OF FINAL PRINTED IMAGE. If the final image will be 3" x 3", make sure your image file is at least 3" x 3" and at least 300 dpi. If you are not exactly sure the final size, scan it larger with more resolution. You can always reduce the size and resolution of the file, but it is impossible to make it larger with sufficient resolution.

What size of original photograph should I use for the best quality?

The original photograph should be as large or larger than the final size of the image in the printed document. If you are producing an 11" x 17" poster, you will probably not be able to get a photograph that large. In this instance, refer to scanning calculations listed above. Make sure the quality of the original photograph is as good as possible. Not all photographic developers are the same quality.

Can I see a design without ordering and giving my credit card number?

YES, You can see it in the proof. We do not want you to pay for something you do not know. What you see AND approve is what you pay for. Only after your satisfied with your proof will we begin the order and charge your card.

I'm not comfortable using my credit card on the Internet, can I order by phone or fax?

For accuracy and security, we can not take orders by phone or fax. We use a very large, reputable, third party credit card processor (PAYPAL), with the highest level of security. We can assure you our system is safe. And of course, you are protected from fraud loss by your credit card company. Since your signs, vinyl banners are custom made, your card is charged only when you order; BUT, if you change your mind anytime BEFORE you approve the design, for ANY reason, we immediately give a 100% refund, no questions asked, no problem; we want OUR customers to be a 100% satisfied. After all, we want you to come back.

May I use a credit card with someone else’s name?

For security purposes, the billing address entered on the site must match the address on file for the credit or debit card used.

May I make a correction to my order after it has been submitted?

Since most orders are transmitted to our production staff immediately upon submission, it is generally impossible to make corrections or changes to the design submitted for printing. If you have just placed your order, and want to check if changing it is possible, please contact customer service immediately subject line as “IMMEDIATE CHANGE”

Can I pick up my order?

YES, we are open M-F 8-6.

Where can I get a high quality image for my sign?

If the image you need is a logo for your company, then you will need to speak with the person who created the design. They will be able to create a file that will work for you. If you are looking for high quality photographic images, you may try using a search engine to find one of the many companies that provide royalty free photographic images.

How do you decide the 'recommended size' for my image, and the 'viewable distance'?

We can make custom signs or vinyl banners to almost any size that you need. What you need to determine is how far away your viewing audience will be and make sure the lettering is large enough. These calculations are based on the resolution (dots per inch, or DPI) of the image you provide. Uploading a higher resolution image means a larger image will look better at a closer distance. Uploading a lower resolution image means a larger image will look better from a farther distance.

What printer(s) do you use to print your custom signs and vinyl banners?

We use Roland VersaCam 300 for indoor/outdoor applications with up to 1200 dpi.

Can you help me design my banner if I give you an idea of what I want?

Yes, and we take pride in doing a very good job at that. Provide us with a sketch or description and we will do a finished design. Our in house design team can add text, graphics or complete virtually any custom art application for your specific needs. However, for client-specific art, such as logos, we require "ready-to-print" artwork, or fees will be incurred.

What is your product Guarantee/Refund policy?

•    Our 30 day guarantee warrants that products do not contain manufacturing defects, and, if the product fails or breaks due to a manufacturing defect during the 30 day time period, we will either replace the product or issue you a refund / credit equal to the value of the failed product. But, if the print is damaged during shipment, the shipper will be held liable. Bannersandphotos.com reserves the right to investigate the claim and determine whether or not the failed product is covered by our guarantee.
•    When you create your order using the online builder, we cannot refund since the prints are custom made from your files.
•    If we create your order and have it approved by you and still for any reason, a print does not live up to your expectations, we can re-print it to your liking, But, No refunds can be issued.

How do I Install vinyl letters/decals?

Installing custom vinyl letters, vinyl numbers and vinyl graphics can seem like a difficult task. But, when you break it down into steps and take your time, you can achieve outstanding results the first time.
There are 2 basic methods for applying your custom vinyl graphics. Wet or Dry. If your vinyl graphics are small then the Dry method is fine. For larger custom vinyl graphics that might require repositioning then the Wet method is your choice. For the wet method you can use Rapid Tac (suggested) or lightly soapy water. By wetting the area the graphic is to be applied and the adhesive side of the vinyl you can "buy yourself some time" before the vinyl adheres to the surface (approx 2-3 repositions). DO NOT get the paper backing of the vinyl decal wet, this will make it impossible to remove the decal from the paper back. If you do get it wet, let it dry completely before attempting to peel it off the paper.
Planning, planning, planning... read through once, then again. Vinyl graphics are designed to work on FLAT SURFACES. If your destination area has a course or rough or rounded surface your graphic may not stick properly. And may require some heat and more pressure to make it conform to the uneven surface.
•    1) Clean your area thoroughly! Use a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol (2 parts water 1 part isopropyl alcohol).
•    2) Use a water-soluble pencil and level to mark a line for the bottom of your vinyl letters, numbers or graphics.
•    3) Use masking tape to hold your graphics in the desired location. Create a tape hinge (for example tape the topside securely down).
•    4) Expose the white wax paper backing. Peel the wax paper away (carefully pull it off so none of your graphics or small vinyl pieces stick to the wax paper).
•    5)  If you are using the wet method lightly wet the surface of the area and adhesive.
•    6) Position your graphic. If you created a "tape hinge" roll your graphic to the destination surface. If doing the Wet method you can lift and reposition if needed (DO NOT SLIDE).
•    7) Use a squeegee or credit card to adhere your graphic and remove excess water. Overlap your strokes starting from the middle to the edges and work your way around the graphic. Start with less pressure over the entire decal and then use heavy pressure to remove any air or liquid from the graphic.
•    8) Let the graphic sit for 5-20 minutes for the Wet method. Take your time.
•    9) Start at a top corner and carefully remove the application tape. If the graphic doesn't want to stick, lay it back down and squeegee again and wait another 5-10 minutes. Peel the application tape way at a sharp angle, (straight back not straight up) this will prevent the graphic from sticking to the application tape.
•    10) The Wet method may produce small air bubbles, leave them alone. Most will work themselves out as the vinyl completely dries and breathes. Depending on the weather this could take from 1 hour to 2 days. Placing the decal in direct sunlight speeds up the process.
•    11) Allow your graphic to bond well before washing or exposing to wind/rain/elements. 12 to 24 hours is ideal.
If you damage a single letter or group of letter, just the damaged ones can be re-ordered and installed. We save all of the cut files so you can re-order your decals any time in the future.

What supplies will I need to apply my letters?

You will need an application squeegee, which is included in your order, masking tape, a yardstick or tape for measuring, a scissor and a cleaned surface to apply the letter. We also recommend a water-soluble marking pencil, available from us. Water-soluble pencils will wash off your boat easily after the boat letters are applied.

Where do I get these supplies?

The application squeegee will be included in your order (over $30). The water-soluble marking pencil are available from Custom-Vinyl-Lettering.net. You may also buy the marking pencil from your local art supply store. Everything else is available at your local hardware store.

What if I've never applied vinyl letters before?

Feedback from our customers over the years, who have never done it before, have said that if you follow the directions, take your time and pick a day that is not too windy, it’s easy.

How should I care for my lettering?

In colder climates, decals on windows of vehicles can be damaged by the scraping of frost or ice from the windows. Mild window cleaner may be used to clean the windows without damage to the decal. On painted surfaces of vehicles, care must be taken when waxing. Wax will build up around the edges of the decal, and will need to be removed. Use a soft cloth, and take your time, and be gentle. DO NOT USE something such as a brush. It will only force the wax underneath the edge of the decal, and the decal will begin to peel. Your Decal will not be damaged by normal use of car wash products, or water. Although the decals will withstand pressure washers, car washes, these will reduce the life and appearance of your Decal. The decals will not last forever, but will give you many years of enjoyment if taken care of.

How do I remove my lettering?

On glass surfaces, with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees, a razor blade scraper can be used. Decals can be removed from painted surfaces by using a heat gun or hair dryer to warm the decal to the point to where it peels off easily. Heating the decal will not cause the decal to completely detach from the surface, but will loosen the adhesive to make it make easier to remove.

Can I reuse the graphic once I take it off?

No. Once the decal graphic is removed is it no longer reusable.

What if I've never applied custom vinyl boat letters before?

Feedback from our customers over the years, who have never done it before, have said that if you follow the directions, take your time and pick a day that is not too windy, and above 65 Degrees it’s easy. And they are very proud of the custom lettering they designed online and installed by themselves.

What supplies will I need to apply my vinyl boat letters?

You will need an application squeegee, which is included in your order, masking tape, a yardstick or tape for measuring, a scissor and a cleaned surface to apply the vinyl lettering. We also recommend a water-soluble marking pencil, available from us. Water-soluble pencils will wash off your boat easily after the custom vinyl boat letters are applied.

How do I remove existing vinyl boat lettering from my boat?

Most vinyl boat lettering can be removed. We recommend that you warm the surface of the boat letters a sunny day may do it, but a hair dryer will also work well. Lift a corner or edge of each letter and pull, the remaining adhesive may be removed with a strong citrus cleaner or mineral spirits.

How long can I expect my vinyl boat letters to last?

According to the vinyl manufacturer, 5-7 years. However, we have seen many vinyl boat letters continue to maintain their durability many years longer. The sun plays an important part in the longevity of the vinyl lettering. South or West facing vinyl letter applications tend to weather faster.

Will the color of my custom vinyl boat letters fade?

You can expect the color to last the same as the letter itself. Sometimes what appears to be fading is really a thin film of grease and dirt. This can be easily removed with a strong citrus cleaner, 409 or Pinesol.

Does it matter what temperature it is when I apply my new custom vinyl boat letters?

The minimum application temperature recommended by the manufacturer is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. The adhesive needs to be warm to adhere properly. Use a hair dryer to warm both the vinyl decal and the surface prior to your application.

Should I wax my boat before I put my vinyl letters on?

No. If anything, any wax first needs to be removed. We recommend that your boat surface be free of any dirt, grease or wax. This can be done by using Isopropyl alcohol, methyl hydrate or acetone. Be sure to test is a small inconspicuous area of the boat first to make sure whatever cleaner you use does not damage the surface.

Will my vinyl boat registration numbers be spaced according to regulations?

Your boat registration numbers will arrive pre-spaced. They must be plain, vertical, block characters, not less than (3) inches high, and in a color contrasting with the background. A space or hyphen must separate the letters from the numbers. Different States have different requirements, please lookup your state’s requirements before placing your order.

Do I need to put anything over my vinyl boat letters to protect them?

No. However, after your boat letters are "set" (about a week should do it), it is okay to wax over your boat letters. Do not use a power buffer over the vinyl lettering. Instead wax over the lettering portion of the boat by hand.

Can I wash my boat after my letters are applied?

Other than removing the water-soluble marks, which should come off easily with a wet cloth, it is always better to let your vinyl letters ‘set-up’ for a few days before washing. If you use a garden hose, be careful not to use too much pressure.

What if I make a mistake when I apply my vinyl boat letters?

You will probably do fine if you follow the instructions carefully and choose a day that is not too windy. However, if you do mess up you can reorder just the letters or numbers that need replacing.

Can I use your vinyl letters or custom vinyl graphics on something other than my boat?

Yes. There are many applications for using the same vinyl letters or vinyl graphics including truck doors, vans, bug shields, motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, storefront windows, mailboxes, jet skis, motorcycles, ski-doo’s or any smooth, glossy, clean and dry surface.

Can you make something that I have designed in vinyl? And how much will it cost?

Yes. You can design right online and even upload your image and size it to fit your project. There is a built in quote tool included in the online process.

How do I send you the artwork that I would like to use?

There is an “upload” button on our online design tool. Vector files (.eps, .ai, .pdf) work best and save you a setup charge if done correctly. Detailed instructions are online to help you. The larger the required graphic the higher resolution the file should be.

Can you clear coat on top of the vinyl decals?

Yes! You can clear coat on top of any decals!  You can also use our graphics as paint mask when you are applying paint to the vehicle.

We would caution you to think about the consequences of clear coating before you do it though.  Once you clear coat on top of the decal, it is permanently attached to the surface and yellows with age.  Removing clear coated graphics will involve sanding off the clear coat and then removing the graphics, then a re-paint.
 
One of the best features of vinyl graphics is that you can remove them once you change your taste or sell the vehicle.

What size of vehicle decal should I get?

Measuring for custom decals is simple. Using a tape measure or yard stick, estimate the total width (left to right) and height (up and down) for your desired decal (total size, not size of individual letters). All of our vinyl decals are categorized by scale (square, rectangular, or windshield) Remember for windshield decals, most cars will fit a 4" x 40" decal.

Please be sure to measure accurately.  All of our products are custom made to order, so there are no returns, exchanges or refunds once the product has shipped.  If purchasing one of our products as a present, please have another responsible person do the measuring and color choosing for you.

Are custom vinyl banners hemmed and include grommets?

Yes. All custom vinyl banners are made from at least 10 oz vinyl material and are hemmed and include grommets. Hemmed vinyl banners are generally more attractive and durable than those that are not. Grommets in the vinyl banners are the brass lined holes in the corners and edges that make it easy for hanging.

What are Vinyl Banner Hems?

Hems are sewing around the edges of the vinyl banner for a longer life span. Smaller custom vinyl banners that are digitally printed with full color digital images are sometimes heat seal around the edges instead of being hemmed. This is because smaller vinyl banners are that are digitally printed and the extra fabric will not fit through the digital printer.

What are Grommets in the Custom Vinyl Banners for?

Grommets are brass rings that are placed around the vinyl banner every 2 feet for hanging with hooks, ropes, nails or screws. Grommets take the strain off the fabric of the custom vinyl banner avoiding rips and tears. The Grommets make hanging the custom vinyl banner easier too. Common used for; Commercial Banners, Restaurant Banners, Promotional Banners, Church Banners, Event Banners, Construction  and Real Estate Banners. Making the installation and removal for re-use possible without damaging the custom vinyl banner.

Why are there Pole Pockets in my Weatherproof Banner?

Pole pockets are looped pockets, either on the top and bottom or side to side of the vinyl banner for insertion of a pole for hanging. Pole pockets are useful in Custom Band Banners and Parade banners, the pole is cut two feet longer than the banner. This allows for a foot extra on either side serving as handles for carrying the custom band banner. Other Vinyl Banners that use pole pockets are: Street Banners, Large Vinyl Banners, Sports Banners, Seasonal Banners and Event Banners.

What are Wind Slits?

Wind Slits are holes placed in the middle of the banner for wind to be able to circulate through. Mainly for large or oversized custom banners. Street Banners, Holiday Banners, Church Banners, Christian Banners or any vinyl banner placed in high wind areas, require the use of wind slits.

What type of material is used for your banners?

We use 13 ounce Vinyl banner material for all of our single sided custom banners. Indoor Banners, Small Banners, Birthday Banners, School Banners are some commonly vinyl banners that use 13 ounce material.
We also offer 15oz-16oz Heavy Vinyl banner material used for double sided vinyl banners. This is a very strong fabric with great outdoor dependability. Used in such banners as, Reflective Banners, Outdoor Banners, Storefront Banners or any banner to be left outdoors for extended periods of time. The Heavier Vinyl Banner is also more opaque and eliminates the shadow from the lettering on the reverse side of the vinyl banner.

What size custom vinyl banners do you offer?

We digitally print any custom size requested but the most common sizes are: 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 3x4, 3x6, 3x8, 3x10, 4x6, 4x8, 4x10, 4x12, 4x16. Please contact us for a quote. Let us know the information you want on the custom banner and we will suggest a proper size for your custom vinyl banner. Generally 1-5 lines of text are used for all banners. More lines make the lettering size smaller thus making it hard to read from a distance.

How do we install the banners?

Our banners come with attached grommets every 2 feet so you can securely mount them to a variety of surfaces. You can either mount your banner directly to a wall using screws and washers. Against a chain link fence, fasten through the grommets with nylon ties or wire. Also you can run a rope (or a bungee cord) through the grommets and attach your banner to two poles.

What are Full Color Digital Banners?

It used to be too expensive to print full color on large formats like vinyl banners. Digital printing technology has spawned new cost effective ways to print full color banners and achieve maximum impact. Our digital printers provide great color resolution at a reasonable price. Our state-of-the-art digital printers print your graphics in large formats and at sharp resolutions right on the vinyl banner. Making it possible to add a photograph or digital image to your custom vinyl banner.

If you would like to have computer generated artwork or photos reproduced or want to offer multiple colors this process is for you. According to Marketing Insights, color increases visibility and recall by up to 40%. For digital full color banners, artwork can be supplied in bitmap images at the size you wish the banner to be in a resolution of 150 dpi or higher. We also have banner backgrounds and photo clipart that is available for you to combine with text to make your banner stand out. Birthday Banners, Personalized Banners, Restaurant Banners, Digital Banners are some of the common uses. 

What are Cut Vinyl Lettering and Graphics Banners?

Generally for basic custom vinyl banners needs, cut vinyl banners can give you your best bang for the buck. Using your vector artwork or using our layout designers, you'll be assured that this custom vinyl banner gets noticed. Computer cut vinyl banners are "adhesive backed vinyl stickers" cut into a particular shape. A computer plotter is used instead of templates or dies and cuts adhesive vinyl using the computer cutter. The lettering/graphics are then transferred by hand and applied to the custom vinyl banner material. Seasonal Banners, Construction Banners, Trade Show Banners, Welcome Home Banners, Birthday Banners are some common uses for Cut vinyl lettering on banners.

If you are looking to do a banner with basic text and one of two colors then this banner can be the least expensive. For vinyl-cut graphics, artwork will be made into vectors (i.e. outlines, curves). We prefer artwork in this format. These files are often are created in CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator and have file extensions such as .eps, .ai, .pdf, and .cdr.

How long will a custom vinyl banner last?

Our full color outdoor vinyl banner can last up to three years even more when permanently installed outdoors. However, the wild cards of installation and the weather are important. We cannot help you with the weather. Secure your banners as best you can. We suggest the use of bungee cord (along with the regular cord/rope) for prolonged use.

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