Articles of DMS

For interesting news about DMS.

Lowering Costs with Batch Processing

batch processing for manufacturers

Lowering Production Costs with Batch Processing

Manufacturers from food to printing utilize systematic ways of increasing efficiency. A primary way of reducing costs and enhancing production is a method called batch processing or batch production. This cycle is utilizing the creation of manufacturing items individually or continuously in groups or batches. Using this approach for each of the steps in the production process is dedicating efforts at the same time to an entire batch of items, where that batch pauses until the entire batch is completed. [Read more…]

Printing Outdoor Labels


Orange County Label Printing

Signs and decals are literally surrounding us in this day and age, we hardly notice them. It’s easy to take them for granted, but a lot of work actually goes into making most of those graphics. There is also a lot of variance in the quality and durability of different decals. The materials and techniques used make a huge difference in how durable your finished decal/label is, and whether it is suitable for outdoor use.

Printing Durable Labels

UV Stable Eco-Solvent Inks

The most common problem with poorly made advertisements that are used outdoors, is that they fade quickly with exposure to the sun. This is because of the harsh UV radiation produced by the sun reacts with the inks used on the label or decal; in a problem known as UV degradation. The ultraviolet rays break down the chemicals of the inks, which causes colors to fade.

To prevent the colors from fading on your banners or labels, we only use the highest quality UV stable ink available. Various chemicals are added to make the ink solvents resistant to the sun’s UV radiation. These chemicals act just like sunscreen in protecting against UV rays; they stabilize the chemical bonds of the inks preventing UV degradation. This is all done without compromising image quality.

orange county outdoor decal printing

8 Color Printing Process

We use the most advanced printing process available because it produces: vivid colors, smoother gradients, richer black tones, and higher quality photos. Most print shops use either spot color(printing each color in layers, one color at a time), or 4 color printing for their label and decal printing. These color processes might be cheaper than using a variable 8 color printing process, but you sacrifice image quality.

By adding light cyan, light magenta, light black, & white inks to the normal CMYK(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Black) printing process; we are able to produce more vibrant colors, reduce graininess in gradients, remove “banding”, print deeper black tones, and more. We can even use specialty solvents like metallic inks, in place of light black or white. This allows us to print truly stunning outdoor labels.

High Quality Outdoor Laminates

Laminates can be made of various materials, but for printing purposes, the laminate we use is a thin layer of clear plastic. This laminate protects the graphic from scratches and from water damage. We laminate all of our labels/decals, unless a project specifically calls for no lamination(pretty rare). We do this because laminating your decals is going to prolong their life.

Applying the laminate perfectly can be a challenge. We have to lay the laminate across the printed labels, apply one corner of the laminate to the graphic, and then apply the rest of the laminate sheet to the graphic. To do this without any air bubbles forming between the label and laminate take patience and attention to detail. After the sheet of laminate has bonded to the face of the graphic, we can die-cut the labels to the needed shape.

Printing Substrates

A substrate is the material we print your graphics on. Most graphics are printed on sheets vinyl then cut to their destined shape. Vinyl is a plastic material that has tons of uses throughout our society. Printers use vinyl of different thicknesses depending on what you need your labels for. The thicker the vinyl is the more of a beating it can take. Which can make the increase in cost well worth it, for long term outdoor labels. If your decals or signs are only serving a temporary purpose, and aren’t going to be reused, then it makes sense to go with a thinner vinyl substrate to print on.

Label Usage Outside

Labels(aka decals) and signs have tons of outdoor uses. Billboards are the first thought most people have when asked about outdoor decals, but we are literally surrounded by so many printed labels that they’re practically invisible to us! Here are some of the most common uses for labels and signage in an outdoor setting.

City Decals

Cities have so many uses for different labels and signage, that it’s impossible to list them all. Fire & Police departments use vinyl decals to wrap their vehicles. Cities frequently run their own advertising campaigns using outdoor signage and banners. Cities and other government agencies are run like businesses only they can be much larger sometimes. Cities still have to focus on their branding, and their marketing strategy just like any active business.

Directional signage

Directional signage or waypoint signs, come in all shapes and sizes, but their purpose is always the same; give people intuitive directions. The parks & rec departments will use waypoint signage to direct hikers around large parks. Large cities also use them to help drivers navigate their city, usually pointing to landmarks or popular hubs.

It’s extremely important that directional signage is made to last for years in direct sunlight. A faded directional sign will reflect negatively on your park or city, and it might fail to convey the message it was created for.

User Interface Graphics & Membrane Switches

Most people have never heard of user interface graphics or membrane switches, but we can guarantee that you’ve seen and used them before. The differences between the two are slight.

user interface decal graphicsUser interface graphics are decals that are applied to a machine that gives you direction on how to interact with the machine. Like the decals on the pictured parking meter that tell you where to insert coins, and which direction to insert your credit card. They tell us how to interact(interface) with the machine.

Membrane Switch graphics are decals that are printed directly on a membrane that is meant to interact directly with a computer/machine in a specific way. Like the pictured parking meter for example, it use membrane switches as buttons that allow people to increase the amount of parking time they need, as well as cancelling or accepting their transaction. The use of membrane switches on parking meters made paying for your parking with a credit card possible. Membrane switch decals are widely used in everyday life. They can be found on household appliances, on industrial machinery, and countless other uses.

Membrane switches and user interface graphics are used on: ATM’s, parking meters, vending machines, digital cameras, kitchen appliances, construction equipment, industrial machinery, printers, computers, air conditioning units, hospital equipment, and the list goes on. Regardless of your use for these decals, you should make sure you use a high quality print shop to make them. Especially if you are going to use them in an outdoor setting, you’ll want them to keep their color for a long time.

Window Stickers

Window decals have a wide variety of uses. Brick and mortar businesses can utilize their window space for advertisements, branding, and “badges”(like your A+ rating with the BBB, or your yelp ratings). Decals have long been used on cars. Whether they are bumper stickers or window stickers these graphics let you advertise your business, or promote your school or favorite sports team. Apartment complexes can issue static cling window decals as parking passes for their residents. The list of uses for outdoor window decals really could continue, especially when you take different types of decals into consideration.

Normal window decals can be have their adhesive on either side, or they can be double-sided. We also print static cling decals, which don’t use any glue to stick, and don’t leave any residue when they are removed.

Another popular type of window decal is perforated window decals. These decals have 1000’s of small holes punched throughout the sheet of vinyl. These holes allow you to see through the graphic easily, but the graphic printed on the outside of the decal remains visible to people looking at it. These perforated decals also reduce the sunlight that shines through the glass, which can be desirable in an office building, or the back seat windows of a car.

Outdoor decals

Decals can be print and cut to almost any size and almost any shape. For years and years, decals could only be applied to substrates that were smooth and solid like: a sheet of metal, or a gator foam board. Today, because of advances in the sign industry by giants like 3M, we can now successfully apply decals to rough, porous surfaces; like concrete, brick walls, carpet floors, and stucco.

California Outdoor Signs & Decals

If you need outdoor signage whether it’s labels or wide format wall decals, you want your decals to be able to withstand the sun’s harsh rays day after day. So make sure you print your graphics with UV stable inks, and laminate your decals.

If you’re a business owner or a city manager you’ll only have so many opportunities to invest in your brand and your customers perception of you. If you are using signage outside to engage your audience, you want to make sure it’s not going to fade in the next 5-7 years.

Signs and Banners for City Branding

city branding in orange county

Branding for a City

We know that branding is basically a marketing exercise which is utilized for selling products/services. This activity has long been associated with businesses looking to scale their sales and operations and increase their outreach through awareness. The basic components making up a brand identity include visual symbols, culture, slogans, values and vision and mission. [Read more…]

Maximizing Your Product Packaging Labels

Mass printed unique barcodes

Product Label Printing

If you were to walk down a supermarket aisle and search for your preferred product, what’s the first thing that you would look for? Well, you would look for the label. That’s how useful labels are, and in this article, we are going to look at how businesses can make the most of their labels for a wide range of purposes. [Read more…]

Decal Uses in a Manufacturing Setting

safety decals

We all know that decals or labels are used for communicating. For instance, you could have a wall decal placed in your room or a window sticker on your car; that expresses your true personality. However, decals aren’t limited to art, because decals can be many different shapes and sizes and can adhere to many surfaces, they can be used practically anywhere. They offer a wide range of benefits that can prove to be very useful. In this write-up, we are going to look at how decals are used in the manufacturing sector.

[Read more…]

Small Business Advertising Strategies

small business advertising

Small business owners need to carefully plan advertising campaigns because they are typically working with a smaller budget than their corporate counter parts. Crafting an appropriate advertising strategy for a small business is difficult, but necessary.

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The Basics of Step and Repeat

Flatbed Digital Printing

What is a step and repeat banner? It’s the backdrop thing with logos on it that you see behind celebrities in pictures at red carpet events – or at least, that’s its technical definition.

 We prefer the marketing-specific explanation: step and repeats are an inexpensive way to increase brand awareness by getting your logo and company name featured in the backgrounds of images that’ll be used everywhere, from newspapers to Facebook profile pics. A step and repeat banner also adds a distinctly hip factor to any event, and gives off the impression that you represent a legit company.

[Read more…]

More Trade Show Tips

trade show banners displays, and kiosks

Events and exhibitions can last all day or all night and your business or client requires you to be on your feet and on your best at all times. It’s true, this can be exhausting and dragging yourself through the day, with a constant smile on your face is a real challenge. Yet the best companies tend to manage it year in and year out. What’s their secret?

[Read more…]

Making a First Impression

If you’re running a small business, you can probably relate to the large amounts of time, energy, and effort it takes to market your business. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to share your product and services with the masses. That’s why creating a first impression, whenever possible, is so crucial. Creating a good first impression takes a conscious effort from every aspect of your business. That means engagement on social media, and possibly email marketing or print advertising.

The right first impression creates ample opportunity to increase your bottom line.

Making A First Impression

Blindly throwing money into your business’s marketing isn’t necessarily the best way to make a lasting first impression. Whether you’re marketing to other businesses (B2B) or to the public (BTC), advertising for a small business is where working smarter, not necessarily harder, allows for the biggest bang for your buck.

[Read more…]

Vehicle Graphics & Vehicle Advertising

UCI vehicle graphics

Vehicle Wraps and Graphics

Vehicle decals are graphics that wrap around your vehicle used for advertising a business or product. Some businesses even utilize decals for seasonal promotions. Digital Magic Signs installs vehicle graphics on basically anything with a motor. This includes cars, vans, box trucks, government vehicles, and even food trucks. Our professional decals do not damage the vehicles in any way and add an extra layer of protection. [Read more…]

Trade Show Displays & Tips for Advertising

The Trade Show Floor

Whether it’s your first trade show or 100th, being on the floor can be an intimidating experience. At most trade shows you will find competing businesses and organizations all fighting for a chance at new potential clients. It’s easy to understand why so many experts describe their time on the floor as “Sensory Overload”.

If you find yourself designing and then later running a booth at such an event, Digital Magic Signs (DMS) recommends taking careful consideration on how to make your own booth appear unique without going over the top.

[Read more…]

What is the difference between Printed Vinyl Decals and Cut Vinyl Decals?

large die cut decals

Advertising With Professional Decals

Vinyl decals provide the opportunity to create an original and outstanding design for both commercial and personal use. In business, design is of crucial importance. There’s one critical deciding factor that always leaves customers scratching their heads – the difference between cut and printed vinyl decals.

Although these two mediums are often mistaken as being synonymous with each other, there are key distinctions that should be noted in order to make the best possible choice for your design needs.

[Read more…]

What are Perforated Window Decals?

vaca_window graphics_fb

How can they be utilized for advertising?

Have you ever been outside a business that seemed to block off significant window space with opaque (unable to be seen through) graphics? Maybe later you went inside and noticed that you could see clearly through the same windows to the parking lot or street, as though the graphics didn’t even exist on the outside.

If you’ve ever witnessed this kind of advertising, then you’ve already become acquainted with the wonder that is the perforated window decal.

[Read more…]

What are header system graphics? How can they be used?

Header System Graphics

Header System Graphics

Header system graphics are graphics that are custom-made to your machine in order to convey necessary information to your customer. These types of graphics are a form of user interface graphics that inform customers about your product, machine, or company. They are the types of decals you would see on a variety of automated machines, such as a gas pump, self-checkout scanner, vending machine, or an ATM. [Read more…]

How are foam and Gatorfoam boards beneficial for advertising?

foam and gatorfoam boards

How are foam and Gatorfoam boards professionally made?

If you are looking to propel your company to the next level by increasing your brand awareness, advertising new products, or minimizing your customer acquisition cost, it is important to look for new marketing venues. To this end, there is one printing technique that is frequently used in almost every industry, but may have been overlooked or underestimated by you: foam boards and Gatorfoam boards (also known as Gatorboards) are both excellent tools for marketing your business.

[Read more…]

The benefits of investing in weatherproof decals

Weatherproof Decal Install

Are Weatherproof Decals Worth The Investment?

It is possible to obtain decals with higher quality inks, materials, and sealants in order to weatherproof your business’s marketing graphics. However, weatherproof decals should not only be considered for outside use. Since decals can be used on doors, walls, or even floors, these high-traffic places produce a lot of stress on your decals and would benefit from being weatherproof in order to last longer. [Read more…]

User Interface Graphics: What Are They And How Do They Work?

Membrane Switch User interface graphics

What are User Interface Graphics?

Everyone has used an ATM machine, gas pump, or vending machine at some point in their lives. You’ve probably noticed that all these machines have instructional and informative graphics and logos on them – these are user interface graphics.

To break it down further, the term user interface refers to the point at which you interact with machines. The user sees the graphic on the interface when they use the machine. [Read more…]

Interior graphics that can help your business advertise

Interior Graphics

Custom Graphics for your Business

Graphics have the ability to amplify your business by allowing you to take advantage of underutilized advertising opportunities. Many people do not consider using the space inside their businesses to increase their reach, but this is an area that can be extremely beneficial to your business.

Through the use of various types of interior graphics, you can re-purpose this space strategically in order to advertise your company: [Read more…]

Vehicle Wraps in 6 steps


Vehicle Graphics with Digital Magic Signs

You’re thinking about getting your vehicle wrapped. Whether for your business or personal use, driving around Orange County for 8 hours gives a lot of exposure: approximately 15,000 – 35,000 potential consumers per day. So what does vehicle-wrapping entail? I sat down with Anto Rayan of Digital Magic Signs to ask how they’re made, and more about the steps of this process. His impressive resume includes 15 years of design experience with commercial vehicle wraps for a diverse spectrum of clientele.

Step 1 – Proper Identification of Vehicle

“The very first step is to identify the vehicle we are working with. I’ve had jobs involving trucks, SUV’s, vans, trailers, exotic cars, boats, you name it… there’s more to ‘wrapping’ than people realize and this is what I’d like to shed some light on. [Read more…]