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Oversized Transfer Printing

written by:  Cherie Derrick, Encompass Technologies - September 2004

Sometimes you need to print something bigger than your printer can handle.  Signage is one of those things so here is a little instruction on how you do it.

Let's say this is too wide for you to print so you need to break it into two pieces to make that large sign or magnet using dye sublimation decal (vinyl) material.

 

 

Using your favorite graphics software you create an overlap area that will be duplicated.  I normally want an overlap of about 3/8 to 1/2" and try to determine where is the best place for the overlap (some images have better places than others, this one doesn't matter much so I placed it between two of the larger letters).
Break the two pieces apart and print/press them onto your decal material.

 

You are now ready to cut the decal material prior to putting it onto your sign or magnetic backing (this example is for a magnet that would go on the passenger side of the car - I'll explain further down).

 

For precut signage you will probably need to cut all the way around the decal at this point, unless you are going to cut the sign material too, but for magnets I leave a small amount of excess decal material on the image until it is attached to the magnetic material (and dry)
Putting it all together:

I put the left 1/2 on the backing material, using soapy water for positioning. Then lay the right 1/2 over the left 1/2 and move it into position.  Then I hold onto it with one hand and squeegee the water and any air bubbles out with the other hand.  Allow the magnet to dry overnight and cut away the excess un-printed area.

The other thing that I was taught is, if you are doing car magnets, you need to make the magnet for each side of the car different. Make your seam so the air will not catch the front edge.  In other words this example would be for a passenger side of the car.  For the driver side you would put the left 1/2 on top of the right 1/2 so the front edge is always pointed towards the back of the car.  Of course you have to relay this information to your customer so that they know which is which.

For all of you "Ah-hi-ans" if you see a small version of this magnet running around northern Ohio, now you know who made it, say "hi" to my Mom and Dad for me!  :) 

Good luck and Happy Pressing!

Cherie Derrick
Encompass Technologies

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