Join Date: Apr 2006
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"but are those any good?"
With any vinyl signage, ask the maker exactly what vinyl they will be using.
3M and Gerber both make premium "exterior grade" or "marine grade" vinyl which will cost more--but carry a warranty of 5-7 years. It is thicker and uses denser pigments so it won't fade and chalk like some cheap stuff will.
There may be other brands that are just as good, but I'd prefer the 3M myself. Gerber [here] is a major maker of sign cutting machines and vinyl--not the same as the baby food or outdoor clothing companies, also with a top reputation.
A good shop won't sell you individual letters unless that's precisely what you need. They will cut the entire name/port and then place a "scrim" on top of the letters, so that you can peel away the excess from between the letters, apply the entire "sheet" of scrim, and then peel away the scrim layer, leaving just the letters, all in perfect alignment.
The scrim may be clear vinyl or "tissue" paper, no real difference either way. If you follow the instructions about applying the lettering (using a soapy spray or special solution they'll sell) and letting it dry in place before removing the scrim, it will come out very nicely.