Application Tip: Layering Vinyl for Multi-Colored Designs

When it comes to decals, signage, or other graphics, vinyl film works great for monochromatic projects.  There are also ways to use more than one color to create a project that pops. This process is referred to as vinyl layering. Learn what it takes to get the look you’ve imagined by following these few simple steps. 

First, you have to determine whether the image can be done in vinyl using multiple solid colors.  If the design includes a gradient, (the design starts off one color and gradually changes into another color or shade) decide if the image will work with the gradient section staying one color.  An alternative is to simulate the gradient by gradually shrinking spots of color.

Once you decide what colors to use and how to use them, match your preferences to the vast color choices from the vinyl or heat transfer film we carry at Regional Supply. Next, decide how your design will make sense as layers.  If your graphic has colors that don’t overlap, for example the American flag on a white wall, you could cut the colors and apply them separately.

Some images will have one color completely inside another.  When that happens, it is best to cut the outer color as a back layer of vinyl, or shadow of the design so that the inner color can be stacked on top of it. For example, if you were cutting out a basketball, you would cut a black circle, then cut the orange panels and use transfer tape to stack the individual panels on top of the black.

Once you decide which method works best for your graphic and the colors are cut out, weeded, and ready to apply, start by applying the back colors to the destination substrate first (for example the black basketball background).  Then, you can apply the rest of the colors/layers in the same manner.  We recommend using a clear transfer tape to line up the layers while applying the film.  Lining up of the layers can also be done with temporary registration marks included when the piece is cut.  When it is all applied and finished, ideally there will be no unintended gaps between layers, especially if the colors were stacked.

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