What Are Clear Window Decals?
Clear window decals are one of the most popular mediums to display logos and short messages on glass by highlighting a graphic put onto transparent sheets made of vinyl. Typical applications include glass doors, storefronts, automobiles, windows, etc.; as long as you can still see through it, the decal doesn’t take up the entire space.
Spot White vs. Flood White Print Option
When it comes to clear vinyl printing, there are only two major print options, either flood white or spot white finish. They are both completely different and achieve complete opposite results. Click here to read our blog post for a more detailed look into spot white vs. flood white
! The most crucial detail to note is if you intend on having transparency in the final design.
Does your print-ready file have transparency in the design? If the answer is yes, you should choose "spot white" as the print option. Spot white will allow all transparencies in the design to remain transparent in the finished product. A layer of white ink must be present behind all the file areas where color is defined. All transparent materials must have a layer of white ink printed to support the colors. This "white layer" is so your design does not look like a stained glass window (image for transparent finish). With the spot white option selected, you indicate you have transparency intended to remain transparent in the final design. You can choose spot white for installation from inside or a standard exterior install for both installation types.
Select Flood white if you DO NOT have clear or transparent in the final design. Flood white will virtually print a solid layer of white ink behind the entire arrangement, "flooding out" any transparent material. Flood white will be explicitly used if you intend to install the product from the inside. This option would reverse print your design, allowing the material's adhesive side to stick from the inside and face outward through the glass. Even though the material is clear with the "flood white" print option, there would be no clearness in the finished design's final appearance.
The transparent finish bypasses the supporting white ink lay altogether, and the supporting white ink layer allows the ink to stand off and pop from the clear material. The transparent finish resembles stained glass, as full lighting can penetrate the vinyl sign.
Because traditional decal material is white vinyl, the only option for installation is to install it from the outside of the glass or flat surface. For decals that stick to the inside of glass, clear window decals are the "clear choice," pun intended.
Install From Inside
Businesses that display sales and promo signage may require the material to apply to the inside of storefronts glass to face outwards to potential new customers. The "Install from inside" option protects the graphics from vandalism and extreme weather.
Transparent window decals have the print option to reverse print the designs and allow the adhesive side of the material to adhere to the inside of the glass.
Whether the appearance of the design has clear or opaque, the transparent material has both "flood white" and "spot white" finish options to determine the required feature. These options pick if the final look of the design appears to have some clear areas or if all solid colors are "flooded" out to allow your colors to stand out and pop off the transparent material.
Standard (Outside Mount)
You would only need a clear window decal with a "standard" mount if you required a "spot white" finish because a flood white on transparent material would be best be on traditional white window decal
material. For more clarification, take a look at this image and note the finished style on the "Spot White Outside Mount."
Indoor vs. Outdoor Usage
One of the great things about this advertising medium is that it's excellent for outdoor and indoor usage - anywhere there is a window, you can use these decals as long as the surface is smooth (and preferably clean upon setting it). You are not limited to how to use these, and you can pick the best place to promote your business, store, or brand.
Clear Window Decals vs. Vinyl Lettering
There is a lot of confusion about clear window decals vs. vinyl lettering, and it makes sense - if you're looking at the two, there can be a lot of similarities. Still, in reality, they are pretty different. We know those clear window decals are printed on a vinyl sheet; however, your design is cut from the sheet instead of printed with vinyl lettering (trasnfer stickers). There is more texture, and vinyl lettering can have a little more pop and visual appeal but can be a pain to set up.
Clear Window Decal Features
- Installation instructions included
- Vibrant colors
- Transparent background
- Indoor and Outdoor Usage
- Waterproof and Weather Resistant
Clear Window Decal Cut Options
Cut options are a fantastic way to enhance the shape of your final design. Cut options are always optional and are not a requirement for any order. Some cut finish like oval and circle cuts have automated options where no additional art setup is required. At the same time, halo (contour cuts) cut options require an advanced artwork setup. Here's a link to our guide on setting up cut files
Halo cuts have also been referred to as "contour cuts." The design style is entirely custom to the shape, with a border (in most cases white) around the outside of the vinyl.
Circle cuts are precisely what you would think they would be. The circle cut options indicate the vinyl decals are cut into perfect round cut decals. There is no additional artwork set, and we do ask you include a .25" bleed or upload a square design with colors flooded edge to edge of the artboard. There is no need to indicate the circle shape in the file or include a dieline.
Oval cuts are similar to the circle cuts above; however, the finish is an oval shape. In addition, there is no additional artwork set, and we do ask you include a .25" bleed or upload a rectangular design with colors flooded edge to edge of the artboard.
Rounded Corners Options
A rounded corner is a finish option that allows you to change the exterior shape of your design without having to make any alterations to your art file. The round corner radial bend options are as follows:
- 1" All Corners
- 3/4" All Corners
- 1/2" All Corners
- 1/4" All Corners
- 3/8" All Corners
Clear Window Decal Maintenance
Although our transparent window decals are weather-resistant, they aren't entirely weatherproof. Extended exposure to water will eventually damage the decal and wear away at the design, so it's best to dry it right away to ensure you prolong the lifespan.
Many customers ask if they can wash the surface they install it on - that's okay, but power washing after the decal is applied will damage it and is not recommended. Ensure the area is immaculate before installing the decal, though dirt and window scum may affect the placement and cause ridges and wrinkles.
Ideally, use a damp (not wet) soft cloth to polish the messaging and surrounding areas. You can either remove it entirely or move it around in various positions during the cleaning process. Be careful - you can do this more than a few times, but not forever, since the adhesive will lose effectiveness.
Material Technical Spec
- Roll Size 54x1800."
- Physical Weight .012 per ft.²
If the proper steps are followed on installation, you should expect the lifespan of a clear window decal to be 1 to 3 years, but this can vary depending on extreme heat and or constant direct sunlight.
- Indoor or Outdoor application
- Installed in a place without constant direct sunlight.
- The surface of the install location must be adequately cleaned before installation.
- Installed nicely to a flat surface.
- Exposure to contact abrasive products