What Kind of Printer Do I Need for Printable Vinyl?

Kyle Adam
Kyle Adam
Founder at - Printers Guider

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for...Read more

The operation of printers is changing with time, from just two-color printing to a variety of printing functions and options. As such, the majority of small and large businesses employ these modern-day printers for different printing purposes. So, what kind of printer do I need for printable vinyl?

Vinyl printing is feasible with various types of printers. However, the ideal options for printable vinyl remain large-format inkjets and desktop inkjets. If you wish to know more about this topic, then keep reading.

Here, we’ve discussed the kind of printers ideal for vinyl printing in detail. Furthermore, you’ll discover the different types of printable vinyl, how to print on printable vinyl, etc. So, read on to know more about vinyl printing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vinyl printing is a concept that incorporates a hard, light, and durable material (vinyl) for large format printing purposes.
  • It’s possible to use printable vinyl in virtually all printers. However, certain printers work best with printable vinyl.
  • Printable vinyl comes in three main types, namely, glossy, matte, and clear. Although these vinyl types are different, they all have some similarities. These similarities have to do with their characteristics.
  • Out of the several printers that are compatible with the printable vinyl, the most prominent ones are the desktop inkjets and large format inkjets.

What Is Vinyl Printing?

Vinyl printing is a concept that incorporates a hard, light, and durable material (vinyl) for large format printing purposes. This printing form produces a full-color printing that you can laminate or shape. This type of printing is a great solution for beautifying buildings, cars, windows, and the like.

What Is Vinyl Printing

Furthermore, the purpose of vinyl printing also covers areas like PVC banners, vinyl, wall coverings, etc. In addition to these, it’s a good solution for exhibitions and car wraps. But why is this form of printing important, and why do many businesses employ the use of vinyl printing? Let’s consider some of the notable uses of vinyl printing.

Some Notable Uses of Vinyl Printing

On Vehicles as Billboards:

Using vehicles for advertisements is becoming very common among several businesses. The idea here is to place these vinyl wraps on the vans, motorbikes, cars, or boats to simulate billboards. Creating these vinyl wraps is now a very simple, easy task, thanks to large printing gadgets like HP Latex 310. These printers create vinyl wraps that seemingly stick to the smooth surfaces of vehicles when placed on them.

Exhibition Stands, Vinyl Signs, and Roller Banners:

The vinyl printing concept is also ideal for smaller case uses like exhibition stands, large vinyl signs, and roller banners. These kinds come in a waterproof form, and they’re quite durable. Moreover, most people opt for these options as they offer a competitive cost for interior or exterior signage purposes.

Retail Store Application:

Another example of where you can apply the concept of vinyl graphics printing is in retail stores. They’re a good option for decorating the interior part of these stores. Also, they offer a creative and attractive view. In addition to these, this printing form provides users with many branding opportunities. This is particular to window display decorations.

Moreover, the vinyl printing concept has an impressively looking finish. The results of this feature can draw the attention of more customers to your store. What’s more, you won’t need to worry about the size. This is because it’s possible to fit smaller panels together.

Type of Printable Vinyl

Printable vinyl comes in three main types, namely, glossy, matte, and clear. Although these vinyl types are different, they all have some similarities. These similarities have to do with their characteristics. Generally, all three vinyl types have permanent adhesives; they’re removable and have a waterproof feature.

1. Glossy Printable Vinyl

The Glossy printable vinyl is the major kind of vinyl whose application is the simplest. If you’re a lover of the DIY practice, then this vinyl type would be ideal for you. It wouldn’t be significant whether you’re a professional or experienced in film installation and wrapping. Moreover, maintaining this kind of vinyl is quite simple.

Glossy Printable Vinyl

2. Matte Printable Vinyl

For most users, the Matte printable vinyl proves to be one of the most desirable printable vinyls on the market. This is particularly for users who love the application of wraps. Furthermore, the demand for matte vinyl is always on the high side. This is a function of its popularity and ease of use. In addition, it’ll be very beneficial to learn more about the matte application and its properties.

3. Clear Printable Vinyl

The Clear Vinyl or Transparent Vinyl is a double polished vinyl, whose purpose is to provide optimal clarity. Clear Vinyl is created from water bath technology – a method employed for many other clear vinyl creations. It’s known to stand the test of extreme cold weather conditions of about -40F to -50F.

Clear Printable Vinyl

The Clear printable vinyl is most suitable for latex or solvent printers. This kind of printer is not very common for home use. Generally, most users employ Clear Vinyl as a protective laminate for other inkjet printable types of vinyl.

In addition to the matte, glossy, and clear printable vinyl, you must have also observed the:

  • The Cricut Vinyl and
  • The Silhouette Vinyl.

Regardless of the machine, you choose to use for the printing job, these options will always work. However, it’s important to acquaint yourself with their major differences. The Cricut’s vinyl has a better quality compared to the other. Also, it comes in a thinner form, and it adheres well to different curved planes.

Can Printable Vinyl Be Used In Any Printer?

It’s possible to use printable vinyl in virtually all printers. However, certain printers work best with printable vinyl.

Furthermore, the kind of printer to use for printable vinyl is such that it can contain different paper thicknesses. Also, such a printer should be able to handle printing jobs with printable vinyl sheets without the chances of paper jams. There are great options on the market you can obtain for this purpose.

As you may already know, the standard vinyl paper for printing comes in 8.5 x 11 sheets. This is why you’ll need a printer to handle too thick papers. By doing this, splurging on the printing gadget won’t be necessary.

Moreover, while the most expensive printers will give you a more efficient result, it’s best to start with affordable ones.

What Kind Of Printer Do I Need For Printable Vinyl?

Out of the several printers that are compatible with the printable vinyl, the most prominent ones are the desktop inkjets and large format inkjets. These choices are great for various business projects.

What Kind of Printer Do I Need for Printable Vinyl - know from expert

Moreover, the 8.5 x 11-sized vinyl paper allows it to work with various types of inkjets or laser printers. It only takes you to cut and place it on the desired surfaces. Let’s address these laser printers and inkjet printers with respect to using vinyl paper.

Using Printable Vinyl in Laser Printers:

Laser printers are commonly seen in commercial environments or offices. All laser printers are designed to work with toner in place of ink. As such, these printer types can print in higher volumes faster than inkjets. Laser printers are specially designed for printing texts and documents. Also, this type of printer can produce quality photos on vinyl paper compared to inkjets.

The operation of laser printers is not the same as that of inkjets. Primarily, laser printers function by maintaining a steady rolling toner over the surface of the paper. Although vinyl papers work in this printer, they’re not commonly used for vinyl printing purposes.

However, a type of vinyl paper works perfectly in both laser and inkjet printers. It’s known as LUXOTON’s printable vinyl sticker. So, there’s no need to bother about the kind of printer you have when you can simply use one of these papers.

Using Printable Vinyl in Inkjet Printers:

Unlike the laser printers suitable for commercial and office purposes, inkjets are primarily for home use. The inkjet printers are not designed for heavy-duty printings. Moreover, this type of printer uses ink for its operations. It’s appropriate to say that vinyl printing tasks are better done with inkjets. However, it’s quite crucial to get the right printing gadget for this purpose.

Here’s how the printing process works. The sticker paper usually absorbs the ink from the printer through the printable vinyl glue. This is what’s responsible for the water-resistance feature of the finished work. This result greatly benefits users who wish to place it on cars, trucks, or any other gear.

There are several compatible brands for vinyl printing operations. However, it’s important to check the kind of ink the printer uses. In your attempt to get one of these printers, ensure it’s such that it works with dye-based ink.

How Do I Print On Printable Vinyl?

To print on printable vinyl, it’s important to get the desired design visualized and created in mind. Once this is achieved, the printing process can commence. To begin the printing, open a fresh document page, import the design to the document, and preview the document. The next thing is to fill the printer with the printable vinyl paper and finish up the process.

How Do I Print On Printable Vinyl

Once you can get a picture of what you want to achieve, simply use image software to create the design. When this is done, proceed to print with the vinyl paper. Given that this process involves vinyl papers, it’s vital to have enough of them at your disposal.

If you wish to create a transparent sticker, you should be looking at getting clear vinyl printer papers. For this purpose, we’ll advise you to stick with good-quality papers. This is because cheap ones will show in the quality of the finished work. Here’s the step-by-step process to print on printable vinyl.

Step 1:

Go to your choice of image editing software and create a new document there. If the option is available, you might need to modify the document size to 8 x 11 inches. You should do this in your attempt to create a new document. Some other software will prompt the user to modify the document size after creating it.

Step 2:

The following step is to import the created design into the document you just opened. Some software brands support the drag-and-drop function. This works by dragging the file and pasting it on the blank document. Conversely, some others will prompt you to use the File tab option. There, you’ll find the Import button.

You can use multiple stickers to print on the vinyl paper, which will help you manage cost. However, this pattern comes with special caution. You may need to place your stickers in proper alignment before initiating the printing. Moreover, it’s vital to make sure to set the designs correctly. Meaning they should not touch the margins or overlap. In addition, it’s best to set up a maximum of 8 designs in one document.

Step 3:

The next aspect of the process involves reviewing the document. It’s quite essential to do this before moving the document for printing. Primarily, you’ll be checking for inconsistencies or errors in the way you arranged the stickers. If the coast seems clear enough, simply proceed to print the document.

Step 4:

At this point, you want to place the vinyl paper you have into the printer. During this process, ensure to place the non-adhesive part of the vinyl paper in the direction of the printing. This means that the printer is meant to print on the side of the paper that’s not adhesive. If you’re still unsure of the right side of the paper, do a test using a single paper.

Step 5:

Set up your printer and prepare it for the printing task. Now, go back to where you previewed or reviewed the sticker you wish to print. There you’ll find the Print button. Click on this button to initiate the printing process and wait for it complete.

Also Read: Difference Between Printable Vinyl Vs. Sticker Paper

Things to Avoid When Printing On Printable Vinyl

If you wish to venture into your business, implementing vinyl printing is a way to start. The concept has become a common medium for business advertisements. This part of this article will take you through what you should avoid when printing on printable vinyl.

Errors in the Content

One other thing you should be mindful of is how you carry out the last action, which is the printing. It’s possible to get your designing, bleeding, color models, and aligning correctly. However, if your printing settings have an error, you’ll most likely get the wrong result.

Proofreading your work helps you to avoid this mistake. You can do this by employing online platforms. It’s vital to take this action before getting to the aspect of the machine settings.

Proofreading your content before printing saves time and avoids future trouble, especially from clients. You don’t want your client to notice an irreversible error after completing the project.

Color Model Defects

Generally, vinyl printing deals with two main color models. These are RGB and CMYK color technologies. The application of these two different color models is quite different; the same applies to the results you may get from them. Moreover, you can’t say that either of the two models has the edge over the other. The most important factor is the project type you want to carry out. This means that your choice could either make or mar the result you get.

Furthermore, these color models work well, depending on the product’s printing material, press settings, background, and design. So, to overcome color model defects, it’s important to learn more about each of them. By doing this, you can easily figure out the most suitable option for what you wish to achieve.

Selecting the Wrong Materials

One of the things that makes a big difference in printing with vinyl papers is the vinyl material. Using good quality materials helps your finished work to stand the test of heat and water. Opting for a glossy or matte finish helps you to project the proper information in an ideal manner.

Using the Wrong Font

One of the most prominent things you need to consider when printing on printable vinyl is the font. This happens in many cases – using various words and font styles for creating designs. Certain individuals imbibe this habit because they wish to please their customers. It’s crucial to know that you’ll most likely be projecting the wrong idea if you don’t use the right font.

Also, you should be aware that the font you select is dependent on the print size, material, and color choices. The color comes in different models. This affects the quality of your finished work, either positively or negatively, based on the font. As a result, you need to select your fonts carefully.

Mistake in Layering the Vinyl

Placing your vinyl in layers is a way of creating unique images and deep designs. This is something a lot of experienced business owners are familiar with. This makes so much sense, especially if you know your way around the process. As valid as that is, a single mistake in layering the vinyl can negatively affect your finished work.


Printable vinyl works in several different printers, even though the most suitable ones are for it. So, what kind of printer do I need for printable vinyl? Generally, there are two kinds of printers most suitable for printable vinyl: desktop inkjets and large format inkjets. These printer variants function by using ink on the material.

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for a renowned printer manufacturing company as a printer technician. Besides his job, he also loves to do research and write about what he is dealing with in his everyday life; Printersguider is the result of that. Kyle created this site to educate those who need a specialized printer but don’t have proper knowledge about it.

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