FAQ's and Information

We get asked about various printing topics everyday, so we would like to share some information and answers to frequently asked questions here.

Tell me about Lexan


Lexan is the brand name for polycarbonate film. It’s supplied in sheet form, with a variety of finishes. It’s attractive and resistant to scratches and fingerprints, which is why we recommend it for decorative displays and logos. The standard Lexan is durable, but not chemical resistant so it may not be the best choice for products exposed to solvents or caustic substances. There are “Hard-Coated” versions with a top coat of special chemical resistant material.

Lexan/Polycarbonate is available in a variety of finishes velvet, matte, polished, clear and combinations thereof. Most Lexan used is clear, but its available in a rainbow of other colors. Thickness is the determining factor for this substrate, the thicker it is, the more stable and attractive the product, but thickness drives price as well. We recommend 10-15 mil velvet Lexan for most products.

Aren't you guys kinda famous?

Did you know? Gloucester Graphics has been involved in making promotional graphics for the hit TV series Wicked Tuna and Swords, as well as for local movies The Perfect Storm and The Last Harbor.

We made sail flags for Wicked Tuna, and printed rain slickers for Swords. We printed the premier event graphics for The Perfect Storm. In The Last Harbor we provided artwork reproductions and outfitted the classic police car with logos.

We’ve been honored to be a part of these productions and to have worked with such great people. We especially take a lot of pride in our city and have been thrilled to work towards promoting the beauty and culture of Gloucester!

How do I save on materials?

Just like most things many of our substrates have “name” brands and “generic” brands, which often have similar or identical properties, but not similar or identical prices. If name brands are not a requirement on your project, let us know, and we might be able to recommend a suitable alternative at a considerable savings, without sacrificing performance and quality.

What's the deal with Mylar/polyester?

Mylar is the brand name for polyester. It comes in sheet or roll form and is very stable. It’s resistant to stretch, shrinking, chemicals, abrasions, tearing and heat and it also acts as an insulator. Mylar is not treated with plasticizers, which helps it to not become brittle and wear with age. This makes it the best option for industrial applications. These properties are further enhanced when combined with a polyester laminate. We recommend polyesters for warning and safety labels. We have a variety of finishes available: white (gloss and matte), silver (gloss, brushed and matte), silver tamper evident (void), clear, gold, computer printable. Thickness ranges from 1-10 mil, with or without adhesive, which can be customized to suit the surface.

Check out our materials page to see more.

Prototyping, is it for You?

Screen printing is the best method for high quality, durable products. It is the cleanest, most consistent way to accurately lay down thick rich colors. However, with multiple colors and short runs of low quantities can be labor intensive. 

Likewise, die-cutting is top choice for clean and precisely cut products, but tooling for short runs with complex cuts can be uneconomical. 

GOOD NEWS! Gloucester Graphics has refined our prototyping process to help you save on low runs of products, especially for prototypes with lower tolerance requirements.

We can digitally print, laminate and cut labels and decals, without new tooling. Even with products that aren't kiss cut, like graphic overlays, we can digitally print, laminate and laser cut them to your prototype specs.

Next time your project requires a short run let us know if you'd consider prototyping.

How can I save on tooling?

Tooling costs can add $50-200 (or more) to an order depending on the complexity of the part.

We can help you save!

• Reuse! We have a database of over 4,000 dies that we will use for free whenever we can! Let us know if your sizing is flexible.

• Simplify if possible. The complexity of the cut adds cost! Standardize custom parts to use the same dies.

• Not all parts are created equally, some parts don't need to be cut within thousandths of an inch. If you don't need precision, we may be able to power cut your parts (and even round the corners) for free.

Next time you need a quote ask us how you can save on tooling!

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