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Helmet decals


mjrbaseball

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This is probably a silly question with a simple answer, but I don't know it. Maybe someone does.

Football helmet decals are obviously printed on flat sheets. Then they are adhered to curved helmets. How do you apply a flat logo onto a curved surface without getting creases or bubbles or other flaws?

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They are printed on a thick,stretchy plastic called 'mylar' with a really heavy,gluey adhesive underneath.The mylar bends and conforms to the helmet,and all you really need is your thumbs to press and smooth the air bubbles out.If you ever did one for yourself you'd see there's nothing to it at all.In fact,unless I'm mistaken I believe all NFL equipment managers replace their helmet decals every couple of games,and probably some on a week-to-week basis.Hope this helps.

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They can probably be heated too, right?

Everyone on my high school team (back in '94) had bubbles in their stickers because we put them on ourselves and screwed up.

Completely changing gears...

Don't the Rams still have painted horns instead of stickers?

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any kind of vinyl can be heated to try and eliminate bubbles, but a good clean surface and a sound process can keep you from getting bubbles. They put on a LOT of stickers. They get good at it.

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not mylar. mylar is not conformable. mylar films are more like the metal/mirror chrome look films widely available.

it depends on who manufactures them, but at our shop it's a two part decal. the base is a high performance vinyl (many brands avail like 3M, Avery, MacTac, Convex, etc.) that can be printed onto. the top layer is a thick overlaminate for protection and gloss (anywhere from 8 to 12 mil thick). then it is computer die-cut on large flatbed plotters to shape. application is a trick since like you mentioned it's a flat decal going on a round object (the helmet). the materials are constructed to flex during application. it's also good to have some experience doing compound curve applications, because it is so tricky. another helpful tip is heat can be your friend, warming the vinyl will make it a little more flexible, enabling you to work it easier.

... and if you think a helmet is tough, try a fully wrapped Volkswagen Beetle or PT Cruiser (the stuff i get to work with everyday) :P ! the materials are slightly different but the principal is the same.

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I got a question, How do they get there helmet decals to be lined up and in the right place so well? When we did it for my teams I could never get both logos to be exactly symmetrical and it looked off but you never see a pro helmet like that.

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... and if you think a helmet is tough, try a fully wrapped Volkswagen Beetle or PT Cruiser (the stuff i get to work with everyday) :P ! the materials are slightly different but the principal is the same.

I used to design carwraps...not an easy process. And when we were short in the shop I helped with application. Lots of heating...heat guns are your friends...a good sharp xacto knife...and smooth squeege...and lots of patience.

Do you do design for carwraps pagen? It was a fun process while I did it.

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... and if you think a helmet is tough, try a fully wrapped Volkswagen Beetle or PT Cruiser (the stuff i get to work with everyday)  :P !  the materials are slightly different but the principal is the same.

I used to design carwraps...not an easy process. And when we were short in the shop I helped with application. Lots of heating...heat guns are your friends...a good sharp xacto knife...and smooth squeege...and lots of patience.

Do you do design for carwraps pagen? It was a fun process while I did it.

all day, everyday...

http://www.admarkgraphics.com

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Actually, I think that the graphics are printed first on a thin sheet of adhesive mylar. Then, a thick sheet of vinyl or mylar is placed over the graphics to protect the graphics. At least, that's what it seems like whenever I have faced while taking off decals and having them split on me. And also, to add on to robbman21's post, I'm pretty sure that NFL managers actually replace the decals every week. What they do after the game is strip the helmet of all it's decals, scrub the helmet down with a steel wool pad to get off all the "war marks", put on the new decals, and wipe down the helmet with Future Floor Polish to give that high polish shine.

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They can probably be heated too, right?

Everyone on my high school team (back in '94) had bubbles in their stickers because we put them on ourselves and screwed up.

Completely changing gears...

Don't the Rams still have painted horns instead of stickers?

No, they have decals just like even (gasp!) the Bengals. Our GA manager at Troy saw someone put the tiger stripes on the Bengals helmet. He said that it is not an easy process.

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This is my first post guys. I've lurked on this site and the other site for a while. I love the passion you all have for logos and logo design. It shows in your design work.

Do they print the object (reverse image) on the inner side of the mylar and then apply the glue? I've often wondered about this as well.

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