Stick-on vinyl lettering can work well for larger applications, indoors or sometimes outdoors, for a limited time. But when it's viewed up close, there are nearly always visible flaws, chiefly air bubbles. It's why for more visually demanding applications like museum labels, custom dry transfer decals are the better option. They are increasingly popular thanks to their superior appearance and ease of application. For small and medium-size interior signage, including artwork captions for museums and galleries, dry transfers are gaining popularity. They look more polished and professional than laser-printed caption cards.
If you've been working with stick-on vinyl letters for several years and switch to dry transfer decals, you'll be impressed by the ease of use. You can also receive them in as little as 24 to 48 hours after submitting your digital files. The minute you rub them on, they're semi-permanent. It's a far cry from waiting for things to dry or set up – or trying to squeeze the air bubbles out of a stick-on vinyl letter. Transfer decals have become the replacement method of choice for the former Letraset rub-on lettering and produce much higher quality. Also, Letraset went on one by one, and decals go on as a whole.
When you receive a transfer, it is already set perfectly in the layout and size you designed and submitted. You simply hold the transfer sheet in the desired spot and rub off the transfer onto the surface. It's adhesive-backed lacquer ink and won't damage walls, glass, metal, plastic, or wood. If you are captioning artwork, you can have a consistent appearance on walls, exhibit cases, pedestals, and anywhere else the art is placed. If you need other small or medium-size interior signage for the same space, its appearance can follow the lead of the captions. It will make your exhibit appear cohesive.
Most designers feel more freedom to create with dry transfer decals than with stick-on vinyl letters, which tend to have a one-dimensional vibe. Their look lacks the sophistication you can pull off with transfer decals. You'll notice an immediate difference as you begin working with them. They're also popular with hobbyists for visual elements on their models, again because the reproduction quality is outstanding in tiny sizes that work well for models. So whatever you need, if you feel custom dry transfers might work for your project, it's worth finding out more. You'll be pleased you did.