Decal on corrugated metal

Hi-- I have a huge (like 10ft huge) round decal being placed on the side of a building that is corrugated metal. The valleys are flat, but the peaks have a trapezoid profile that is raised above the flat part about 1". I’m using my car decal guy, who is on vaca right now, so can’t ask him, but was wondering if anyone who has done this type of application before has stretched the logo?

Is this a printed logo on vinyl or cut vinyl graphics? Either way it may present extra difficulty because it will likely need to be applied in parts, and getting everything to line up correctly after going over all the undulations might be problematic.

Since the logo is so big it might be more forgiving, and I am assuming that because of its size generally it will be viewed from a fair distance. I do recall trying to stretch text (especially serifs) to be applied over corrugated metal did not work out so well but this was for an application quite a bit smaller than yours. Narrow horizontal strokes end up looking narrower and verticals end up looking wider, and curves end up quite distorted as they go over the peaks and valleys.

If I were doing this, I would do some experimenting first. Maybe using some paper with double stick tape on the back. Or since I have some experience with 3D modeling I might make a model of the metals profile and apply a to scale UV map of the logo over the metal to see exactly how it might turn out.

The simplest thing to do would be to apply the whole thing to clear plexi / lexan and fix that to the metal.

A 10’ plexi disk is problematic for a number of different reasons. Cost, size, seam, attachment method, weatherability…

it will be a printed logo on vinyl (blue on white) as the building is a dark green color and the logo is a dark blue color so we want it to standout. Think the starbucks logo with the text in the circle. When I initially reached out to my decal guy, he suggested 2 pieces after he saw the sample. We did consider a decal applied to a lightweight aluminum or some such so that may be what we end up with.

I really think what you mentioned above might be the best option, even though aluminum prices have skyrocketed over the past few weeks due to Trumps tariffs on the stuff (just barely got off the phone with a sign shop about that very thing).

Trying to make this work directly on the corrugated metal sounds riddled with problems. You’d need to stretch the circle out into an oval, that when applied to the undulating surface would appear to be a circle. Even then it might look a bit odd when viewed from any angle other than straight on. Just figuring out how to apply the stuff might be enough reason to avoid it.

I think it is really more complex than that to do it perfectly. In reality the parts applied on the flat peaks and valleys ought not be stretched while that applied to the angled sides ought to be slightly. This would be especially true of the type of steel with either very wide valleys and narrow peaks (or vice-versa) There are many different profiles to corrugated steel so it is hard to tell.

You’re overthinking. Any distortion ultimately depends on the POV. Sure you could distort it the way they do with graphics on a football field but they have a fixed point of reference for viewing (the cameras).

  1. stick it on something flat
  2. attach that to the building
  3. put a light above
  4. buy yourself a beer

It isn’t the tariffs, it’s the Congress approved sanctions announced last April against Russia, and one Russian company in particular, RUSAL, that supplies the US with about 17% of our aluminum rough stock. There is a sanctions relief in place that allows until 10/23/2018 for re-sourcing. The relief will stay in place if the current control of the company is relinquished to others. Not a lot of reason for prices to be moving so badly. But everyone panicked back in April. Prices have come back down a good bit since, pretty much to pre-April pricing.
That info is from one of my aluminum suppliers.

Yesterday’s tariff announcement? Prices can go either way. Retaliation in kind, prices go up. Glut due to failure to export, prices go down. Or you could pay more for your imported alcohol if retaliation is put on other goods. Too early to know and the market doesn’t always feel it right away.

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