and may be used for:
- adding identification to equipment
- road and car park marking
- product branding and ID
- safety signs
- decorative purposes
- promotional products.
Signmakers produce stencils from a range of materials including plastics and metal. We can produce stencils in various standard stencil letter styles or custom make stencils from specific letter fonts. Signmakers can also produce stencil graphics from certain images and logos.
Before reading further consider the following points for stencil production:
- stencils are not suited to use on curved surfaces
- minimum letter and graphics sizes apply. 10-12mm (40-48 point) block letters would be the absolute minimum size for a small, thin stencil for light use only. This minimum sizing would need to increase significantly for more robust, multi-use stencils.
- all the block-out areas (the sections not cut out) must be connected
- script (cursive) joined lettering is not good for stencil making and will need to be broken apart
- lower case letters have many more centres and therefore require more connections
- many letter styles and images/graphics will not be suited to stencil making
- graphics/logos which have borders or parts within parts are often not suited to stencils
If you are going to enquire about a stencil please attach a copy of any logo or image and an indication of the text you wish to reproduce. Include the dimensions of the image/text you want to create and some indication of how the stencil will be used and whether it is subject to light or heavy use. Provide any other information that may assist.
More detail is provided below on the limitations of custom stencils. Please contact us to discuss the feasibility of complex designs and best stencil material for your job. If you have an image of the graphic you wish to produce it should be sent by email for us to review as part of any discussion.
Stencil Letter Fonts
There are a range of standard stencil fonts. To reduce the need for connectors most are all upper case letters but some have upper and lower case letters. Legibility varies greatly between letter fonts and generally, the simpler the better.
There also needs to be adequate separation between letters to produce a stencil and it may be necessary to add spacing between letters.
Signmakers can add stencil connectors to most letter fonts. If you have a business name in a certain font style that you wish to turn into a stencil we can help. Artwork preparation costs will apply.
Script/cursive and fancy flowing letter styles do not work well as stencils. Long joined sections need to be broken apart with connectors.
Stencils do not work well around curves (e.g. the side of a barrel) - stencil material is necessarily rigid - bending it to a curve will cause lifting within the image area and results will be poor.
Minimum sizes - gaps for areas to be cut and material left for connectors must be large enough to be cut. For a commercial, multi-use stencil made from a robust metal or plastic these minimums are at least 1.5mm. Tiny letters, small and detailed graphics are generally not practical for stencils.
Connectors - all of the block-out sections of a stencil must be connected right through to the outside material. You need to consider how the inner most sections of an image can be connected through to the outside. The addition of connectors will affect the look of the painted image. Consider whether the painted results with connectors will ruin the look of the image.
Lower case letters are less suited to stencil making because they are generally smaller and more compact and they have more centres to be connected - for example - E e, G g - the centres in the loops of the lower case letters need to be connected through to the outside.
Image suitability - complex images with fine lines, images with multiple layers (for example an image that is framed by two outer circles) may not be suitable for stencil production.
We may be able to produce a stylised version of your image that is suited to stencil production but this is a process of compromise to achieve an image that can be used and which will satisfactorily represent the original image.
The sequence below demonstrates development of a stencil from an original logo. The results still resemble the original logo but are disrupted by the connectors.