Flight/Road Case stencilling advice

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by AidanHampson, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm in a Paramore cover/tribute band called Paramore (Or Less) and in an effort to replicate their stage show I'm looking to stencil one of our flight cases.

    Here's theirs:


    So I need 'paramore (or less)' in white using the Helvetica Neue Thin font.

    I've never done this before, and would prefer to do it myself than send off for stencils - we have a gig tomorrow.

    Advice please!

  2. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Not sure what you can do that quickly.

    The right way to do this is to go to a screen-print place (think T-shirt stenciling) and have a silkscreen label made that you can apply to the case.

    There may be other things you can do, but we were doing this in the 80s and 90s.

    These days, we use gaff tape and magic markers because our cases tend to change duty or be sold off when they age out. And we aren't pacing them onstage as props.
  3. That's great Geri. I'm now emailing & phoning lot of local t-shirt companies to see if they provide that service.

  4. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Always happy to help...

    You might to ask them about actually applying the silkscreen to the case. I think we've used a hair dryer in the process. Our sound guy at the time came up with the idea. It was back in the 80s, so I can't quite remember what he did to apply the stencil.

    Also, keep in mind, that logo will be permanent. Hope you guys are together for a long time!...:))
  5. No local t shirt companies are of any use :-(

    I might have to go down the homemade stencil/spray paint route...
  6. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    Try your local "quick signs" shop. They can print self-stick letters pre-spaced on a backing sheet. Sort of like a big sticker, but with just the text. They should be able to do almost any standard font on short notice. The vinyl used in sign/banner printing is also designed to be pretty durable.
    AidanHampson and Aqualung60 like this.
  7. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    Id make my own with thick paper and an xacto knife. that or go find a friend with a vinyl cutter...
    AidanHampson likes this.
  8. CGremlin


    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    +1 for the vinyl cutter. A good one (I recommend the Graphtec/Silhouette Cameo, or just about anything by Roland - stay away from Cricut though!) will be a couple hundred dollars, and you'll find all sorts of other uses for it as well. I use mine mostly for cutting PCB stencils.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If it's not so permanent, you can print out big letters, cut them out, or match the background color.
    Double stick tape them down, then cover with clear contact paper.
    Quick and easy and reversible.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Any sign shop can get you the letters in plastic to stick on. Shouldn't be that expensive, and quick application/removal.
  11. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
  12. radmin

    radmin Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2006
    Columbus, Oh
    Too bad you need it so quick. A vinyl cutter could create a stencil that would be exact. I recently used mine to stencil a recycle symbol on a garbage can. It turned out perfect.
    The only vinyl cutter you can get ahold of quickly is a CriCut and they suck.
  13. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    The problem with the stick-on labels is the textured finish on most road cases. Very difficult to make a label stick unless the label is made like some bumper stickers with very tacky adhesive.

    I guess the silk-screening shops have stopped making silkscreens on a custom basis. Did you call just T-shirt shops, or did you talk with print shops that do silk-screens?

    At this point, all of this is probably too late to be of any help.
  14. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Geri O is correct. Most of the road cases are goign to have a textured finish, so vinyl isn't really a viable option. Painting is what you're going to need to do.
    Silk screening shops probably don't want to deal with that on such a short notice.
    If you can hold out for a bit, I can cut you some negatives and you can paint it on with that for your next gig.
    PM me if you're interested.
  15. Actually, if you get it done by a sign shop they can use "banner vinyl" which sticks like the proverbial to rough surfaces. It even has a matt finish, looks more like paint.
  16. They could make you an actual stencil just as easily.
  17. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    Yep. Any kind of sticker of any sort is going to get beat-up instantly.

    Honestly by real world standards some of you guys are kinda overthinking this. I've painted a few road cases in my day and I've worked on a lot of tour pre-productions where they got painted and I honestly don't recall ever seeing anything other than a cardboard stencil being used by anything but the biggest tours like U2 and Janet Jackson or rental houses. If I were doing a lot of cases for a big tour or a rental company I'd go full on and water cut 5mm stainless. Where the paint job is playing on stage a water cut stencil might be the way to go. Thin Lexan (1/8"?) would probably work too and be less susceptible to creasing.
  18. I know that some dislike Cricut. I'm assuming its because you need the cartridges. However, mine with a sharp knife will cut heavy cardstock. Thus "Voila" one stencil. My only issue is if I have that particular font cartridge.
  19. CGremlin


    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    In my case, it's not so much that you need the cartridges as it is that you can't download custom artwork/fonts to the machine, and also that Provo Craft has aggressively sued third-party providers of software that allowed the Cricut to work with non-cartridge artwork. The machines themselves are quite solid, however, and work great within their limitations.