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Building a Profitable Business with Cut Graphics

JP Signs – Champlain, NY

Entrepreneurial at heart, Jessica MacNerland launched a cut-graphics business while still in high school. Working just part time, MacNerland grew her business by word of mouth, one loyal customer at a time. "Not knowing the industry very well, cut graphics seemed to be the first place to plant my feet and build a solid foundation to a new business," said MacNerland.

Her business acumen and dedication paid off and even paid for her college tuition. "I spent an average of 24 to 30 hours a week on design, cut and install, although I was always on the phone gathering new clients."

After graduating and working as a civil engineer for four years, MacNerland decided to devote herself full time to JP Signs. Today, JP Signs has more than 100 customers ranging from home repair and furniture businesses to fire departments, gas stations and farmers (a growing segment, since they are now required to place names and DOT numbers on trucks/vehicles).

JP Signs continues to build its business by printing and installing cut graphics for building/exterior signs, billboards, store fronts, banners, boats, vehicles and more.

The company uses a 30-inch Roland™ Vinyl Cutter and a 15-inch Gerber™ Edge FX™ Digital Printing System. More than 95 percent of the films JP Signs uses are formulated by 3M for Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. "They're easy to install and deliver the best, most consistent results," said MacNerland. "From printing, cutting to installation, I know what to expect."

Films used by JP Signs include:

  • Gerber Series 220 and Series 225
  • Gerber Series 180 Controltac Plus
  • 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Graphic Film Series 5100 and IJ5100


Truck image
Films used on truck: Gerber Series 225. Colors: Burgundy, Dark Gray, Black and Olympic Blue.

Sign image
Films used on sign: Gerber Series 225. Colors: Burgundy, Dark Gray.

Vehicle image
Films used on vehicle: Gerber Series 220 (metallic film). Color: Gold. Gerber Series 225. Color: Black.

Carve Out Profits with Electronic Cutting

Electronic cutting is an affordable option for creating colorful, stylish, eye-catching graphics, which could mean fast profits for you.

Aim for Fast, Affordable, Quality Options

Cut vinyl is well suited for a broad range of applications from vehicle lettering and back-lit signs to banners, awnings and windows. Versatility and affordability make electronic cutting perfect even for small businesses and start ups.

For you, the key to customer satisfaction and profitability is in choosing materials with value-added features. Here are a few tips to consider:

Tip no.1: Use vinyls that are optimized for electronic cutting performance. The low-flow adhesive on these films helps improve cutting precision and makes weeding faster and easier with no part- or letter-pick up. Fewer mistakes=less waste=greater profits for you.

Tip no.2: Offer your customers a range of feature options – think durability, affordability, removability, reflectivity and a wide selection of colors.

Explore the following 3M electronic cutting products for fast, affordable, quality options.

Weed with Speed and Create Better Looking Graphics

3M™ Scotchcal™ ElectroCut™ Graphic Film Series 7125 and 7725 are premium films that let you target commercial and industrial applications with quality results (and a choice of more than 60 colors).

  • Film series 7125 cuts to 3/8 inches and has a layflat paper release liner, which helps improve the speed and quality of cutting and weeding.
  • Film series 7725 cuts to 1/4 inches and is designed to weed with speed in the most demanding conditions. The 2- mil film features a transparent synthetic liner and clear, pressure-sensitive adhesive, making this film ideal for window graphics and multi-layer graphics in all 62 colors. Even if you get the liner wet on your pre-masked graphic, you will still be able to peel the liner back to expose the adhesive and apply. Watch video.

Deliver Affordable Durability

3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film Series 50 is one of the best intermediate films in the market for cutting and weeding. This 3.3-mil calendered film cuts cleanly as small as 1/2 inch and weeds with the ease of a premium film. Advantages include easy de-identification and surface re-use thanks to the removable adhesive. The film is offered in 25 of the most frequently requested colors for optimized inventory management.

Make Cut Letters Stand Out 24/7

Add the power of reflectivity to essential details like phone numbers and web addresses for advertising 24/7.

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Graphic Film Series 5100 and Film IJ5100 both deliver brilliant retroreflection and superior cutting and weeding. The films are cost-effective options for short- or medium-term use and are available in 15 dazzling colors, from standard traffic colors to new Royal Purple and Rich Gold.

For removability, look to 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Graphic Film Series 5100R and Film IJ5100R

Sell it!
Help small businesses and start ups develop cost-effective advertising or signage with electronic cutting applications. Consider targeting niche markets to build your business.


Flower delivery van image
3M™ Scotchcal™ ElectroCut™ Graphic Film Series 7125

Learn More about Electronic Cutting

  • Get technical information about hardware, software, films and more by reading Tech Talks: Electronic Cutting with 3M Graphic Films
  • See how to weed with speed. Video on 3M™ Scotchcal™ ElectroCut™ Graphic Film Series 7725 shows how small you can cut the letters (down to 1/4 inches), the proper way to weed for maximum efficiency, and how the synthetic liner won't curl or stick to the film if wetted. View video
  • See how you can weed with confidence. Video on 3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film Series 50 shows how small you can cut the letters (down to 1/2 inch) and the proper way to weed for maximum efficiency. View video