Northward Graphics Vinyl Image Kit
Product: Vinyl Images
Street Price: Varies From ~$10-$20 USD
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2002
Reviewed By: Jason
There are so many mods that can be done to the typical PC case, however many
of them require drilling, cutting, painting, or other time consuming efforts.
Also, an unskilled person could actually end up making their case look worse if
not done correctly. Fortunately, Northward
Graphics has some DIY items that even the most novice case moding enthusiast
can install properly and give their case a really custom and professional look.
One particular DIY item from Northward Graphics that really sets themselves
apart from anyone else is their huge selection of vinyl images. Their images are
available as either "self-applied" (you buy image kit from them and
apply it to your case), or as one of the many options available when ordering a
Not only do they have a huge selection of images to choose from like their Outline
Images, or Auto
Graphic Images, but they are also able to do custom work as well. You can
send them you custom work as a 720dpi resolution image, which is basically as
they say, "garbage in, garbage out". If you want a photo-realistic
print, you must provide a photo-realistic picture. On their site they have
pictures of many custom cases, and one in particular had the Mona Lisa on the
side! Here's a a link to their Case
Be sure you read on till the end because we are going to be giving away one
of the 1-color images!
Checking Out The Images:
Northward Graphics sent me a sample of their 1-color images, as well as one
of their printed images. Before I continue, here's some info you should be aware
of about the printed image in the review (and others that are available on their
site), "Printed images are not designed to be shipped as self-applied, and
are not sold as such. The printing process leaves an image more vulnerable until
the point at which it is actually applied. The masking tape you see on top of
the printed image is applied in house and remains on the image for a maximum of
1 hour." So basically if you want a printed image you can only get them
with a custom case.
Every 1-color image and etch is contour cut, than hand "weeded" to
remove excess material. This results in highly detailed line drawings. All have
permanent adhesive backing and are made out of 2mil. vinyl (automotive grade
vinyl). Printed images: within their "computer-tattoo" line are made
on 3.5mil. vinyl. Like the solid color, printed images have the same permanent
adhesive backing and are unique and colorful additions to any case.
Below you can see all that Northward Graphics sent, two 1-color images, and
one of their color printed images (which again I must state is not sold as a
self-applied item, this was sent for review purposes only). Along with the
graphics came a 3 page instruction sheet giving excellent detail on
installation (and removal if necessary), and also a squeegee. Yes, if you
purchase a self applied image from them you do get the squeegee and same
detailed instructions. The items that are not included but needed are ordinary
masking tape and a utility knife (or any other really sharp knife). I would also
recommend a ruler so you can apply the image straight.
Please note that depending on your monitor the colors / brightness of the
images may be a little off.
(Click on an image for close up)
Before starting, I read over the instructions a couple times,
just to make sure I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. The left picture
above shows the top side of the images, you can see that there is a slightly
brown color paper on this side. The right picture above shows the back side of
the images which are on a whiter paper that has a grid pattern. The front
(brown) side actually has a slight stickiness to it, so when you apply the image
it helps keep everything in place. The back side is more of a waxy feeling,
which helps it peel away cleanly and easily.
I decided to apply one of the 1-color images to the side of my
In-Win full tower case. You can order images in various sizes to accommodate
different case sizes and placements (like if you wanted to place the sticker on
the top, front, or even on a window in your case). I just eyeballed where I
wanted the sticker to go at first, then I used a ruler to make sure everything
was square, lastly I used a piece of masking tape down the middle to hold it in
place (as per the instructions).
(Click on image for close up)
To actually apply the image, you peel away half of the backing
and trim it off with a utility knife, then using the squeegee you flatten out
the image carefully and work out any bubbles that you might get. Then you remove
the masking tape "hinge" in the middle and the rest of the backing and
squeegee down the other half. The included instructions go into MUCH greater
step-by-step detail. It is not hard to apply the image, you just have to take
your time and work the image slowly. Once you get the image applied you should
end up with something like this below:
(Click on image for close up)
The instructions say to let it sit for 5-10min, so I decided to
apply one of the other images instead of just sitting around waiting.
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