There seems to be a plethora of arcade graphic suppliers popping up online but how do you know whom to purchase from? Everything looks the same in a 72 dpi picture on your computer screen so how do you protect yourself and find the best deals and the highest quality product? Think of it as a buying guide for arcade artwork....Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. A $20 set of Donkey Kong Side art is probably not worth it.
2. 8 mil vinyl isn't better then 3 mil vinyl, it's actually worse. Just because it's thicker doesn't mean it will go on easier or cover any cosmetic damages.
3. If you don't see "actual" prints of the artwork, don't buy it. Anyone can download an image and put it up on a website. Know what you're buying.
If it's not listed, then ask:
What kind of vinyl do you print on? There's a big time difference between Oracal, Avery, Briteline and 3M.
Is the printed graphic laminated? If it's not, it's not the end of the world, probably decent for home use but not in a barcade.
How is it printed? Solvent? Screen? Latex? All have good and bad points just depends on what you're looking for. Do your homework, see which fits into your budget and what looks best.
How long does it take to receive my artwork? Some online places will take your money and leave you on the hook for months, get it in writing before you place an order and hold them to it.
Are their pieces color matched to NOS? NOS is an acronym for New Old Stock. There are a lot of free artwork sites out there but that doesn't mean the colors are corrected to match the colors of the classic cabinet.
What is their return policy? If they don't stand behind their product and offer a refund, then you might question their work.
Do they print their own stock or do they shop it out? Why pay a middle man? Anyone who's in the business can tell you if a company prints "in house" or pays someone else to do it.