Picking The Right Application Tape Tack Level

The tack level of an application tape describes the stickiness of the adhesive.  Most sign makers use a standard grade application tape with a high tack adhesive, such as RTape ApliTape™ 4075 or Conform® 4075RLA.

High tack is the perfect choice for small, plotter-cut lettering or general sign work.  While high tack tape is a good choice for most sign applications, it may not be the best choice for a particular application. Here are a couple of examples:

  • For large- to medium-sized lettering and banner applications, sign makers should use a medium-tack tape such as Conform® 4050RLA and ApliTape™ 4050.
  • For large-format digital prints, you should use a low tack application tape such as ApliTape 4000.
  • For transferring wall graphics, 4078RLA is the ideal choice. It is designed to transfer designed difficult-to-transfer plotter cut wall graphics films utilizing release liners with a tight release. Following the application of wall graphics, 4078RLA releases easily  without pulling the graphics off of the wall surface. 4078RLA is also a great choice when transferring frosted window graphics films and other textured films.


More often than not, sign makers will struggle with the application tape that they have in stock, trying to make it work.  Why not make your life easier and select the appropriate tack level?  Here are some general rules of thumb which can help sign makers pick the right tape for the job:

  • Use the lowest tack to accomplish the task.
  • The bigger the graphics…the lower the tack.
  • The smaller the graphics…the higher the tack.

The chart below lists the recommended tack level for particular applications:

Tack Level Applications Recommendations
ULTRA LOW & LOW Digital Prints; premask for plastic sheet and polished metal RTape 4000, 4700, 4700LT RLA, 4078RLA
MEDIUM Large to medium size graphics; Applications to banners 4050, 4050RLA, 4760, 4760RLA
HIGH General Sign Work 4075, 4075RLA, 4775RLA


Films with liners that have a tight release; textured films 4076RLA
ULTRA HIGH Thermal die cut graphics; Highly textured window graphics films 4885