Printed vinyl is produced by printing a pattern of colored inks directly onto
the surface of the vinyl, which is then covered with a protective wear layer.
Printed vinyl is also called rotovinyl (from the printing process involved).
Printed vinyl comes in a wide array of patterns and colors, and it resists
wear. It is less durable and often less expensive than inlaid vinyl.
Inlaid vinyl is made by injecting millions of colored granules in a precise
pattern directly into a vinyl sheet. The vinyl sheet and color granules are
then fused together so that the colors and pattern are an integral part of the
material - unlike printed vinyl's patterns, which are printed on the surface
of the vinyl sheet.
The process of injecting and fusing color means inlaid vinyl offers richer,
more vibrant and longer-lasting colors than printed vinyl. The inlaid vinyl
process is not as versatile as printing, however, so inlaid vinyl comes in
fewer patterns and colors than printed vinyl.