Cut graphics, vinyl lettering, are all cut from pre-coloured rolls of film, coloured throughout the film, has warranty, lovely depth of colour, individual letters cut from a roll of film, the excess or anything other than what is required is removed, this is called weeding, then covered with application paper so we can lift the graphics off the backing sheet and apply lines of text, logo's etc in one piece, remove the application paper at the end, done job.
If someone quotes or specifies to you a 5 to 7 year film, there is no such thing, if it was an honest description based on the majority of the range is 5 year, being all the colours, we would call it a 5 year film. A film range termed as 5 to 7 years actually means the colours have a 5 year warranty or estimated life, black and white have a 7 year warranty or estimated life. The higher grade although may be a longer term film than you require also means it will not shrink or lift as lower grades tend to, it will have a higher gloss finish and have no imperfections.
Digital printing, this is in essence a giant desktop printer but much bigger so it is operated on a stand, for vehicle graphics we print to the surface of white or transparent film, as it is a layer of ink on top of film we laminate for extra abrasion and ultra violet durability, without any laminate prints can fade quite quickly.
The laminate makes years of life difference to the print, we tend to recommend cut graphics for longevity but as time has gone on we have found despite what suppliers say, our laminated prints look good 7 years later, cut graphics from our film look good a decade and beyond later.