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I know this is not graphics related, but I love golf and this is my step-son practicing. Funny! His pet would do this all day if he had a choice.
I was taking a look at graphic projects, you know the daily work we get, to see if I could break it down into simplified, logical steps. The reason for this is to start a discussion on how we get things done and to see if you have an opinion on how to better serve the graphic market. So read on and let me know if you agree, disagree, or if you just want to add a step or comment.
Software – Original Designs
Whether you use an Adobe product such as Photoshop or Illustrator, or a more specific product such as FlexiSIGN, PosterShop or SignLab, learning the little tips and tricks that each has for design is essential. Be sure to invest in online, computer-based or live training so you can take full advantage of these fine products.
Web Images – Small Signs
Of course some images in your layout will come from the internet, so it is also essential that you understand formats, resolutions. Also understand copyrights so you don’t get yourself in trouble legally. Take advantage of Googles advances search options to find legal images. Google image searches are awesome and can provide many images for those layouts. Products like Vectormagic and PhotoZoom Pro can also be helpful in resolving resolution issues.
Of course let’s not forget the good ole digital camera. A good camera is great for recording where an image or sign is to be placed, and can be used in mockups. It also can be useful in taking images that are very unique as well. Most of the time a good 8 megapixel camera will do well, especially if you use the programs mentioned above for resolution issues.
The key to all of the above design tools is knowing your tool. Learning, education, training and practice are essentials to getting a good design.
Water Ink – Desktop
Surprisingly, aqueous inks are making quite the comeback in signage and printing. The wider color gamut and cheaper inks are probably part of that equation. In addition, there are many more media, including textiles that are aqueous compatible for instance take a look at some from Neschen Americas.
Solvent Ink – Large
Of course solvent printers are still very popular and well supported. There are many ICC profiles, but be careful with those newer printers where ink sets go beyond CMYK and use orange red, blue, violet inks. Some RIP software does not yet support these extra color channels.
UV Ink – Flat Bed
Flatbed printers are also climbing in popularity, probably due to the fact that many of them can print right to a substrate such as Cintra etc. and because the ink set allow for immediate use outdoors.
Latex Ink – Heat
HP introduced the latex printer but Mimaki now also has a model. This ink set is useful for many reasons. One is that the finished product can immediately be laminated, and two, the ink has a bit more “stretchability” than solvent and thus can handle those acute contours on a vehicle wrap fro instance.
One Side – Cut Sheet or Roll-to-Roll
Finishing can be as simple as covering a sheet to roll of prints with a thin film to protect from UV or to add durability to the finished image. There are many films to choose from and many are simple to apply by using a laminator and pressure. Check out some from SEAL®.
Both Sides – Encapsulate
Occasionally, an image may need to be encapsulated where, both sides are laminated. Typically this involves heat-activated laminates, but pressure sensitive laminates can be used as well, if you have the right laminator.
Adhesive Only – Mount
Finally, there are times that we use mounting adhesives. Lately, companies such as SEAL have release adhesives that are permanent on one side and removable on the other. Check our SEAL new gudy window product as an example.
Foam Board – Signs Etc.
Sometimes we just need a simple adhesive to mount an image to foam board. There are many choices here from a simple spray can of adhesive to more permanent adhesives applied with your laminator.
Plexiglas – Back light
Adding images to the back-side or second surface of a clear Plexiglas can be a bit more challenging. Not only must the image align correctly but the adhesive must be perfectly clear. SEAL makes a product called OptiMount that can be useful here.
Windows – Advertise
Window advertising is a great application and requires two types of adhesives, permanent and removable. The permanent for those location where the customer wants the message to endure for years and removable where the customer wants the message to come down in a few days or weeks and replaced with new advertisement. Again, gudy window by SEAL is a good choice here.
So basically, Im saying there are four steps in successful graphic design and you need to consider each of these in choosing the right tools.
SEAL 62 Pro MD a Smash Hit
SEAL-Neschen Americas showed off their new SEAL65 Pro MD high end laminator. This is a bi-directional machine with a new Windows-Based control panel. Looked really nice, smooth and based on all the sales they closed, its going to replace a lot of slower machines out there. Look for more from this progressive company.
If you want to watch a nice video of this machine use this link: http://www.givemehelp.com/usb
SGIA Attendance Up
I’ve been to many shows over the years and in the last few years, attendance was way down, but this SGIA show, was so busy for Thursday and Friday that there was little time for lunch! And those attending seem to know what they wanted and asked great questions. Hopefully this is a sign the graphic economy may be coming around.
What In the World is New at SGIA?
Well, I’m on my way to Las Vegas, NV to attend the 2012 SGIA show. I’ll be doing demonstrations of the new SEAL 65 Pro MD laminator for SEAL and Neschen Americas. But I thought it might be nice to actually walk the show, take some photos and talk a bit about what’s new. In the current economic environment, I thought you might like to know what’s happening that could make you some money. So I’ll be taking photos, shooting video and generally posting what looks like a cool product. If you have any suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEAL 65 Pro MD Laminator
Since I will be demoing the new SEAL laminator, I thought I’d share some initial thoughts with you. This thing is cool! It has a windows based operating system for the control panel, so they can update and upgrade it in the future with things like training videos, dear to my heart. In addition, I actually saw a beta unit do thermal encapsulation at 15 ft per minute! That’s like 5 times faster than norm! If you’ll be attending come see me! Here’s a video that shows off some of the features: http://www.givemehelp.com/usb
I’ve been seeing more and more businesses get “social”. Most are using Facebook and some are good, others not so good. Recently I came across a site called www.mygraphicsguru.com.
They seem to be trying a new idea. One spot where all people can meet to talk about grpahic issues of ANY time. I think it’s worth a look. Let me know your thoughts.
Another nice site is one we created called www.givemehelp.ning.com. Once again a place where graphic production folks can talk. Lots a focus on FlexiSIGN, but other topics include Adobe products, windows, and muhc more.