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Givemehelp.com is happy to announce the release of our “FlexiSIGN for VersaWorks Users “ training DVD. This new DVD is especially designed for users of Roland wide format printers who also use FlexiSIGN for design and VersaWorks for printing. In this valuable DVD loaded with hours of training, we will show you how to get the best prints possible, how to soft proof your prints using your monitor and even give you hours of training on VersaWorks itself.
This is a must have for any FlexiSIGN & VersaWorks users!
To order or for more info, use this link: http://www.givemehelp.com/store.htm
Building A New Font
This tutorial was written by Howard Penner and is published here with his permission.
Introduction from the Author
It was a little more than a year ago that a close friend pointed me to Vector Magic. A very short e-mail. The subject was “Have U Seen” and the content was a link to the once existing Vector Magic site at Stanford. My friend knew I had been playing with vector generation/tracing applications for over 15 years. Both of us had yet to find one that provided a tracing quality that actually saved time as compared to hand tracing using the pen tool. When I saw the term “rotational invariance” on the web site I smiled. I then saw the examples and I knew good things were coming.
At first it was only a web application and very limited in the size of the image that could be uploaded and processed. I put together a set of 20 images of all types and uploaded them to the server, one at a time, over and over, making sure to try each of the settings. These were a varied set of bitmap images of flat color logos, line drawings, litho and intaglio prints, photos, watercolors, and oil paintings. All of the vector output that I downloaded was exceptional.
It has changed the way I work and has greatly enlarged the volume of work I am able to do in the same amount of time. Do not let your clients know that you use this, or how much it helps you to respond to their potentially peripetia prone preferences. (Peripetia – noun. A sudden and unexpected change of fortune or reverse of circumstance.)
Using the desktop version of Vector Magic, as well as Photoshop, Illustrator and Fontographer, or their equivalents, this tutorial will show you how to take a scan of an alphabet (a page from a 100-year-old book on font design) and convert it to a usable, if not fully set-up, TrueType font. If you do not have Fontographer, you can still use this procedure to generate vectors from imagery other than letter shapes. The individual letters will still need to be hand kerned at final layout to get optimum results. However, when used for headlines, banners, and short lists, this can be a real time saver and allows access to custom and ancient fonts with reasonable processing and editing time. This tutorial presupposes a familiarity with the computer desktop and basic usage of graphics applications.
It is my hope that you will find this tutorial to be enjoyable and, possibly, informative.
— Howard Penner, Free-Lance Graphicist
What does this tutorial describe?
This tutorial describes how to create a truetype font from a bitmap image or scan of a printed alphabet of the font.
What kind of images does this tutorial apply to?
The source material for this tutorial is an old book of decorative fonts, but it can apply just as easily to any scan or bitmap of a font. This tutorial describes the entire process, from scanning, to vectorizing to creating the font itself.
What do I need to follow this tutorial?
- Adobe Photoshop or equivalent
- Adobe Illustrator or equivalent
- Fontographer or equivalent
The Tutorial Itself
Unlike our other tutorials on this site, this tutorial is in the form of a PDF document. There are also a several other downloads associated with this tutorial. They are:
Although an article for smaller laminators, are we missing the boat?
Graphic Design Software & Skills: You The Designer’s 1st Infographic!
If you were with us back when we first launched our Graphic Designer Survey, we’re glad to let you know that we’ve just released the first of a series of infographics we’ve made from the survey’s results! This one is about popular graphic design software we use today, and statistics on skill sets and specializations we tend to have. Check it out below!
Infographic: 10 Myths About Graphic Design
Throughout the years graphic designers have tried to dispel the myths surrounding graphic design and working as a graphic designer. While some myths are hilarious and particularly harmless, there are other myths that are annoying and generally unhelpful in the understanding of clients to graphic design and graphic designers. In our quest to demystify these myths we here at YTD made a cool infographic for you to share that will help people understand what graphic design and being a graphic designer really is.
**EDIT: Hey guys! We went through the infographic again and already fixed the errors that you guys pointed out. In that we would like to apologize and thank you guys for your inputs.**
What do you guys think? Do you find this helpful? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts! Do check us out in Facebook, Twitter and Google+ also do not forget to subscribe to get first dibs in all things awesome.
Patrick Jude Ilagan is a graphic designer/photographer hailing from the vast jungles of urban Manila. Always on the look out for visually appealing stuff he scours the internet and the bustling city in search of inspiration. His tools for mass creation is a Canon 500D along with a wide array of lights and lenses plus a 4 year old (but still fighting) laptop. Check out his work here.
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.