September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 33 I - M D I E X R fore you digitize. There's no frustration like drawing and digitizing a piece only to find out you misinterpreted a mangled shape. Approvals save money and suffering. PHASE 3: ADJUSTMENT AND DIGITIZING 3a: Import and scale. Import your de- sign assets into your digitizing software, starting with the scanned image of the original piece, even if you did a full re- draw. You might think it's crazy, but you can take cues on stitch types, angles, and other points of execution from the scan to maintain the spirit of the original. Sometimes, the act of digitizing makes a confusing element that you might have missed in the redraw make sense. If you are using a clean line of text or other separate ele- ment while working primarily from the scan, import each element separately and composite the pieces in place, either before or after you digitize. Just remember to check for proper scale. Measure the outer dimensions of the design or an element in the design you can easily measure, and check the scale against the real sample mea- surements. If it's off, make adjustments in your digitizing software to get things back in scale. 3b: Digitize. With everything prepped, you should be able to digitize as usual. You have to make adjustments for compensation as you go. You know that to recreate a satin stitch of a certain width, your on-screen version must be wider than the end result to compensate for pull, and should end on-screen before the end of the stitch element on the sample to compensate for push distortion. Make sure to create the al- lowances for pull, push, and overlap necessary to match the piece you are recreating. THE UPSIDE Despite the extra trouble, there are benefits to working from embroidered samples. First, you know the quality that the customer was willing to accept. If you can beat the sample in front of you, it's sure to please. Second, when a good digitizer's work is evident in the origi- nal, some of the difficult decisions about the rendering have been made for you. Last, when you must recreate full vector art, it can be a profit center, provided you charge correctly or upsell printed materials or promotional products on the order. There's no denying that working from a sample isn't the easiest way to get things done, but once you've developed a method, you'll find that it can be done, and done well. I decided to create a complete redraw of this logo. The customer also asked about promotional products, so it was an easy decision to dedicate the time to that pro- cess. Luckily, I happened to know the name of the font used to create the logo, so the matter of vectorizing this piece was little more than typing out text elements, lay- ing down simple shapes, adding strokes to the lettering, and getting everything in the scale and alignment of the original piece.

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