Sign & Digital Graphics

April '18

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44 • April 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS and try to get at an even eye level for the least amount of distortion. Since the camera is out, we'll also snap a few pho- tos of obstacles or paint conditions worth documenting. Reference Measurements Reference measurements are another important part of the vehicle inspection. We note these sizes on another vehicle template or printed photos so we can clearly see what two points we measured from. We use these measurements to scale the photos we've taken. A photo can appear fairly flat and doesn't take into account the curve of a panel, so while we still get vertical measurements, we also make sure we get plenty of clear hori- zontal measurements. Having those vertical measurements is still important when we setup our print panels later on in the process. Some vehi- cle doors or vans will curve under quite a bit at the bottom. When you're just looking at a flat photo you can't tell that you need to extend your panel another 10" for example to be sure that the wrap covers all the way under the vehicle. When I note a curve on my template with the dimension I use a curved arrow to indicate that the panel will curve under. This ensures I give myself plenty of vinyl to cover, but also that impor- tant information isn't placed in this area where it can be lost under the curve. Design At the design stage of a wrap job we're also able to do some pre-planning that will speed the installation process. The artwork the customer provided for the box truck job was all vector art and was easy to work with. In this case we do all our designing in FlexiSign Pro. If we're dealing with a lot of photos or raster artwork then we do our designing in Photoshop. Proofing on the photos makes it easier to plan your graphics around obstacles, whether you move around text within a printed panel, or you print and contour-cut the spot graphics. Whether we're working with vector or raster artwork, we essentially setup our artwork the same way using lay- ers. We start by pulling up the photos we took of the vehicle, cropping them down a bit and doing any brightening or sharping for better presentation. These photos are saved and then brought into our FlexiSign Pro software where we scale them to actual size using the refer- ence measurements we took. If we're going to do our layouts in Flexi we will use the masking tool to cre- ate layers that we design within. The back layer will be the original photo of the vehicle and the top layer will be another copy of the photo with the areas we're wrapping left out of the mask. Between these two layers we place our vector graphics and we're able to move them around, avoiding obstacles and creating the most effective design. Layouts that are created in Photoshop are essentially done the same way. Our background layer is the original photo and our top layer is the same photo with areas that will be wrapped deleted out. By designing in additional layers between these two copies of the photo we're able to move the graphics around "on" the vehicle. Panels When printing, we'll either setup our panels individually or we'll export large sections that are then separated into panels through our RIP software. If we're trying to achieve a seamless wrap we typically pre-setup the panels. If it's a large van or most box trucks and trail- ers we just export a side and let the RIP software break it down into panels. In the case of the box truck with the door, we decided to setup the individual panels ahead of time to not only work around obstacles, but to also best maxi- mize our material. The box of the truck was approximately 13.5' long. With panel overlaps we were able to have three even panels plus a narrow panel. Pre-setting up the panels allowed us to nest these narrow panels, and any other odd sized panels, to maximize media usage. Having

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