April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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24 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 use a 'glyphs' or 'stock library' palette to save such elements if your software allows. It makes sense to save and reuse simple common elements rather than digitize them again in each new context. If your state's flag has a symbol that is used for businesses, teams, and groups, you'll understand just how much time a palette of such common shapes can save. You won't always avoid recreating said elements, particularly as such symbols often appear in designs partially visible, distorted in shape, or interacting with other ele- ments in a way that makes a stock version less than ideal, but the times you can drop in an element or edit down that stock glyph still add up. Copying and pasting within a design is a similar timesaver. There's nothing wrong with reusing or repurposing elements that appear multiple times. This is especially true when digitizing text in a custom typeface. You'll find several letters are made of very similar shapes that you can copy and paste in a sequence. For instance, a capital 'P' and 'R' are nearly identical aside from the slanted leg on the 'R.' Copying and pasting that element from one letter to another, even if it needs some alteration, also makes the custom type look more uniform when the piece is complete. The same goes for graphical elements, particularly in classic, symmetri- PRE-PLAN YOUR PATHING (AND OTHER PARTICULARS) If you are having trouble envisioning the order in which design ele- ments should run, you should pre-plan your pathing. You can al- ways print your art and use the age-old 'coloring' method wherein you take a pencil and attempt to color the art in the same way you'd stitch the design without picking up the point. You'll get a better feel as to where elements must start and end for the most efficient run, and you'll get insight on stitch angles as you will often find yourself shading an area in the direction that stitches should follow. Taking some time, no matter your method, to envision and pre-plan design elements means that once you digitize, there are fewer decisions left to debate. This confidence can often make for an overall time sav- ings in digitizing, not to mention how much more efficiently your design will run once you've eliminated extraneous jumps, trims, and color changes. SAVE COMMON ELEMENTS/COPY AND PASTE If you have a design wherein you created the perfect five-pointed star, it makes sense to save that star to a file full of stock stars or to ERICH'S EMBELLISHMENTS Above left: When you first receive artwork, start by identify- ing potential pain points and issues so that they can be addressed with the client. Below left: Af- ter receiving a photograph of this piece, some problems and alterations were identified both in variation from the art and in poor execution of the previous embroiderer. If your software has a clipart library or palette that you can use for your most frequently created objects, you should make use of it. Though it may be a simple shape like the Zia in the New Mexico flag, it's complex enough that it is a big time saver to drop in a pre- digitized and sequenced stock design when possible. Many shapes can be reused, and lettering is particularly made to look more cohesive through copying as stroke values and angles are identical from letter to letter. In this example from a stock dis- play font that I digitized, I've colored the elements I 'stole' from the P and the E to create the F in this setup.

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