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what software & method is used for easier workflow?

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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:45 pm

what software & method is used for easier workflow?

OK I'm confused about the design side.

I have signlab 7.1 and photoshop and illustrator 10. I'm just wondering where is the best place to put together design for say vans or t-shirts?

Ideally I would do it in signlab but it's such a clumsy piece of software. So then you think OK use Adobe illustrator but that creates an extra layer of hassle and I always worry about what is the best way to import from there to signlab... PDF or Illustrator format or what?

I've always struggled with those bezier tools in illustrator, I suppose it's about time I put a week or two into that side of things?

I'd love to know how you lot go about putting together design for say a basic van with logo and lettering, showing to customer for approval, then proceeding to cut etc... what software do you use and why?

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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:51 pm

Signlab 7 clunky!?! Nah!

It's really quite a stripped down and pure signmaking program compared to many others - but like all software the more you use it - the slicker it gets, and the more that you can get out of it. I've been using it for 13+ years since V4.95, e6. 7.0.

This in conjunction with an old Photoshop CS see me manage to do almost everything from business cards, shop front, vans, digital print designs and fancier graphic work.

Regarding software use, when clients stand over me for 'while you wait / roughing out' they gasp at the utter speed things happen to bring it all to life (they being more used to pootling around in MS Paint at their leisure). Stick with it...it's an awesome bit of kit...and learn the keyboard shortcuts, they'll save you hundreds of clicks an hour.

Photoshop used to baffle me - I could do little more than fix red-eye when I started...still learning, but it's a beautifully made program that you learn to enjoy not endure.

I'll very often do my vector work in signlab and then import into photoshop as EPS to finish off print work if any effects are required.

Dave


basic van.

establish van type, model and colour
get who they are, what they do, and how to contact them (essential for the van design)
choose style and colour NOW before you waste time
do they like green, do they hate orange
do they prefer simple, clean, friendly, bouncy, fun, serious, complex...what do they want
BUDGET...how much do they want to spend +/- £50
Don't design a £1k wrap if all they have is £150...

(optional deposit time)

Tell 'em to bugger off....

type ALL content and fit on van roughly....if logo, get a feel from the client or pick up on what they currently use.

Complete one or two (not 5) designs and get them in to finalise any small tweaks...get van booked in as soon as you can before they 'have an idea'!
Last edited by DavidRogers on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:01 pm

I use Corel.
I started with version 9 (and fought it tooth and nail) in 2005.
I hated trying to learn to use something that took 100 steps to do what I could do in about a minute with a pencil and paper.
I was adept with Gerber software by that time and Corel just had so many more features to make my layouts look better.
But gradually I learned to figure it out. I'm up to Corel X5 now, and while I still feel that I'm just learning, I've found that it has great adaptability for export to other programs.
I now use Corel exclusively and I even kind of "think" in Corel now as it's helped me to make my layouts more concise.
You might want to give it a try.
Love.....Jill
PS
It's also great for making "mock ups" to show to a client AFTER a deposit.
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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:53 pm

Re: Workflow Questions

Gordon Connelly wrote:

Ideally I would do it in signlab but it's such a clumsy piece of software.



noo noo noo :no1: :no1:

If you aint going to do it Signlab, your not going to do it in many others.

Wonderful software. I could design a van layout in Signlab before you could go and put the kettle on for a cupa.

Stick with it! any software to start can be a steep learning kerb, but you wont regret it once you have mastered Signlab.

I've been using it for 18 years now and still use version 5 for basic design and vinyl work.

For me Signlab and Corel, perfect combo.

I would like to try photoshop, but cant dedicate the time to it. So maybe when I retire I 'll give it a shot.
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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:17 pm

When we first started I think it was 4.95!

I also struddled and rang the supplier perhaps a little too much lol.
He suggested I found some logos on the web and tried to recreate them in sign lab

Just spending 30 mins a day for a week saw me improve a lot.
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Post Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:29 pm

Flexisign

Sorry guys have to disagree all our guys use Flexi Sign and they love it but we have never tried Sign lab ?
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:56 am

I use Signlab 9.1 for anything to be cut and Corel Draw X6.3 for anything to be printed or text intensive signs where it will be imported in to Signlab for cutting.
I use PhotoPaint (Corel suite) for bitmap editing and always found it copes perfectly well for the relatively simple editing I need to do (Photoshop would be overkill for me) and as PP is included in the Corel suite it makes even more sense for me to use it.
I wish signlab had some of the tools Draw has and I wish Draw had some of the tools signlab has.
Alan D
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:06 am

Adrian, please don't start the Signlab versus Flexi argument again, they are both top end sign making programs & that's coming from someone who doesn't use either.
Main thing as others have pointed out is to learn to use the software that you have properly, in Gordons case Signlab.
Both of them take a bit of time to master but both will do a very good job once you get your head round them & start using them on a regular basis.
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:12 am

Flexisign

LOL Martin just saying we use Flexi I dont know anything about Sign lab
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:20 am

Surprised by the responses...

I'm obviously going to need to give Signlab a second chance. I just find it really clunky compared to say photoshop which I spend about 6 hours a day using. Could be just a matter of getting used to it.

Quick question... You know those impact van diagrams you get, can you take those into signlab, put a mock design on, then export a draft for customer to approve as a jpeg say? If so, what format works best with the impact diagrams in signlab?

If the above was possible, it would be appealing.

Trying to imagine how I would create a logo in signlab and then place it on the side of a van diagram... Would you create the logo in one document then import it to the van document? Or just do it all in one? Probably a daft question...

Thanks for taking the time you guys, yeez urr brullyint.

Appreciated.
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:23 am

Ask John, pretty sure that's what he use to use at signs Plus. They work slightly differently but do the same job so like any software take a bit of time to learn & get a feel for. Once you learn the basics & short cuts both will save you lots of time & effort.

Gordon, yes that's what most people do import the van scale it up to full size & use it as background for graphics.
With logos you can do it either way although I tend to design logos as a seperate file & save them in a folder labeled as logos.
That way if a want a company logo for any type of sign I know where to find it.
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:40 am

Re: Surprised by the responses...

Gordon Connelly wrote:Quick question... You know those impact van diagrams you get, can you take those into signlab, put a mock design on, then export a draft for customer to approve as a jpeg say?


Yes that's exactly what Signlab and their ilk were designed for.

Surprised Jill hasn't told you all this given that you're her bitch now :-?
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Surprised by the responses...

Phill Fenton wrote:
Gordon Connelly wrote:Quick question... You know those impact van diagrams you get, can you take those into signlab, put a mock design on, then export a draft for customer to approve as a jpeg say?


Yes that's exactly what Signlab and their ilk were designed for.

Surprised Jill hasn't told you all this given that you're her bitch now :-?


Hilarious. Funniest thing ever on here... be laughing at this all day.

Cheers, Phil.

Class!
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Post Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:29 pm

:lol1:
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Post Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:32 am

:lol1:

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