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Need help getting started

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by keelklan, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. keelklan

    keelklan New Member

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    I am a High School Junior and taking a Graphic arts class, I have bought a Vinyl cutting plotter with Vinyl Express software and want to get started doing some cuts?

    I know this is not the best stuff out there but it was in my price range and had a lot of vinyl to go with it!

    Is there a video tutorial on line or any "Getting started stuff" I can read to help get started?

    We use Photo Shop and Adobe Illustrator in class and I am using it at home also!

    Are these good softwares to use?

    Also what about Vectorizing software and help on Vectorizing?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Jake:thankyou:
     
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  2. njsigns

    njsigns Very Active Member

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    Hello Jake,

    Try youtube.com - there are literally hundreds of tutorials for cutting vinyl and illustrator tutorials. Photoshop isn't going to do you much good in the way of cutting vinyl as it's raster based (if you were printing on the other hand it's a very powerful tool) - illustrator is vector based and should suit you well. I personally use a combination of CorelDraw (maybe not the industry standard - but it's my preference) and FlexiSign for cutting vinyl.

    vinyl signs

    illustrator tutorials

    SignWarehouse Videos

    Google can also be your best friend for finding online tutorials.

    Gene
     
  3. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    SIGNMAKING....so simple, even a sixteen year old can do it!!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. keelklan

    keelklan New Member

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Thank you very much!
     
  5. OneUpTenn

    OneUpTenn Active Member

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    Good Luck to you! I believe you are now the youngest member of Signs101.

    Welcome from Tennessee!! and look at the sights njsigns gave you...a wealth of information there.
     
  6. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

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    Lawton, OK, USA
    Welcome from OK
     
  7. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    BC
    Welcome from BC. Use the search tool here for a wealth of info..Good luck!
    Ken
     
  8. hammered

    hammered Member

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    I understand lyndia.com has some really good video tuts. Some free as a teaser and then the $25 for a month deal is great as well. Try there.
     
  9. Vinylman

    Vinylman Very Active Member

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    Jake:

    Welcome to the Signs 101 Forum.

    I am one of the "crochety old farts" that stops by here occationaly to stir the SH_T.

    To answer your question completely would take the better part of a day.

    BUT! create a simple sign:

    Lets take the word "SIGN".

    Pick a nice clean letter style you like in Illustrator.
    Type the word. {Make the letters about 4"-6" tall}
    Convert to outlines. ( shortcut in ILL. Hold down these keys at the same time, "Command" or "Control" depending on whether you are on a Mac or a PC , "SHIFT", and type the letter "O")

    Now if your plotter has a cutter program included with it, SAVE the created "artwork from ILL. to lets' say your desktop, ( so you can find it easily).

    Start your plotter, launch your plotter program, and after loading your vinyl into the plotter, and making sure your computer is connected to the plotter correctly, open the file you saved to the desktop.

    If the file opens correctly, you should be able to tell the plotter to "cut".

    If this works correctly, you are now officially. A Sign person!

    Congratulations :thumb:
     
  10. visualedgegraphics

    visualedgegraphics Member

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    Aug 18, 2006
    Hey Jake-

    Njsigns is right...you tube will have some videos that will help. Good luck and I am glad to see your entrepreneurial spirit alive at such a young age.
     
  11. jscarl

    jscarl Very Active Member

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    Welcome from MICH. Try going to a local sign shop, and volinteer for a couple days. Get all the knowledge you can. Especially the part about not cutting prices.
     
  12. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    Carl Amen on the price cutting thing "cut Letters Not Prices"



    OBTW Howdy Jake from north central Texas
     
  13. Air Art Girl

    Air Art Girl Very Active Member

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    Jake, try to find a sign shop that is willing to let you intern. Learning from someone in the business if huge. Pay close attention to design and layout and keep learning to use the tools in the programs to improve your design. I have a high schooler that works with me one day a week. Wish I had her more. She started airbrushing events with me and my crew last summer. This last week when she finished the project I had for her, I sat her down at my laptop with a training DVD and said "Learn some new stuff" If you learn to use design software, you could be an asset to an established shop and they in turn will teach you production and application. Good luck to you Jake.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  14. keelklan

    keelklan New Member

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    Aug 24, 2007

    How do you know how big the word is in inches?:thankyou:
     
  15. Vinylman

    Vinylman Very Active Member

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    keelklan:
    First you need to let us know what version of Ill. you are using?
    Second: how large is your plotter? How wide of a piece of vinyl can you place in the plotter?

    You can set up you practice sign in Illustrator, as let us say an 18" tall by 24" wide sign.
    When prompted by Illustrator to open a "NEW" document you need to set the document up as noted above.:cool1:

    Then set your "TYPE" into the sign layout so that it fills the space, but leaves nice large margins around the edges. This is part of LEARNING GOOD LAYOUT. You will not accomplish this in one afternoon. I have been doing this over Thirty years, and learn by observing the work of people and crafts persons I respect. It is the best way to improve yourself.:rolleyes:

    There is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much ahead of you. But DO NOT give up. If you are really wanting this to be your lifes' work, go for it. Ask many questions, and LISTEN to the voices of reason that give guidance.

    Remember God gave us ALL: TWO ears, TWO eyes {some better than others} and ONE mouth. If you listen, and watch, TWICE as much as you speak, in short order you will have learned MUCH, and be moving toward helping someone else to achieve their dreams as you share what you have learned to those who come behind you:thumb:.

    Gods' speed grasshopper!
     
  16. keelklan

    keelklan New Member

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    Aug 24, 2007
    thanks i have ill. 8 and i have ve LXi master is my vinyl program and i have a 24 inch cut plotter
     
  17. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    wish I would have started at 15-16 years like I wanted ... but knowwww I listened to all them naysayers
    bounced around for 10 years till I said sign advertising made me the happyest

    wish ya the best do what makes ya feel good and STUDY all ya can practise hard, work hard, play hard

    git r dun
     
  18. juan45215

    juan45215 Member

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    Cincinnati OH

    Art air girl had the best advice. If you work in an existing sign shop you wil not only learn how to make signs, but also learn how businesses are run. If you start selling as you learn and turn out bad products, it could hurt your reputation for a long time.
     
  19. keelklan

    keelklan New Member

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Thanks for all of your help!!!:U Rock: I cut my name today!! Now the letters are rough around the corners, what could that mean?
     
  20. Air Art Girl

    Air Art Girl Very Active Member

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    if it did not cut clean thru the vinyl, it could mean the blade force was not high enough. If it cut all the way thru the vinyl but the letters still have a jagged edge, it may have not been a good font. Post a picture of it.
     
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