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New Sign Software

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Grose Signs, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Grose Signs

    Grose Signs New Member

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    Hello everyone I'm 19 and my family has ran a sign business for about 40 years now. We have a good clientele, but I am wanting to give even more choices to them. It feels like that we are maxed out with our equipment that we have currently and we need to upgrade!! We currently have an old Dell XPS running Gerber 2.0 omega, Gerber edge, and a Gerber HS-15 Plus for a plotter. I was wanting to get your opinions on what sign software we should look into when we upgrade. Should we just get the newer version of omega or should we get something totally different like Sign Lab or even something else regardless of cost? I don't have the tiniest bit of knowledge to make an educated guess on what we should do.

    Thanks so much
    Justin Grose
     
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  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I would suggest that you stay with Omega and upgrade that software. It's what you know and it is what is working with your existing hardware. Upgrading to Omega 4 will give you much better capabilities when it comes to accepting files created in other programs from clients.

    Next consider adding in the current Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium and you will be adding substantially to your design and file handling capabilities.
     
  3. klemgraphics

    klemgraphics Active Member

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    Welcome to Signs 101 neighbor!
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I would second that. Better the devil you know...


    I don't see how anyone get's around with out that.
     
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Yes. I'm just about done a 13 hour tutorial on Photoshop at CreativeEdge.com and am looking forward to putting a lot to work of what I've added to my knowledge of that app. Having the current Illustrator and Acrobat Pro is also great for incoming files.
     
  6. Blaney

    Blaney Member

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    Welcome from Illinois
     
  7. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

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    Sign Up Graphics

    Welcome from Skokie, IL :thumb:
     
  8. Grose Signs

    Grose Signs New Member

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    Ok thanks everyone for your replies. However I know how to run the old Omega software I'm wondering if there will be a better software? Also what exactly is the adobe suite?
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    It is a group of very widely used programs by the world's graphics community that are somewhat interlinked and very well conceived. Here's a link to the product.
     
  10. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I'm a Gerber user since GA 6.2 and was able to kinda sorta learn Corel, just enough to be dangerous.
    Since learning Corel I still go back to Gerber for certain things, but have been pleased with Corel.
    Got rid of my Signmaker 4E last year and now use a Graphtec plotter, and can cut directly from Corel.
    Corel also talks OK to Gerber stuff depending on how you export your files. But I am NO authority to listen to, most times I'm dumber than a bag of hair.
    Love....Jill
     
  11. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    i am probably one of the 1st to get corel 3, not X3, to CUT TO PLOTTER. back in that version and up till 6, the largest desktop area was 30 INCHES!!!!! not untill version 7, did corel up the work area to 150FEET X 150 FEET. iam a computer geek of sorts(dangerous sometimes)and helped another sign person get setup with GERBER 6.0 & a sprint. man how proprietary is that stuff!!!! drove me crazy. working in GA6, after working in corel, was a frickin nightmare. to much redundancy and fail safes. i think they designed VISTA afte GA 6)))))))))) i was offered a 4b when i was looking for a plotter. $3000for it and i had to buy the cadlink card(another couple $100) and it had 2-3 fonts, if i wanted more they was $100 each!!!! wheras corel...ALL THE WINDOW FONTS was available to cut!!!!! so i passed and got a ROLAND PNC-1000!!! been a COREL/ROLAND since 1993!!!!!! i bought the used roland, and the guy gave me a dongled program called LETTER ART 6.0!!! dos based and really less then corel, but i could do stuff bigger then 30" long in it. i also had a copy of PRO-CUT. a bridge program which was same company as CO-CUT. worked right outa corel. after WIN 98it wouldnt work in XP. ive looked at a lot sign specific programs over the years. top of my list is SIGNLAB. very much like corel. i think they are made by same company. SIGN WIZARD. does some neat things other sign programs dont. VM PRO, also a lot like corel. FLEXI.......its ok. one of my sign buds in sarasota used it extensively. so i got familiar with it. ive heard of people cutting from AUTO CAD, iam a draftsman from before computers............and I STILL CANT GET AUTO CAD!!!!!
     
  12. jc1cell

    jc1cell Active Member

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    I resembled that remark....til yesterday that is. Nice buzz cut now. Longest time without out a cut ever.

    :rock-n-roll:
     
  13. Grose Signs

    Grose Signs New Member

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    Ok guys you helped a lot. I looked at the adobe software and corel and I had no clue you could send your work to a plotter with those software packages. Is there anything special that I would need to be able to do this or is just a cord to from the plotter to the computer?

    Thanks again,
    Justin
     
  14. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Welcome to a outstanding forum and people.
     
  15. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I'm able to use just a USB cable from my laptop to my Roland. I can either cut directly or there is an easy plugin for Roland's CutStudio software for Ai and I can go through that if need be.

    I would imagine that there would be a similiar system for most of the plotters, but I don't know beyond my own experience.
     
  16. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    all it takes is a DRIVER for the plotter. can be found at http://www.rolanddg.com/download.html you need this file: d029270j.exe (310KB). install it set it up as a printer connecting either USB or LPT-1. in corel give any object you want to cut a "hairline" and set up a page in corel that is eactly the same page as the roland plotter is. if its a 24", set page to 23.50 x 96.00 so you will have a page on corel desktop same size.
     
  17. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    The thing to realize here is that your question and my reply was about software. I took into account what you already have and are used to using. My suggestion was to bring your current software up to date and to add the numerous software capabilities of the Adobe Creative Suite to your setup. No hardware replacement was addressed since you already have a Gerber Edge and HS-15 plotter.

    The suggestions to just bypass this and drive a NEW plotter from a drawing program such as CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator may sound wonderful on surface, but you may find it turns out to be a step backward. Your current setup includes a lot of things you take for granted that would not be present in such a new arrangement. Being able to print and cut using your Edge would not be ... and you would also have to deal with limits on your workspace size and how you go about doing your work. You would also need to replace your plotter since it isn't easily driven in these kinds of setups. Your new plotter would not be tractor pin fed. It would be friction fed which is a whole new learning curve with lots of comparative shortcomings.

    The total cost of my suggestions, if adopted, would be less than $2500 and would leave you with some of the world's best design tools as well as by far the best supported by tutorials to learn to use them. The cost of switching out your hardware and adding at least CorelDRAW (with possibly a bridge program) would be about double what I suggested and the need to replace much of your materials inventory as well.

    It is not a simple matter of just hooking your existing hardware up to a new program.

    So what are you trying to accomplish and are you looking for new hardware or new software?
     
  18. Driving Force

    Driving Force Member

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    I would recommend getting signlab or flexi. I have signlab 9 and use it all the time. I also have omega which I dont really care for at all.Its great for running the edge, but not so great for anything else. I have all the others as well, corel X5, adobe CS5, autocad 11 etc. They are good programs and I do use them quite a bit, mostly for file conversions from clients, but nothing is going to beat a sign program specifically designed for signmaking. Both flexi and signlab are pretty up to date with whats going on in the market. Omega is way behind in my opinion and lacks a lot in functionality that the others do. yes you can cut from corel and illustrator, but again they werent designed specifically for signmaking and lack some pretty cool features that are usefull in making signs. There is always a learning curve when it comes to working with a different program. I try to figure out which is the best program for what I do and go get it. I have never been a fan of getting something that will work ok just because it is cheaper. Once you buy a sign specific program its not that expensive to keep it up-to-date. With the sign specific programs, there pretty much isnt a plotter or printer that they dont have drivers for. Ease of setup is a big bonus and they have tech support that understands what you are trying to do.
    Thats my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!
     
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