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newbie to signs101....am losing what's left of my mind

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by petraea, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Hello,
    Been in the sign business for awhile, 16 years, know my way around vinyl very well but have only been using 'the edge' for a year.

    I need to send a job to print off a Gerber Edge 2 Thermal printer.
    My soft-wear is Gerber Omega 2.1
    A graphic designer has provided disc with the sign design saved as an AI, eps and pdf .
    I'm stuck on this and need to know the process for getting the files off the CD and into Omega.
    Most times have no problem but am now in a quandary ~
    Do I import or merely open?
    How should I save the file once I get it in?
    * I've tried all different options and not had good results.
    I don't design Adobe Illustrator and am frustrated when I open the file and see a mess of 25 different images in many, many layers, spreading outside of the intended dimensions. :omg:
    The output sign is a combo of vectored text and photos. What I've tried looks alright until sized up to 4'x8', then the text is poorly rendered, pixelated and blurry.
    Here's the thing; I'm in a whirlwind of processes in that I've tried about 15 different options and am brain-scrambled. :frustrated::banghead:
    I need to wipe the slate and rethink this.
    Please start me from scratch.
    My mission ~
    To output a 4' x 8' vinyl, Gerber 220, Edge print.
    I"ll send to Envision plotter and printer from Omega 2.1.
    Of the eps, AI and pdf files that contain vector and raster, people portrait images; what is the best to use?
    Do I open or import?
    What is best way to save for a crisp, high rez print?
    Any help from you marvelous, brilliant, knowledgeable, helpful, generous EXPERTS would be HUGELY appreciated!!
    Thank You anyone who may be so kind as to answer.
    I've got to send this thing into production tomorrow, Tuesday.
    Happy Labor Day, btw!!

    I'll be out all day on a day-trip but will bounce in here tonight, salivating in delicious anticipation.
  2. beckys

    beckys Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    I generally import the image, but if it crappy to begin with, it really doesn't matter what setting you use, it will still look all pixelated etc.
    And if you got this from a graphic designer(sorry been there, they don't know everything)that is probably your problem right there...
  3. Sign_Boy

    Sign_Boy Major Contributor

    May 18, 2007

    If the text is vector it should not pixelate.
    How do the photos look when brought up to 4x8?
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    What you're describing is a classic example of not having enough software to handle the challenges of bringing in customer supplied files. If you had Omega 2.6 you would be able to open the PDF and start printing. If you had Photoshop or Corel Suite, you could open the any of these files and generate a nice big JPG or TIF image that would open in Omega 2.1 and print beautifully.

    My suggestion for the immediate situation is to

    • Open the file in FlexiSign (assuming you have FlexiSign pro)
    • Export the file out of Flexi as a high resolution JPG or TIF
    • Open that in Omega and see if it will work
    If that doesn't work, then I would suggest either purchasing a copy of either Photoshop or Corel Suite and use it unless you can find someone that has one or the other who will create a high resolution bitmap for you.

    Your confusion with opening or importing is common and is just a case of making it more complicated than it needs to be. The difference between opening and importing is simply the creation of a new workspace or the bringing in of additional graphics into an already open workspace. The filter-translators that do the work are identical.
  5. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    a high res image can be exported out of Illustrator.

    Open .ai file, size up to 48" x 96", export at 100dpi

    open in omega, and print with the process foils

    If you had photoshop, I would set up my splices myself, instead of letting the software do it.

    I would also sell my client on a 46" job instead of a 48", so I can use just 4 panels.

    When you output any tiled job, use the "flip panels" feature for better color consistency at your seams
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    The OP list the following in their profile:

    Signmaking & Graphics
    SoftwareGERBER OMEGA

    To the best of my knowledge the only one that will stand a chance of creating a high resolution bitmap is Flexi which will also open most AI-EPS-PDF files accurately. There may be some issues with embedded images in the original file that Flexi may stumble on. The most likely application to open and be able to export out anything useful would be either Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint.

    The lesson here is that if you're going to accept files from others, you should stock your software tools with applications that can handle them.
  7. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2005
    Lawton, OK, USA
    Welcome from OK.

    If your .ai, .eps, or .pdf file was saved with a raster file that will blur at the size you are printing, then there is nothing you can do but get a better raster file from the customer.
  8. Fred, beckys, Sign_Boy, signsbydale - you are wonderful for throwing me your ideas.
    sbd ~ I asked her to send me a higher rez file. She said she couldn't because the file would be too 'big' to email.
    Fred ~ I'm sorry I didn't go into the other programs I have at my disposal so let me add that I DO have the Adobe Suite. I play around w/ AI and Photoshop when time permits. Right now it's still Greek to me.
    The only soft-wear I am set up for now, at this company, is Omega. I do miss Flexi as it was superior in some ways.
    isign ~ when I open in AI I get layers over layers along with white blocking squares and clipping paths, spread out beyond borders. At least I think it was the AI and not the eps but tomorrow morn I'm going to start fresh and try your suggestion. Thanks also for your added Edge pointers. The derned thing is so finicky I usually output in 4' panels, each as a separate job and watch it like a hawk. I KNOW! That's thirty-six times switching foils and opening that hood.
    Sign_Boy~Your point is well taken that vectored lines should be crisp and well defined but I have to send the thing to print by saving as a tiff first for when the message goes from Composer to the Edge, it'll ask where the tiff is because it can't find it or see it.
    How can I save it while preserving the clarity of both the vectors as well as the photos? God! I feel like such a dunderhead and can't help but think I am screwing it up by missing something.
    beckys ~ :biggrin:
    So, I think I will print these suggestions out, go in with a refreshed mind and try some of your ideas.
    You've all been great!
    I've been visiting this site more and more often over time and believe this to be an enormously valuable message board in so many respects.
    Any other ideas will be welcomed but if ya'll want to chill out for the night that's alright by me.
    You've been responsive and helpful and I appreciate you.
  9. beckys

    beckys Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    sending as a tiff, might be your problem, I usually will set up as a jpeg,or just leave as is, then when you send it to the edge, there is a check box to change it to a cmyk.
    If you want to send me the file, I'll take a looksy at it. Ill pm my e-mail addy.

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