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Software for Idiots?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by ChiefBL, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. ChiefBL

    ChiefBL Member

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    Hello, We are looking for signmaking software that would be great for beginners. Something to design and plot basic vinyl signs. We currently have LXi 7.5, but it is tool difficult for our level. Could someone recommend a vinyl CAD program that would be great for beginners. Does it have step by step tutorials? TIA

    Bill
     
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  2. PMG

    PMG Very Active Member

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    LXI (Same Makers As Flexi) software has a Apprentice program........ they have Apprentice,Expert,Master and Master Plus!!!!!:Coffee:
     
  3. JMDigital

    JMDigital Active Member

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    I did a google for "Free vinyl cutting software" and got a few answers. Try some of the free downloadable ones.. to get your feet wet.


    when you have time to get into the FLEXI you have I would do that. Flexi is a great program. If you are just cutting vinyl it should be as easy as type what you want set the size and hit the cut button... What cutter do you have.





    Good Luck...
     
  4. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    "Easy to use" and "software for idiots" are both very odd items to apply to graphics software, especially anything that has to work in a business environment like a vinyl sign shop.

    My experience has been the more professional level tools have actually been easier to use than applications that were geared to attempt to be easy.

    One example: Adobe Photoshop. On the surface, this seems like a pretty scary program. But if the user reads a little about how channels, layers and paths work and do so within the metaphor of Photoshop's interface the application seems very straight-forward. I've tried to use more consumer oriented image editing applications and just wind up hitting one brick wall after another and after another again. The disappearance of certain critical tools and time-wasting wizards getting in the way of a simple operation make many such cheap applications counter-productive.

    Flexi is not a difficult program to use. It is as straight foward as any vector-drawing program and has lots of CAD type program features as well. It's very simple to go through the users manual to find out how the tools work to set up items like banner layouts to cut from vinyl.

    ChiefBL, this isn't a knock against your workforce, but some creative folks who have worked under me and claimed "the software is too difficult" simply did not want to make the effort to read a little and experiment a little to actually learn how to use the software. Some expected to just sit down in front of the machine and magically have everything working.

    Also, the website BadDesignKills.com had a funny illustration that pointed out another very glaring truth. In all graphics programs, the creative concepts are not included.
     
  5. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Corel Draw and CocutPro, or,, cocut regular.

    I've used cocut pro for years and made a ton of money.

    Very inexpensive and will do anything you need it to do and more. Plus, it will not limit you in the future.. Plus you can use it with several other softwares so in essence you could have 4 more sign programs..

    http://cocut.com/index.dml
     
  6. ChiefBL

    ChiefBL Member

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    Thanks all for your quick responses! How did you find this post so fast amoung all the forms?
     
  7. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Beginners at making signs or beginners at dealing with graphics software? Or, shudder, both?

    The difference betwixt a basic vinyl sign and any other flavor of vinyl sign is subjective.

    Again. Just what are you trying to learn? At what are you beginners? LXi 7.5, which is merely Flexi 7.5, is not a particularly difficult package as these things go. Is your problem that you know what you want to do but don't know how to get there with your software? Or is the problem that you really don't know what you want to do and are hoping that the software somehow will take the initiative and lead you along?

    If the former, the solution is simple. You need to sit down and experiment with the software. Draw a rectangle. Outline it. Give it a drop shadow. Rotate it. Pick a pair of cartesian coordinates and center it on that spot. Cut some text out of it. Mess around. Whatever you do, lose any expectation of hitting the ground running. You have to master your tools, or at least achieve some critical mass of understanding, before you can do anything resembling useful with them.

    If the latter, you're in for a far more difficult time. Not only do you have to learn how to do what you want to do, you have to learn what you want to do. In this quest others may be sufficiently articulate to guide you, I am not.
     
  8. JMDigital

    JMDigital Active Member

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    The new posts are on the first page.. :thumb:
     
  9. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Bobby H and Bob said it best....

    Everyone turns into an idiot when they first try design software. When I got my first computer I took three months day and night trying to learn it, just when I thought I was handy with it, another designer I met, blew me away with what he knew. It will help with experimenting with it, but like has been seaid, start small and simple and try more complex things, if you can find a person who knows more and absorb it like a sponge. It may be hard to find a person willing to show you LXI/Flexi, but if you get into Corel or Illustrator later, you will find some school and online resources readily available. I have Flexi and it is by far the easiest software I have learned, but I still design almost exclusivley in Illustrator because my needs are probably different than yours.
     
  10. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    And this kind of gets back to my philosophy that anyone who wants to design signs or anything else and expect to charge other people money for that work should kind of already be good at doing the job. Otherwise, why are they even there in the first place? The computer and vinyl cutter isn't going to do the job for the newbie.

    The other problem is the lack of initiative or even resistance to try to get something accomplished. Some newbies make up for their lack of experience by having a fearless and self-starter attitude. They're not afraid to try and fail. We're certainly not going to fire anyone for trying and failing as long as they put in a good effort in the process. The person with initiative who first failed can learn from those mistakes and be productive.

    I've had co-workers in the past that practically needed me to hold their hand through entire vinyl projects. They don't want to crack open a manual or even experiment with the tools. I'd have to get over there and walk through it for the umpteenth time. Meanwhile I'll have a $50,000 neon sign project whose design I'm trying to complete. If I have to be over there all the time helping an employee get their banner project completed then why are they even on the payroll in the first place?

    This is a pretty competitive business. With the price of materials shoot up farther and farther, combined with the adverse effects of globalization, it is going to be ever more critical for each employee to be an earner. There's no room for observers.
     
  11. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    There are Tutorials on signwhorehouses web sight, also there is a manual on the cd's. As far as doing basic lettering I thought is was easy but when you start to draw sketches the bezier take some getting use to. I have extensive experience in cad and to draw most things it is easier for me to draw them in cad at this time but I am getting better with the graphic design and sign software. Like said take time reading and practicing.
     
  12. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    if youre doing NEON design...you need to look at SIGN WIZARD 5.0!!!!!
     
  13. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    or neonwizard5.0
     
  14. grafixhenk

    grafixhenk Member

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    All I can say, whatever software you use will reflect in your work. Basic software, simple sign. Nice software, better wallet!
     
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    You have a very good piece of software (private label FlexiSign) and learning the basics for making simple work should be pretty much a matter of following your nose. You can also book seminar training or purchase tutorials on CD-ROM HERE or HERE.

    Learning some other application will not be any easier.
     
  16. ChiefBL

    ChiefBL Member

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    Thanks Fred Weiss....I just ordered the three Flexi training manuals. MAy order the CD's also. I have been practicing with the Lxi SOFTWARE...it is becoming easier as I go....Thanks all
     
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