Signs of the Times - September 2012 - (Page 44)

TECHNOLOGY REVIEW By Chris and Kathi Morrison Chris and Kathi Morrison own and operate The Image Specialists, a full-service graphics company based in Clements, CA. Chris is also a Microsoft-certified systems engineer. CADlink’s SignLab Version 9.1 Expand your design world through SignLab CADlink’s SignLab Version 9.1 signmaking software is a major software release. The company analyzed and acted upon its years of user communications to create software suited for today’s modern signshops. It was worth the wait. SignLab is a versatile program that serves sign, graphics-design and print-and-cut operations. It commences with basic, vectordesign functions for shapes and text and expands to tools that create sophisticated vector art and intertwined, bitmapped, raster images – all of which enhance any artwork’s value. Generally, complex processing pays an engine-speed price, but CADlink packed some beef into the workflow – in quick time, the software will image and print large, multi-faceted images. Key Information CADlink Technology Corp. 500 Main St. Clinton, MA 01510 (800) 545-9581 Contact: Michael Chramtchenko, director of marketing (613) 247-0850, ext. 204 Version 9.1’s RIP features an upgraded, color-management print engine, plus multiple modules that varyingly correspond to small or large signshop budgets. You can select features from a packet list (so no one buys something they don’t need) or, of course, select the fully bundled package. In addition, CADlink’s upgrade path allows you to expand the software parcel alongside business growth. Sign-design packages must interface with such major design applications as Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator, because many customer-born images come from such sources. CADlink’s user-friendly blend/fix is its Visual Production Manager (VPM RIP and Cut). And, yes, it has contour-cut and white-ink functions; and many likeable add-on modules. Our favorite, Fluid Mask, will strip unwanted parts from your customer’s original. Enter a few keystrokes, and a defined edge-finding percentage to remove a complex background, and then easily move the unvaried, prime image onto a new background. The Transfer Bitmap feature comprises such innovative, tool-packed plug-ins as you find in text-distortion packages. We discovered numerous special effects – many commonly found in high-end raster or vector programs. Also, the blending tools are better than most. We liked the menuboard feature because we’ve painstakingly created such boards from scratch. Now, it’s an easy cut, paste, add and expand process. There’s one more over-the-top addition – the ValuePlus (training, remote access, on-line staff and user-forum). CADlinks’s SignLab Version 9.1 Demo is online. Check it out. ■ System Requirements Minimum CPU Hard Drive RAM OS Dual core (2.0 GHz or higher) 120 GB 1GB + OS Requirements Windows 7 32/64, Windows Vista 32/64, Windows XP 32 Suggested Quad core (3.0 GHz or higher) 250 GB (or more) 4GB + OS Requirements Windows 7 32/64 44 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / SEPTEMBER 2012 /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - September 2012

Signs of the Times - September 2012
ST Update
Possible Future for Digital Printing
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Show Yourself
Enter STs 2013 Intl. Sign Contest!
Looking Ahead
Pop Art
Neon: Green Again
Channel-letter Update
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - September 2012