Signs of the Times - February 2013 - (Page 32)

SOFTWARE UPDATE By Theresa Jackson Theresa Jackson operates Orchard View Color (Escondido, CA) and has more than 20 years’ experience in prepress, graphic design, color management and photography. Email her at How to Design a Vehicle Wrap in Adobe® Illustrator® You have much to consider. Have youmakingthe photo of arounds? Oncewrapped seen Starbucks van that’s the Internet open, the ® side-slider door covers the second through fifth letters of Starbucks, which changes the message to a disparaging one. If the image is real and not Photoshopped, I’m sure the designer feels awful. Clearly, there is much to consider when designing a vehicle wrap. Where to start Purchase a professionally created vehicle template and confirm its accuracy by measuring the actual vehicle. If needed, vector-based templates can easily be adjusted to fit your vehicle. Also, take same-view reference photos of the vehicle. Understanding templates Think of the vehicle as a box with flat panels – four sides and a top. Each panel gets an independent design as a separate document. Templates are provided at a 1/20 scale factor. Scale the template 500% for ¼ scale. Copy each view from the template; paste it into a new document and scale up. Be sure to constrain the height and width. A completed wrap design will have four to six layouts – driver side, passenger side, back view, front bumper, hood and top – depending on how much coverage the design specifies. Window perf Before starting, determine if your client wants printed, perforated-vinyl window covering. “Perf” has a different – slightly ghosted – outside appearance. Warn your customer. Preplanning can help avoid unpleasant surprises. 32 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / FEBRUARY 2013 / Design tips Big, bold, clean designs are best seen and read at speed, but some buyers want details for parking-lot views. Know your customer’s preference before you start the design. Various vehicle panels, especially the bottom rocker, may not be level with the ground. Other body contours may not square to side trim and windows. Such situations make it difficult to realize the correct horizontal placement for your graphics, so explore alternatives – an angle above the rear wheel well, for example. Large letters – 8 in. high or more – will retain legibility if chunks are missing; for example, text that integrates vehicle door handles. Small letters become lost as they cross over window seams or doorjambs. Designing in 2D while thinking in 3D For critical graphics, provide at least 2 in. of breathing room in all directions, and add at least 6 in. of extra graphics on all sides of the template. Determine where the side graphics will meet the front and back graphics. Also, because wrap installers prefer to seam graphics between the quarter panel and the bumper, which often aligns to the vehicle’s front and rear, I suggest your side graphics partially wrap around such corners. Ensure that your design accommodates the extra length. Avoid patterned designs or linear graphics where the sides meet at the front, back and hood. This adds unnecessary complexity for yourself, as well as the installer. Working with images Combine all bitmap graphics in a new Photoshop® document. The Photoshop document height and width matches the Illustrator layout document size (¼ scale of the vehicle dimensions), and the resolution should be between 150 and 300 ppi. 150 ppi may seem low, but, in most cases, it RIPs and prints great, especially if the design elements don’t include photographs. The key is to keep the vector graphics as a vector, but use Photoshop for background vignettes, patterns, textures, drop shadows and glows. (If the design includes photographs, you may want to increase the resolution.) Keep all text and logos in Illustrator®. Copy and paste the ¼-scale template into your newly created Photoshop document. Make sure it pastes in at 100% by having the Move tool selected and checking the transform measurements in the Options bar. Rename the template layer FPO, e.g., “for position only”.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - February 2013

Signs of the Times - February 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review
Technology Review
Sign Museum News
New Products
Dressed to Impress
Uniqlo’s In-store Digital Signage
Pursuing a Different Rout
Word on the Street Signs
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - February 2013