Vector or line art, Illustrator 8 or 9 preferred, saved as PC file;
please call for other options.
Clean art, not bit-mapped, at 400% yields the best mold.
If a font is tweaked, it needs to be outlined.
If we receive a “placed image” saved as an Illustrator
file our artist needs to re-draw the piece. This costs $$
- not a lot, but it does add to the cost of the set-up.
You can tell the difference between a placed image file and
a vector file by the number of little blue, you guessed it
– vectors, in the piece when it is highlighted in Illustrator.
If only the perimeter is outlined, the design is a placed
image and will have to be re-drawn. If the piece is obscured
with blue lines and dots, it is exactly what we need –
or more to the point, exactly what our artist needs. In order
to do the art for the plates we have to separate the colors,
hence the need for vector art. Have I confused you –
I’ve confused myself, but that’s why we have our
artist standing by.
We generally incorporate a 2.5 point border for cutting-die placement.
If the piece is straight-edged and square-cornered, it can
be border-less. Well, actually it can be die cut inside the
border too, but you are paying for the border we are cutting
off. Sexy, isn't it?
With our normal acid-etched plates, you don't. The broader an area
is, the more the acid eats, and the higher it will be in the
finished piece. If you are a control freak, you can specify
heights and pay extra for a pantographed, or computer-etched
plate. For even more control, you can combine acid etching
and pantographing in the same piece. However, as with all
good things, control costs. Probably add at least $250 or
so to our normal set-up fees of $350. The plate needs to be
quoted from artwork and the pantographing takes close to a
week. Our regular plates turn in 24 hours. So, you can get
exactly what your engineering department requested, but you
pay and you wait - life is like that isn't it?
Because we start with a liquid, each raised color needs to be separated
from its neighbor by a 'wall' in the design. This 'wall' is
a .5 point line, and it will show in the final piece as the
color of the background. Otherwise, your carefully chosen
white and lovely PMS red will be a dandy pink, but you probably
didn't want pink! And we want you to be happy, so all raised
colors will be separated by a .5 point line. Look closely
at anybody's plastic label and you will see this. Doesn't
matter where it came from, we all do it! If you see something
without a dividing wall, let us know & we'd be interested!
Yes, we know, sometimes on a pantographed plate you can have
colors on top of each other without a line, but any colors
NEXT to each other are separated. Picky, picky! Of course
Esteban had to edit that in for the purists!
We color match to Pantone colors. We have a formula based system that
works pretty well most of the time. When you specify a color
we use the formula. If you don't like what you get, we will
tweak it. However, when we tweak, we then have to match future
batches by eye and that isn't quite as accurate as the formula
with its little gram scale. We can also match shoelaces, fabric
and all manner of things. If your color doesn't look exactly
like the Pantone chart, please bear in mind your Identity
Plus labels are plastic and the chart is paper. Light reflects
differently, is absorbed differently, ya de ya de ya. Bottom
line; when you paint your drywall and your trim with the same
color, it looks slightly different - same principle! Little
areas and small fonts will look different than big areas of
the same color. The little areas allow more of the background
to transfer through. Yes, we concentrate the color and go
to the wall, and back things with white, and sometimes, they
still look like a slightly different shade! Sorry! Fading
and yup, just like your bright red 1976 Honda Civic faded
over time, very intense colors will fade some. If the piece
is going to be used and abused, let us know, and we will double
the amount of pigment; this is a better UV protector than
the highly touted UV protector itself. The highly touted UV
protectors 'die' after a year, and then where are you?
Esteban is pretty good at getting this to happen. Our well-trained
staff helps a lot! Also, he has some tricks up his sleeve
that we'll tell you about if we know you REALLY well. So,
don't pretend to be somebody and pump us, and turn out to
be the competition.