Sign Vinyl & Stencils I

The rooms 2 support columns were originally planned to have watchtower stencils painted onto them, however we chose to use sign vinyl instead. The process for creating a stencil using a vinyl cutter is the same. We just used the inside bits rather than the outside ones.

I used this tutorial: Creating a Custom Stencil using Adobe Photoshop as a rough guide to create the stencil, but took a few shortcuts along the way. Attention to the subtler areas of shading was not as important as it would be in a human face, so I converted it to grayscale right away and then used "live trace" in Illustrator to convert it to a more malleable vector graphic. Once the background was deleted the contrast was jacked up. The image was then chopped into 2 files; top and bottom, to save time printing and to economize vinyl. To print to the vinyl-cutter I used outline mode in AI and sent the file directly from the app. We had to experiment quite a bit with the knife height setting as many of the small details were being picked off as the blade passed over them. You can adjust the blade height while it is operating if you notice problems.

Weeding out the unnecessary bits seemed like it was going to be slow going but wasn't so bad, especially with 2 people. So far we are really happy with the results of the sign vinyl image and if it goes onto the wall smoothly tomorrow, we will surely use this technique again. It has a lot of potential for experimentation with different types of images, lettering and sign vinyl comes in some really eye-catching colours and finishes.

Roland Vinyl-Cutter

Weeding the bottom half of the graphic

Weeding close-up

The top half of the graphic completely weeded.

The Roland CAMN in action.


jessamytedlie said...

whoah please explain this process to me again in person sometime! this looks like fun

ps. "malleable"

TheBorderline Personality said...

Thnkas! :)