Headstock decal printing quality

Wyatt

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Posts
1,207
I use this guy for all my decals...

https://unclenerkysdecals.company.site/

He has a nice way of getting the gold and silver in...he prints the lines, then back fills with a paint marker. On the back, you can see the stoke marks, but against the plastic, it's pretty uniform.

They come out really well. I'll have to get a better close-up when I have a chance.
Tj5mAVV.jpg

Jk08Jkg.jpg

Tj5mAVV
 

DjimiWrey

Tele-Holic
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Posts
571
Age
67
Location
austin
Printer....if its an HP, DON'T update nothn! (If you wanna spend 1/3 on HP cartridge costs) Newer updates disallow 3rd party cartridges. Mine did it itself over my wireless network. Spent a week getn it reversed to previous version. Wasnt ez! (HP laser jet)

gawd ! just had a flashback over another "auto-update" heartache

at least you got it fixed :)
 

fushifushi

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Posts
20
Age
37
Location
Minnesota
For anyone curious in the future, here's how I was able to greatly improve the resolution and quality of my decal.
  1. Started with my original design which was a bitmap file I created in Pixelmator.
  2. Imported this file into Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Used the Image Trace tool to convert my design into vectorized outlines. This also converted the image to black and white, which I wanted.
  4. Adjusted the thickness of the lines with the Threshold setting in Image Trace.
  5. The FLINNY logo and the quotation marks looked great, but the FLANCASTER outlines weren't looking good. So I scrapped those outlines that were based on my original bitmap file and instead used the Text tool in Illustrator and typed FLANCASTER using Futura font.
  6. However, the FLANCASTER font was a little too thick, so I converted the text to vectorized outlines and thinned them out by adjusting the stroke width.
  7. I then created an Adobe InDesign file and placed my Illustrator design file onto an 8.5x11 sheet. I was able to fit 21 decals on each sheet. I also flipped them horizontally because I needed to paint in the letters. I printed the sheet off on a laser printer at 300dpi, and they looked fantastic.
  8. Last step was carefully painting the insides of the letters with Testors metallic gold enamel paint. I had to buy a very thin paintbrush for this and messed up quite a few decals until I was able to paint a couple of them adequately.
Here's a pic. When you look up close in person, you can't really see any of the pixelation that was present in my first bitmap version of the decal.

full


Thanks for your help on this! It was your suggestion to convert to a vectorized design that made all the difference!

Jason
 

fushifushi

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Posts
20
Age
37
Location
Minnesota
What actually got rid of the "embroidery" effect?

The embroidery effect was most likely due to the original poor resolution bitmap design. When you import the file into Illustrator and use the Image Trace tool, the software automatically detects and vectorizes the shapes. So any embroidery patterns or imperfections in the original will be smoothed over by the vectorized shapes. At least, that's my non-technical understanding.
 




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