It's becoming obsolete - paint? No! Vinyl!

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cam bortz
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 8:54 am

It's becoming obsolete - paint? No! Vinyl!

Post by cam bortz » Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:05 pm

At least in my world. More specifically, cutting vinyl lettering. I haven't cut much of anything in over a month, as part of an experiment in how much weeding (which I hate like a toothache) I can avoid having to do.

To oversimplify, it's like this: If the copy is large enough to paint, I paint it. If it's too small or too repetitive, I print it on the Edge. It doesn't eliminate all cutting, but it's surprising how little I turn on the plotter when I make a conscious decision to hand-letter as much as possible, within reason. Plus, I need the practice (don't we all?) This isn't to say I don't use the computer; almost all my basic layouts and patterns are drawn and pounced by computer, but then it goes to pounce bag and brush. I'm admittedly not doing as much volume - but I've never been a volume shop anyway, and I'm in a much better mood when I'm lettering as when I'm weeding, and as I still believe this trade can be something I enjoy more often than not, that matters. :D

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mike Jackson
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Post by Mike Jackson » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:29 pm

Hi Cam,
Not intending to counter the momentum of your post, but you say you don't like weeding vinyl. We don't have much trouble weeding vinyl in most styles down to 1" tall using Gerber 220 HP vinyl. That makes me wonder what brand and kind of vinyl you are using? Some of the bargain brands and intermediate grades are tough to weed, and we stay away from them. Have fun paintin'! Mike Jackson
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

cam bortz
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 8:54 am

Post by cam bortz » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:14 am

I've always used HP vinyl, currently Avery or Gerber 220. It's not so much that weeding is difficult per se, it's that I simply don't like doing it. My post is more about how I'd rather spend my time at work, in terms of what I find satisfying and enjoyable, as opposed to tedious and annoying.

We've all read and perhaps written posts about the joys of working with a brush - but I've yet to hear anyone wax eloquent on the pleasures of weeding vinyl. Both are a means to an end, and both have their place, yet one of them is relaxing and enjoyable, the other, just work - the sort of work someone once described as "the dragging of fingernails across the chalkboard of life". What prompted this post was the observation that having the technology to cut vinyl letters does not have to make me a slave to it, and that I can choose to not use it at my discretion. I wanted to get away from automatically cutting jobs in vinyl, when a bit more time management and planning allows me to hand letter the job.

On another note: There are places where a post of this type would generate dozens of responses and ignite firestorms of controversy. I much prefer the tone here, where responses are thoughtful and one's POV treated with respect. Thank you for continuing to provide such a place.

Mike Jackson
Site Admin
Posts: 1686
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:02 pm
Location: Jackson Hole, WY
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Post by Mike Jackson » Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:18 pm

Hi Cam,
Yes, I recognized the direction of your post. Around here, Darla and I look at the size of the lettering and the amount of materials to be used and then decide. 6" and under, and we usually vinyl it. 7" is wasteful, unless smaller text can be nested with it to use up the 5" area.

From a bigger picture, I know it takes the same amout of time to let the plotter make a pounce pattern (actually longer since we slow the plotter down, plus the time it takes to tape up the pattern strips) as it does to cut one set of letters. At that point, the hand lettered job is just beginning. We can weed fairly quickly, apply the mask and then install the letters quickly. Besides the waste issue, it really has to boil down to whether you like the process of hand lettering enough to spend the extra time.

Mark made a post a while back about the joys and magic of hand lettering a sign. It's certainly difficult to compare the computerized process to stepping up to a blank 4 x 8 and do a quick chalk layout and start lettering with a big ol' flat and a cup of One Shot on a sign that simply says "Coming Soon, West Bank Car Wash".

Mike
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Mike Jackson
Site Admin
Posts: 1686
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:02 pm
Location: Jackson Hole, WY
Contact:

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:14 am

Cam,
I should add a point here. The beauty of this site is we openly welcome a diversity of opinions, approaches and techniques (on the topics above). None of them are necessarily right, or even better. I personally find it interesting to hear other people's approach to a specific task. We are all looking for a "better" way to do something. Part of that distinction might depend on each person's nature and expectations. "Better" might be more profitable, faster, or efficient. "Better", for some, might partially disregard the monetary aspect, and might translate into "more satisfying".

I think some of us are sitting here in front of our computers, reading posts, and hoping to be "inspired" or jump-started. Without stimulation. it is easy to fall into ruts of both techniques and approaches to a project.

Again, as one of the moderators, I like to read about other people's views on basically the same topic. The broad array of topics listed at the top of the page gives this Forum quite a bit of room to discuss these kinds of issues and stay well within the white lines.

Thanks for all your efforts and posts on this forum!

Mike Jackson / co-moderator
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

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