19 Oct Sign Printing for Lower Mainland BC Graphic Designers – Collaboration is the Key to Successful Signage
Sign printing has changed a lot over the years. Sign printers are more accurate, colours more vibrant, and substrate materials are more durable, even waterproof, as is the case with scrim vinyl. For any graphic designer’s vision, there are materials and techniques that will turn their imaginative design into an eye-catching sign that gets noticed.
Sandbox Signs + Graphics has been providing sign printing services for Vancouver and Burnaby area graphic designers since 1994. During that time, we’ve honed our processes and determined what works well, and what doesn’t. The most important thing we’ve learned is how to guide and collaborate with graphic designers, from the first glint of a design idea to the final product.
Collaboration Between Designer and Sign Company is Vital
Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword in our sign shop; it’s a way of working that achieves the best results most efficiently and effectively for our graphic design clients. There are many sign printing companies in Vancouver and Burnaby providing similar services, but it’s customer service that separates the “go-to” printers from the rest. When you’ve been in sign making and printing for as long as we have, you learn many valuable lessons. While the materials and the technical ability of the sign company you choose is extremely important, we’ve learned that the key to an optimal outcome is strong collaboration.
Main Points of Collaboration Between Designer and Sign Printing Company
Sandbox Signs + Graphics recommends that designers collaborate with us at four key points, from idea to final delivery. We welcome discussion from start to finish. Often a quick phone call or visit to our sign printing shop will bring clarity and prevent problems with the printed signage.
Before you begin designing, it’s a good idea to discuss timelines, suitable signage materials, cropped size, safe areas and bleeds.
- During design when questions come up
During the design phase, make notes of things about the design that you want to ensure are replicated at press. You may be concerned about print colour matching or the effect certain printing materials may have on the design’s native colours.
Once you’ve submitted a file, prepress setup begins. We check the design for any technical issues such as missing/unlinked images, incorrect bleeds, crop marks/cropped size, unflattened fonts or fonts not included with files. If we find issues, we’ll call. After everything checks out and printing is set up, we provide a proof so the client can evaluate the results and check colours and the design itself before the final print run.
- After printing
After printing, sometimes issues are discovered that weren’t seen in the proof. If you are unhappy with results, we’ll work with you to find a solution to the problem. As far as we’re concerned, the job isn’t finished until you are satisfied with the result and happy to send it to your client.
Acceptable File Types & File Delivery
The following is a list of the file formats we work with:
- Illustrator (.ai)
- Photoshop (.psd)
- Acrobat (.pdf)
- CorelDraw (.cdr)
- Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)
.EPS files are often used for interoperability between graphics programs. If a printer doesn’t have the program you used for design, many graphic design programs allow you to export the file as .eps. The file can contain vector graphics, raster images, and text, usually reduced to one layer even if your native design file contained multiple layers.
- JPG, TIFF (high resolution)
As you would with any printer, send files with fonts included or flatten fonts to outlines.
Questions About Sign Printing? Ask Sandbox Signs + Graphics
If you are a Vancouver or Burnaby area graphic designer who has questions about sign printing and materials, we’re always happy to chat. Contact us or request a quote. When it comes to sign making, we believe that an optimal outcome depends on open communication between the designer and our team. Whether you are experienced or a newbie designer, we do all we can to ensure you understand the process and are comfortable working with us.