I would like to create some custom stickers, you know the ones that can be stuck to car windows. Anyways I was wondering if any have any pointers on how to make them. I know how to use Gimp so I think I can use it to design it but then I do not know how to make it. What stores can make stickers? Office Max? Any of those types of stores? I am also wondering if I need the image to be in vector graphics?
well, if you want to make these stickers (vinal decals) you will want to make it in a vector format, because they usually cut these out with a machine. About where to get it done, go to a print shop, or a graphic design place.
Your’ll have to search for a printing firm that can make car stickers /stickers / ‘non-adesive stickers’ (or whatever their technical name is)
It doesn’t need to be in vector. However, if the image you want to create can be made in vectors and you are competant enough to create a vector based image, then vectors would be more ideal.
You’ll need a vector outline if you would like your sticker to be cut out in a custom shape (as apposed to a square sticker). This will cost more to do and is thus only recommended if you are going to have high volumes printed, otherwise get a knife and cut it yourself.
all you need you need to know / do, is to get the correct document size at the correct DPI (300DPI probably) and design whatever you like, bearing in mind that if you are going to have ink reach to the edge of the document, add a bleed allowance.
depending on the material (i assume you are referring to those clear flexi-plastic stickers) then your’ll probabily need an area covered in a white print first (like they do with CD’s) unless you are happy with the ink (such as orange) to come out washed out / semi-transparent rather than solid, as if it were to be printed on white paper.
In such a case, you may need to create an extra channel in your document to apply this and rename it to something like “white” or what ever the printer specifies, or you might be able to create a new document with a black channel on alpha.
well, if you want to make these stickers (vinal decals) you will want to make it in a vector format, because they usually cut these out with a machine.
usually? I think your’ll find the answer is always…
If you want contour-cut vinyl decals, then yes, you do want to do it in a vector format - at least for the outer contour. This is the path that the knife will follow when cutting the vinyl.
This is a window graphic I did a couple years ago. It’s made of a couple layers of cut vinyl. The design was done in Illustrator (vector) to provide the vector outlines used by the cutter. In this example, each color was cut separately, then applied in layers to the window.
There are printers that will print on vinyl. Most larger sign shops will have one. In that case, you’d potentially have both a raster (bitmap) portion to your design in addition to the (vector) knife contour path. This allows you to have more than just the ‘flat’ vinyl colors in your design (you could have photo-style ‘textures’). This is more expensive to produce as well. The vinyl is printed, then cut. The advantage to this is not only in the ability to have photo-textures, but you also only have one layer of vinyl to apply for a multi-color design.
Depending on the particulars of your design (content, size, quantity) … one or the other option may make sense for you. If you have more details, I might be able to help you more.