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Custom Decals

2995 Views 31 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mr Modifier
(First of all, my apologies if I've posted this in the wrong forum)

I want to do some custom decals - rally plates and number boards, to be specific. I've checked places such as Patto's and no-one seems to do the stuff I want, so I'll have to do it myself.

I started by copying JPEG images off the 'net and re-sizing them. The trouble I'm having with that is that by the time I get the images small enough, they've lost most of their definition.

So, my questions are;-
1) Are there any write-ups on DIY decals here for IT-illiterates, such as myslf?
2) If not, is someone able to tell me what format I should be working with the images in, what software I need to working with and where I can get that software?

I could attempt to design my own decals, but I'd still need software I don't have plus a heavy dose of both imagination and artistic ability - which I'm lacking in. I'd be prepared to attempt it if someone could tell me, please, what is suitable software for designing decals from scratch.

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It is probably better to do vector images rather than jpeg - the main difference is vector images are better for scaling to different sizes.

Vector Programs have a bit of a learning curve to them but are worth it. There is a freeware program called Inkscape which handles vector graphics

I made all the decals on this Hummer - most were in a jpeg program but some are vector based and postscript (eps)

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i am sure Mark won't mind

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Raster images can not be converted to vector

They can but it isn't an easy process and the results need some work. I took a friend's scanned drawing of a tree with birds in it and used the trace tools in Inkscape to convert the A4 scanned image into a vector drawing which was then sent to a glass etcher who scaled it up to etch onto a a piece of glass for a door panel.

However not something for someone new to the whole game. If you are going to work with jpeg images from the internet then a simple layout program like the already mentioned Word or Publisher or Pages will give you good results.

I have used vector programs but the majority of the logos on the Hummer in my first post were layed out in Word and I think they look fine.

The other tip which you have probably already done - is I will print a sheet of the graphics on plain paper and then cut them out and lay them on the car. Ember's tip is a great one but I find placing them on the actual car gives me a good feel for the size.

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