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Airbrushing Special Effects on Vinyl, Part 2

(January 2006) posted on Thu Jan 26, 2006

Make vinyl look 'architectural'


By Pat Reynolds

click an image below to view slideshow

Nowadays, anyone with a computer, a plotter and a roll of vinyl can create a perfect letter form. Consequently, keeping one step ahead of your competition -- distinguishing your work from theirs -- is more challenging than ever. You've got to give your customer "Lagniappe." In Louisiana talk, that means "a little something extra."

One way to provide your customers "Lagniappe" is by offering signage with outstanding layout design; honing such skills, however, takes time. A quicker, more immediate solution is to give your vinyl lettering some pizzazz, some color and texture.

In Airbrushing Special Effects on Vinyl, I discussed one method for doing this very thing. I showed how to chrome-look vinyl lettering using an airbrush and some paint. In this article, I'll cover the steps required for a different special effect: stone.

Don't take this particular effect for "granite"; learn it, and perfect it. It's appropriate for a variety of applications, and I've found it to be one of the most popular effects I use. Customers love it and are willing to pay more for it.

The project

To prepare for the project depicted in the accompanying photos, I first created text using my SignLab design software. I selected a font that would be appropriate for the stone effect I'd be creating -- Impact. Impact, you see, is a font with wide, meaty characteristics; I knew it would properly showcase the stone texture.

Once the text was created, I output it to my Allen Datagraph 824 plotter.

Then, I prepared the surface of the vinyl, scuffing it with a 3M Industrial Adhesives & Tapes Div. Scotchbrite


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