Introduction: Instructables - HOW TO MAKE a GIANT LOGO

(using the vinyl cutter class at Techshop)


In this paper I would like to instruct how to make a giant logo (in this case I copied the “La Honda” city logo) using the vinyl cutter class and equipment at Techshop.
I will explain the process step by step. I have added some pictures to help visualize the steps.

My final product was a giant logo of city of La Honda, California which was used at the La Honda Fire Station (for this purpose the logo will be red and green instead of white and green).

I live in La Honda. The only way to go in and out of the small communities in this Coastal area is on Highway 84.

La Honda is a small community of about 900 residents.   Everyone is proud to have a La Honda sticker on their car. This makes it easy to recognize your neighbor on the road.  Each of the Coastal communities have its own logo: Pescadero, San Gregorio, Half Moon Bay, etc) La Honda sticker is a composite of the letters “L” “H” and a redwood tree. (because La Honda is part of San Mateo County and the county has a redwood tree on the official seal.

Step 1:

In this paper I will show you how I created the logo using the knowledge I acquired  in a class of “Vinyl Cutting”and the equipment from Techshop.

Step 2:

After taking the class of “Vinyl Cutting” at Tecnoshop I decided to make a more complex project than in class. I was looking for a little bit of a challenge. My final goal was a sticker with 2 different colors (one main base vinyl layer, in this case RED) and one overlapping layer, in this case GREEN) and consequently 2 times the process of cutting, weeding, transferring and only one final application. What made this process very intricate was finding the solution for a precise overlapping of different color stickers (red and green, one layer over the other in the intermediate part of the process) the solution was to use registration marks. (as detailed in the third step)

Step 3:

The first step was get a sticker with the logo of our city and scan it with a techshop scanner.

Step 4:

After scanning it

Step 5:

The second step was change the drawing so it would  be suitable for the vinyl cut process. I started it by launching “Corel Draw”

Step 6:

And then opened the scanned file.
The key sub-step using “Corel Draw” in this process was:
A -  Transform the scanned drawing in a bitmap drawing (Alt B Enter)
B -  Reduce the number of colors (in this case 2 colors: Red and Green) Then transform it into a vector draw Outline Trace Logo. (Alt B O -> O )
C - Then transform it into a vector draw Outline Trace Logo. (Alt B O -> O )

Step 7:

Final result in Corel Draw looked like this.
D - I then exported the outlined file as a EPS (Encapsulated PostScript file)

Step 8:

The third step was to open the EPS file in a computer connect with the vinyl cutter

Step 9:

with FLEXIstarter

Step 10:

after I opened the file, I have 2 small substeps done in FLEXIstart:
A -  introduce the registration marks to precisely overlap the different colored stickers.

Step 11:

B - Divide the draw in 2 colors, red and green
and send to the vinyl cutter

Step 12:

The fourth step was order the cut.
The only trick to do this specific job is divide the cut in 2 colors with a pause the cutter in between colors to change the vinyl color

Step 13:

The fifth and final step was use the vinyl cutter machine and repeat what we learned in class.

The vinyl cutter machine is very simple to operate.
I do not need to (because the textbook is very complete) but I will repeat all steps of the vinyl cutter operation.

Step 14:

First we put the blade (in this specific machine we put in the second slot because the first one is for pens for when you use this machine for drawings)

Step 15:

Turn the machine ON (|)

Step 16:

release the trackers in the back of the bus.

Step 17:

Position the vinyl (keep clear around 2 inches in all 4 sides)

Step 18:

lock the trackers

Step 19:

Assign the origin pressing the “ORIGIN” bottom

immediately after pressing the“ORIGIN” you have the chance to adjust the cutting speed and the pressure over the blade

Step 20:

Adjust the speed (V+ and V-) (speed in inches per second) (speed = 8: lower speed means better cut :)
Adjust the pressure   (F+ and F-) (pressure = 30 pressure enough to cut the vinyl but not to cut the paper base)

Then,  I cut one color (the red one) and after I cut the other color (green)

Step 21:

With both layers (main base vinyl layer RED and overlapping layer GREEN) already cut

Step 22:

And weeded out

Step 23:

apply transferring paper in the overlap vinyl layer (color GREEN)

Step 24:

to overlap the overlapping vinyl layer (color GREEN) over the main vinyl layer (color RED), we first need to spray water and soap over the main vinyl layer (color RED)

Step 25:

spray water and soap over the base vinyl layer (color RED) to slide freely with the overlapping vinyl layer sticker until you have the right position to stick

Step 26:

The correct position is achieved by overlapping the registration marks

Step 27:

Then squeeze out the water from the the basic vinyl layer using a squeede pressing the transferring paper center to edge in all radial directions starting from the overlapping vinyl layer to the edges of the base vinyl layer

Step 28:

Then make the final application, in this case, in the wall of Fire Brigade in La Honda :)

I hope you will find these instructions useful.   Good luck with your project :)
Is easy, I made it at Techshop !

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