I moved to a new desk at Pier 9 and wasn't getting nearly enough high fives. Luckily it is near a high traffic area where everyone goes on their way to the 3D printer room. I designed a simple window graphic to encourage high fives it was an instant success. HIGH FIVES ALL THE TIME
If you would like to use my graphics, or change them to better fit your office the .AI and .PDF files are both included here.
Step 1: Design Graphic
I used Adobe Illustrator for the design of the window graphics. The hand was traced around a photo using the pen tool (although a live trace of a silhouette would have worked well too). I used the pen tool again with a really giant stroke and an arrowhead to make the arrow. The text was obviously laid out using the text tool. In order to create lines for the vinyl cutter I used the Expand option to make the text and arrow shapes with strokes and fills. Using the shape builder tool I combined the arrow and the hand and cleaned up the transition a bit using the pen tool again.
Step 2: File Setup
This was my first time using the vinyl cutter so I used the "Quick Start Guide to using the Pier9 vinyl printer" Instructable to learn how to use the machine. This is a good place to start for learning how to use any Roland VersaCAMM printer.
Basic tips from this instructable include:
1) Use 1pt magenta lines for cutting. They must be 0% C, 100% M, 0% Y, and 0% K in Adobe.
2) Anything that it is not pure magenta will get printed rather than cut.
3) Make sure you have material that can be cut and printed on with the machine.
4) Scale your vector art appropriately.
Step 3: Cutting and Transfer
If the file and printer are set up correctly printing and cutting should be a simple matter of pressing the 'print' button. The printer will cut the material off at the end automatically so if there is a bunch of ink make sure you are there to catch the piece when it falls or it will end up on the floor.
In order to only apply the parts of the graphic you want on the window it is best to peal off everything else at this point in the process. Be careful not to peal off any of your lettering or graphics in the process. Some of the pieces might be tricky to get away from the excess and keep in place on the sticker backing. My only real advice for this is go slow and careful.
The last thing you need to do before applying the graphics on the window is to lay on the transfer paper. Lay the transfer paper on top of your graphics as flat as possible. It doesn't matter so much if it is straight but wrinkle free and all in one piece is crucial. It might be good to employ a friend to help you on this one in order to get it perfect. In fact, keep your friend around until this thing is up. You will need some help for the final steps too. This amount of help should probably be compensated by as many as three or four high fives.
Step 4: Apply the Graphics
At this point you should be getting quite excited about the impending influx of plentiful high fives. It is time to put your graphics on the wall.
Peel the transfer paper, with your sticker on it, off the backing paper just enough to roll back the sticker paper and adhere the transfer paper to the window. Make sure you have everything lined up well now before it is too late. If you mess up now you may need to start over and postpone all the awesome high fives. If you have a friend helping you it is a good idea to have them stand back to tell you if it is level or not.
Slowly peel back the sticker backing and press the transfer paper and graphics onto the window. Using a squeegee or similar tool might help to get better adhesion to the window. I just pressed extra hard with my thumb.
Step 5: MORE HIGH FIVES!!
This was the whole point right? Now just sit back (or stand if you have a standing desk, as I hope to soon) and get high fives from everyone who passes by. In order for this step to work there are two prerequisites.
First, you need to be in an office where people like high fives. I suspect that in a less fun work environment people may be less likely to slap you hand every time they pass.
Second, you need to look like you are actually in the business of giving out high fives on a regular basis. This means actually putting your hand up when people are passing and being generally happy most of the day.